Dynasty Nerds

2023 Fantasy Forecast: Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears were the worst team in the entire NFL in 2022. Their futility led them to the No. 1 pick in the most recent NFL draft. Despite their poor play, on the whole, the team still offered some nice dynasty appeal. After an offseason of additions and development, the 2023 squad seems poised to take a massive leap forward. For dynasty purposes, the team now boasts quality players at every offensive position. In this article, we will do a detailed breakdown of the skill players on the roster and relate how they best fit into the dynasty landscape and your teams. Without further ado, let us examine the 2023 Chicago Bears.

QB: Justin Fields

Justin Fields is the prize of the Chicago Bears offense. The former Ohio State star is one of the most unique quarterbacks in the entire NFL. The Bears were smitten with the prospect and traded up to pick him at no.11 overall. Fields sat behind Andy Dalton to begin his rookie year. Despite this well-crafted plan, an early season injury forced former coach Matt Nagy to insert Fields into the lineup early in the year. The results were disastrous. I was at his first start in Cleveland, where the Browns pummeled the rookie quarterback. Nagy had an awful game plan that left Fields out to dry, and the Browns took full advantage to the tune of 9 sacks!

Fields struggled on through his rookie season before seeing his head coach fired. Heading into 2022, new General Manager Ryan Poles paired the talented quarterback with former Packers quarterback coach Luke Getsy. The results were tepid at the beginning before heating to a boil as the season progressed. The Bears fielded one of the league’s least talented wide receiver groups, but Fields rose above to have a historic season. His passing numbers improved across the board. However, his biggest contribution was in the running game, where he became just the third quarterback in NFL history to run for 1,000 yards. Were it not for a late-season injury, he would have easily broken the record set by Lamar Jackson. You can see his stats and a peek at his rare gifts below.

Passing Table
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% 1D Lng Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rate QBR Sk Yds Sk% NY/A ANY/A 4QC GWD AV Awards
202223CHIQB115153-12-019231860.42242175.3113.591567.16.611.7149.585.254.05535914.75.054.631216AP MVP-9
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/26/2023.

Heading into the 2023 NFL season, Justin Fields is set up for a true breakout campaign. He will go into his second season with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. That continuity will help him move into the season comfortable with the system around him. That system will be significantly assisted by the additions made by Ryan Poles. The wide receiver room of DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, Velus Jones Jr., and Tyler Scott is a massive upgrade on what Fields went into 2022 with. Add Cole Kmet and Robert Tonyan at tight end and his three quality running backs, and you have a great set of weapons. However, the good news doesn’t stop there. The Bears also made some significant additions to the offensive line, particularly first-round pick Darnell Wright.

Now, the one area you will not like about Justin Fields is his price tag. He is one of the most expensive players in all of dynasty Superflex leagues. Our latest Dynasty Nerds ADP has Fields at #10 overall, the QB8. The high ADP is matched by a very expensive trade cost. A search of the Dynasty Nerds Trade Browser reveals some pricey moves, as you can see below.

His high price aside, there are few, if any, players that offer the pure upside of Justin Fields. It is not hyperbolic to state that he has a legitimate shot at being the no.1 overall scoring player in all of fantasy in 2023. Grab him if you can; I promise you will love watching the points rack up as the year goes on.

RB: Khalil Herbert, D’Onta Foreman, Roschon Johnson

Of all the positions on the Chicago Bears offense, the running back spot is the most up for debate. A legitimate argument can be made for the three top players on the depth chart, giving you some nice short- and long-term value. For my money, I have them ranked as above, Herbert, Foreman, and Johnson. Let’s examine each player, and I will explain my rakings.

Khalil Herbert is the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to starting for the Bears in 2023. Many people may not realize this, but Herbert led all running back last season in ypc. That’s right, you didn’t misread that. Herbert had more yards per carry last year than any running back in the entire league. The former Virginia Tech and 129/731/4 stat line was wrought with big play after big play. You can see a couple of those scampers below.

