There seems to be life again in Chicago as fans and analysts are ecstatic about the Bears 2021 draft class. As the 2021 NFL draft officially closed this past weekend, general manager Ryan Pace, who many believed was on the hot-seat, was praised heavily for his draft selections.
After snagging future star QB Justin Fields, followed by OT Teven Jenkins from Oklahoma State in the second round, many believed these two picks alone were enough to call the Bears the draft winners. Jenkins was one who many thought could have been a first-round selection that ultimately fell into the second round. Fields was one of the top QB’s in the draft, where many scouts had him as the 2nd best overall QB in the entire draft. Pace then finished the draft by snagging more great value selections that have also gotten a lot of praise.
Now, what does this mean for the Bears upcoming 2021-2022 season? After the Bears started 5-1 last season, they went on a downward spiral ending the year at 8-8. The main concern surrounded the quarterback position, so immediately Chicago signed veteran QB Andy Dalton from Dallas and selected top-rated rookie Justin Fields from Ohio State. Coach Matt Nagy and the Bears are still placing Dalton as their starter, but many believe Fields will see the starting job as early as week 4.
This year, the Bears are projected to win 7 wins according to Vegas and other online resources. This would put them one game below what they recorded last year (8) on top of the NFL adding an extra playing week to each of the teams’ schedules. However, after the draft was completed many did not believe Chicago would move up to select one of the class’s top-rated quarterbacks. This on top of a 1,000-yard rusher in David Montgomery and a receiving core of Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Anthony Miller, Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet, and rookie Dazz Newsome, 6th rounder from UNC. Not to mention Chicago still having a top defense in the league, if the team stays healthy and Fields sees the field before week 5, the Bears have a strong case of being a playoff-contenders. If the rumors surrounding Aaron Rodgers are true… the Bears have a chance to be the kings of the NFC North with Fields having a run at offensive ROY.
Fantasy Football Impact Post-Draft
The Chicago Bears didn’t have as many draft picks as other teams but were able to collect a draft grade A from multiple analysts. What does this mean from a fantasy viewpoint, however? There are of course fantasy “winners” and “losers” just like every year, so let’s run them down so you can be prepared come draft time. Below are listed the rookies and their fantasy impact on others.
Addition of Justin Fields, QB:
Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, David Montgomery, Andy Dalton
- The addition of QB Justin Fields of course creates excitement for Fantasy Fans, as this makes an immediate impact surrounding his supporting cast. The player impacted the most here is super-athlete Allen Robinson. A-Rob was a top 10 fantasy WR last year who recorded 1250 yards on 102 catches, finding the end zone 6 times. Imagine those stats with an actual quarterback who doesn’t leave the field after a three and out. The same goes for 2nd year WR Darnell Mooney who’s potential goes up in the receiving corps. Running back David Montgomery also finds himself in the winner’s circle as the RB will see a lot more field time as Fields will keep the sticks moving. Fields also was able to utilize his running backs in college which should translate to the NFL nicely.
Addition of Teven Jenkins OT and Larry Borom OT: David Montgomery Justin Fields
- Adding beef and talent to a team’s offensive line will of course benefit the offense all around. However, looking at this from a Fantasy perspective, there will be an immediate positive impact on RB David Montgomery. Montgomery finished as a top 5 RB in PPR leagues last year who had a dominant second half of the season. Recording 10 total touchdowns and rushing for over 1,000 yards, Montgomery continues to seek growth and I think his numbers will keep improving going into next season. Adding O-line talent of course benefits Justin Fields as well. Since Fields is a mobile QB, he needs the protection upfront in case he needs to slip out and take off. Fields is ranked No. 26 on most fantasy sheets, however, once he gets the starting nod, Fields easily can find himself as a top 10 fantasy QB. I see a lot of Deshaun Watson in Fields, talent-wise.
Addition of Dazz Newsome, WR: Justin Fields, Anthony Miller
- Newsome was the 221st overall pick in the draft. Chicago saw a lot of talent from the speedster from UNC. After a disappointing year in the air last season, Chicago knew they needed to add another WR at some point during the draft. Ultimately, I believe Newsome won’t have too much fantasy impact. I think this eliminates all possibilities of drafting Anthony Miller in fantasy. Miller’s role on the team will be reduced if he’s not traded by week 1. As for winners, Justin Fields is a name to mention. It never hurts adding more weapons for your QB.