Dynasty Fantasy Football Futures: Chicago Bears

Tyler Justin Karp

NFL offenses are often somewhat consistent from year to year. For example, as long as the Kansas City Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, they will likely be a high-powered offense with a dynamic passing game. In contrast, the Baltimore Ravens with Lamar Jackson will focus on running the ball, as he gives them a massive advantage on the ground.

Of course, it’s also easy to see that some teams are weaker on offense. The Houston Texans have been a laughingstock for the past two seasons without Deshaun Watson, and they likely won’t dig themselves out of the hole entirely until 2024. Additionally, it’s pretty clear that teams like the Commanders, Jets, Falcons, and Panthers lack quarterbacks and won’t turn it around until they find a franchise quarterback.

However, some teams feel like they’re in flux or, most excitingly, on the rise. In this series, I’ll look at offenses poised to soar in 2023, whether based on new personnel, new coaching, or improving talent. With that said, let’s jump into the Bears!


The Bears’ current offense began to form in 2021 as they underwent a transition period. That off-season, longtime general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy were desperate. They moved on from 2017 draft pick Mitchell Trubisky as their starter, signing veteran Andy Dalton as their nominal starting quarterback for the season.

However, everything changed during the 2021 NFL Draft. The Bears gave up the 20th overall pick, their 2022 first-rounder, and other minor picks to the Giants to trade up to 11th overall to draft Justin Fields as their new franchise quarterback. They also tried their best to build a functional offense around Fields, retaining Allen Robinson on a franchise tag and adding backup running back Khalil Herbert in the sixth round. With veterans Robinson and David Montgomery alongside promising 2020 rookies Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet, the Bears seemed to have hope.

Unfortunately, Nagy’s coaching led to a disastrous 2021 campaign.

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Chart courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Fields and Dalton combined for 15 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, while holdover quarterback Nick Foles also started one game. Somehow, the Bears managed to win six games, but the team was a dumpster fire. Nagy alienated Robinson almost from the beginning of the year and failed to involve Kmet in the red zone. On top of those issues, Pace’s poor personnel planning led to horrific offensive line play, preventing either Montgomery or Herbert from providing rushing efficiency.

After this performance, the Bears fired Pace and Nagy, replacing them with Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus. Despite those changes, the Pace regime left the Bears with no first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and a salary cap mess. Therefore, despite losing Robinson in free agency, they entered the 2022 season with no significant additions to their offensive skill position groups. They did draft Velus Jones in the third round, but almost all dynasty analysts immediately panned that choice.

2022 Results

Unfortunately, the Bears failed to win more games in 2022 than they did in 2021. They simply couldn’t overcome their depleted offense, especially for fantasy football.

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Charts courtesy of DLF Coaching History App.

As you can see, they failed to put up a wide receiver above WR74, one of the worst wide receiver corps I’ve ever seen for an NFL offense. They did have Montgomery at RB24 and Herbert at RB41, but even those marks are relatively low, especially considering that they ran the ball on almost 60% of their plays.

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They averaged a stunning 32.82 rush attempts per game compared to only 22.18 passes. I can’t remember an NFL team passing that infrequently, not even the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens.

Because of the lack of passing, the Bears’ receiving weapons regressed even from their hideous 2021 output.

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Chart courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Somehow, Kmet led the team in all receiving categories, despite only having 69 targets, 50 receptions, and 544 yards. He finished as the TE8 but got extremely lucky to score seven touchdowns. He had 36.8% of the Bears’ receiving touchdowns, even though he only had 19.2% of the team’s targets. Of course, Kmet’s high touchdown share crushed any fantasy value from the rest of the receivers, as almost nobody had a single fantasy-relevant game all year.

However, despite the fantasy struggles across the board, Fields still managed a QB7 finish. He recorded an insane rushing efficiency throughout the year, putting up 160 carries for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns. He scored 42.1% of the team’s rushing touchdowns, although he only had 28.7% of the team’s carries.

The best part of Fields’s 2022 season is that the new Bears’ coaching staff adapted to his abilities, unlike the previous Nagy regime.

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Charts courtesy of DLF Player Scoring History App.

Over the first four games, Fields struggled, failing to break 15 fantasy points in any of those contests. However, after week four, he scored 17 or more fantasy points in all but week 16, scoring 21 or more in seven straight games between week seven and week 15.

That improved fantasy production occurred because the Bears changed their offensive scheme to allow Fields to run the ball more.

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He still showed some inconsistency in his usage, but he was highly involved in the rushing game during his strongest seven-game stretch from week seven to week 15. He saw at least 13 carries in five of those seven games, which compares favorably to his four straight single-digit carry contests from week two to week five.

Overall, the Bears’ offense performed poorly due to a lack of offensive weapons, but Fields showed significant promise in his second season. He displayed a rushing upside even greater than his college numbers and at least somewhat improved as a passer. Unfortunately, the Bears made the wise decision to move away from their passing game, making it difficult to reach a conclusion on Fields’ overall passing ability in the NFL.

2023 Outlook

Luckily, the Bears’ 2023 outlook is far better than in 2022. They managed to get a haul for their top overall pick, acquiring DJ Moore, the ninth overall pick, a 2024 first-round pick, and second-round choices this year and next. While Moore has been somewhat inconsistent in his time in the NFL, he’s by far the best receiving weapon Fields has ever had. A passing offense with Moore as the WR1, Mooney as WR2, Chase Claypool at WR3, and Kmet as the every-down tight end seems viable for Fields to take a step forward in year three.

Additionally, the Bears have picks at ninth, 53rd, 61st, and 64th overall, and they can easily add an offensive weapon with one of those selections. They let Montgomery walk to the Lions in free agency, replacing him with D’Onta Foreman. However, their offense would benefit from either another running back, another wide receiver, or some additions to the offensive line. Either way, they will have a fully loaded group to help Fields soar to new heights in 2023. I still don’t expect the Bears to support excellent fantasy weapons around Fields, although Moore should return at least WR2 value.

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Dynasty Fantasy Football Futures: Chicago Bears