The Chicago Bears were the #1 rushing offense in the entire NFL in 2022. Justin Fields is the biggest reason for that. He adds a ton of yardage on his own. However, he also affects the defense by opening up massive holes as defenders are forced to focus more on him. Notice in the play above how the defensive end is forced to keep his eyes on Fields. That split second gives Herbert enough time to blow past the line of scrimmage and make his move. In that way, Fields, like Lamar Jackson, provides a massive assist to his running backs.

Herbert has played well for the past two seasons and has several legs up on his competition. He is the most familiar with both the system and his teammates. He is also the most explosive of the group. I mentioned this in a previous article, but it bears repeating in this piece. Chicago lost one of the most touch-heavy running backs in the entire NFL when David Montgomery left for Detroit. In both 2020 and 2021, Monty averaged over 20 touches per game. If Herbert gets even 25% of those touches, he is an excellent threat for over 1,000 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns or more.

Herbert has been doing all the right things to enter the year as the starter. Coaches and teammates alike have praised his leadership and work ethic. He recently published a workout video on Twitter showing him putting time into his craft.

Another area that you will love about Herbet is his price. Inexplicably you can get Herbert, and a mid-round rookie pick for older players like James Conner. You can also buy him for underperforming wide receivers. From a pure pick perspective, you can buy him for very little.

D’Onta Foreman is next up on my list of Chicago Bears running backs. The former University of Texas star has had an up-and-down career in the NFL. It has been a long road back from a 2017 Achilles tear. After the Panthers traded away McCaffrey last season, Foreman fell just short of 1000 yards.

Foreman signed a 1-year deal with the Bears as an unrestricted free agent. His bruising style will provide an excellent complement to slasher Khalil Herbert. Before the Bears drafted Rochon Johnson, Foreman seemed like a shoo-in to enjoy a prominent role with the Bears. Despite the extremely high expectations for Johnson by some in the dynasty community, I believe that Herbert and Foreman will chop up around 80% of the team’s running back touches.

D’Onta Foreman is an excellent buy for your dynasty squads. He is talented and will come dirt cheap. Sometimes a mid-round pick or a bench player will be enough to seal the deal. At that price, how can you possibly go wrong investing in D’Onta Foreman?

Rookie fourth-round pick Roschon Johnson is the final piece of the Bears running back puzzle. Some in the dynasty community believe that the former University of Texas product will have a legitimate chance to start in his rookie season. I, for one, am not such an analyst. While Johnson is talented and will one day stake his claim to the Bear’s top job, this is not that year.

Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman are plenty talented to keep Johnson’s role limited in his first year. Head Coach Matt Eberflus will lean on the veterans this season. Herbert is the most explosive of the bunch, and Foreman is a wrecking ball of a runner who can run with both power and speed. Johnson feels like a combination of the two but will likely have to wait until next season.

Johnson is a fine dynasty prospect with some excellent long-term appeal. Like Foreman, Johnson came out of the University of Texas. Roschon had to bide his time over much of his college career due to being stuck behind a generational running back in Bijan Robinson. Despite his limited role, he was able to put up some nice plays. Some of which you can find below.

At this point in his rookie campaign, Roschon Johnson is doing all the right things. He is impressing players and coaches alike with his work ethic and leadership. He will still play a major role for the Bears moving forward. But, he will simply have to wait his turn until Foreman moves along after this season, and Herbert potentially follows Foreman out in the next year.

One area where you will not like Johnson is his price point. His price range is all over the map. When doing a search of the Dynasty Nerds Trade Browser, you will find him going for prices as high as an established WR1 to as low as a late-round second-year wide receiver. It will depend on the league you are in. Johnson has some true believers out there and some absolute skeptics. I find myself strangely in between the two.

WR: D.J. Moore, Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, Velus Jones Jr, Tyler Scott

From last season to this one, there is no more improved unit on the Chicago Bears roster than the wide receiver room. Last season Darnell Mooney was the only wide receiver on the entire roster to have ever had 500 receiving yards in a single season. Fast forward a year, and Mooney could find himself third on the depth chart. The team made significant additions through the trade market and the draft.

Heading into the 2023 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears held the #1 overall pick. Having already secured their franchise quarterback, the Bears sent the #1 pick to the Carolina Panthers for picks #9 and #61 in this year’s draft and a future first and second. More importantly, the Bears also acquired star wide receiver D.J. Moore.

Since being drafted by the Panthers, Moore has been a quality playmaker despite suffering through some abysmal quarterback play. Despite being saddled with this carousel of mediocrity, Moore thrived. He put up over 5,000 receiving yards in his five seasons in Carolina. You can see just how well he played below.

Receiving & Rushing Table
Games Receiving Rushing Total Yds
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD 1D Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt Att Yds TD 1D Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Touch Y/Tch YScm RRTD Fmb AV
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/30/2023.

In Chicago, D.J. Moore will find himself playing with the most talented quarterback he has ever been paired with. Justin Fields has the arm talent to deliver the ball wherever Moore can get open, as well as the legs to extend plays and allow Moore to use his elite speed and route running to gain separation from defenders. The Bears have been looking for a true WR1 ever since Allen Robinson worked his way out of town. D.J. Moore is easily the most talented wide receiver they have had in years. By all accounts, he has already begun to form a solid connection with Fields in early workouts.

As the top playmaker in the wide receiver room, D.J. Moore also carries the highest cost. When looking through the Dynasty Nerds Trade Browser, the general feeling is that his cost hovers around a first-round pick. In nearly every trade that he is moved for just picks, the price is a single 1st. You can see a couple of examples below.

At only 26 years old with a secure contract over the next three years and tied to an ascending young quarterback, D.J. Moore is an excellent piece for your dynasty squads. His price point is high but not prohibitively so. He has proven to be a quality player who will put up good numbers. He will finish somewhere from a low-end WR2 to a high-end WR2 with WR1 potential if Fields continues to develop. That type of production at a single first-round pick is too good to pass up. Grab him where you can.

Darnell Mooney is up next in the Bears pecking order. Some might choose Claypool over him, but I have seen zero reason to do so. Mooney has been relatively productive when he has been on the field and appears to have built a strong bond with Justin Fields.

The one thing that Mooney has is speed. He has that asset in spades. It shows up on film. Since coming to Chicago, Mooney progressively worked his way into a bigger and bigger part of the offensive game plan. Before his injury-plagued 2022 season, he had improved every year. Heading into a contract year, Mooney is poised for a bounce-back season. He will no longer have to face the top secondary coverage from opposing teams. This should allow him to occupy the Z receiver role again, which allowed him his greatest success in 2021.

Heading into a contract year, Mooney is primed to improve his stock with the Bears and other potential suitors for next year. It is fair to wonder if Chicago can resign their talented wide receiver. As a former 5th-round pick, Mooney will almost certainly be looking to cash in on his first big-money deal. With this motivation and his connection with Fields, Mooney will put up flex numbers for your dynasty teams. He is a very nice bench and depth player for championship teams with room for growth at only 25 years old.

One of the best parts about investing in Mooney for depth is his affordable price. The additions of Moore and Claypool have depressed his price to the point that he is a bargain bin player this year. When looking through the Dynasty Nerds Trade Browser, I have seen Mooney go for as little as a third or fourth-round pick. At that point, why would you not be a buyer? Even if he never regains his 2021 form, the potential juice is worth the squeeze.

Chase Claypool might be the most polarizing wide receiver in all of dynasty. Claypool repeatedly flashed his big play ability. However, despite his numerous eruptions, he could never put together a true breakout campaign.

Last season at the mid-way point of the year, the Steelers shipped Claypool to the wide receiver-needy Bears for the 32nd overall pick. Despite having a massive opportunity, Chase struggled to gain traction in the Bears’ offense. It was later revealed that he tore his MCL following the trade, but his production was pitiful. In the seven games he played last year with the Bears, he contributed a whopping 14/140/0! Needless to say, that was a disappointment.

Heading into 2023, Claypool will be playing for his NFL future. This is the final year of his rookie deal. That means he will be highly motivated to put his best efforts forward for the Bears and any other potential suitors in free agency. The early reviews this offseason have been mixed. Some sources have said he has been lazy, and others have singled him out as shining. It all depends on who you listen to.

The best part about Chase Claypool from a dynasty perspective is, without question, his price. Many owners have soured on the physical freak. When searching the Dynasty Nerds trade browser, you will find that Claypool has lost a tremendous amount of value. Look at some of the trades below and explore his price in your leagues. If you can snag him for depth on your bench at prices like these, do yourself a favor and scoop him up. At prices like this, he is a gamble that could pay off in spades.

Velus Jones Jr. and Tyler Scott offer some interesting appeal for your dynasty squads. Given that Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool are entering the final year of their contracts, the Bears’ depth chart could look drastically different in 2024. One thing that Jones and Scott have in common is speed. Both players possess blistering speed.

I would be hard-pressed to see either making any real impact for your dynasty squads this year. However, both players offer some nice stash appeal. Each is also extremely affordable in trades, often going for late-round picks or even floating around on waiver wires in some instances. You could do far worse than having one of these upside receivers on your taxi squads.

TE: Cole Kmet

Last but not least, we come to the Chicago Bears starting tight end, Cole Kmet. He is athletic enough to threaten defenses with his size and run-after-catch ability. You can find his athletic profile below.

Over the second half of the 2022 NFL season, Cole Kmet developed an excellent connection with starting quarterback Justin Fields. Most importantly, for fantasy purposes, Kmet and his quarterback hooked up in the endzone multiple times. Kmet more than tripled his career touchdown numbers. This is easy to understand when you take into account Kmet’s 6’6″ frame. You can see a couple of examples of his touchdown prowess below.

Heading into a contract year, Kmet has been pegged by many analysts, including our very own Garret Price as a true breakout candidate. I am inclined to agree with Garret. Kmet will be extremely motivated to secure his next contract. He has the trust of his quarterback, and his head coach is already saying lots of positive things about the fourth-year player ahead of the 2023 campaign.

The price on the Chicago Bears’ starting tight end seems to be all over the map. When doing a search of the Dynasty Nerds Trade Browser, you will find him going for as little as a third-round pick, as high as multiple picks plus a player, and everything in between. Anything from a second-round pick on down is a very reasonable price for a player that finished last season as the TE14 and is poised to break into the top 10 in 2023.

Behind Cole Kmet, the Bears did add former Green Bay starting tight end Robert Tonyan. As far as backup tight ends go, he is a decent one to roster. If something happened to Kmet, Tonyan could step into the void and not miss a beat. He is extremely familiar with Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy from their time together in Green Bay. While it is hard to see Tonyan making much of an impact on the field if Kmet stays healthy, he has flashed early in OTAs, reminding coaches and players alike that just a few short years ago, he hauled in 11 touchdowns.

Final Thoughts:

When taking a step back and examining the 2023 Chicago Bears from a dynasty fantasy football perspective, there is a lot to like here. The Bears have legitimate talent at every skill position across the roster. They are stocked with both veterans and youth across the position groups as well. Many people are overlooking the Bears due to their last-place 2022 finish. This is short-sighted, as the team has drastically improved over the off-season.

I fully expect the Bears to field several upper-end players. Outside of Justin Fields, many of the Bear’s skill players come at a steep discount. People are skeptical of a quick turnaround. My advice is to take advantage of these discounts and load up your team with Chicago skill players. You could do far worse than having players like Khalil Herbert, Justin Fields, D.J. Moore, and Cole Kmet. The Bears are positioned to make some serious strides. Scoop up your Bears players and reap the rewards as the season falls out.

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer @Dynastynerds.com. Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple of bucks more you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little, why miss out on all the fun? Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.