Dynasty League Football


2023 Dynasty Riser, Faller and Longshot Predictions: Chicago Bears

We pick out some players to watch on the Chicago Bears in the 2023 season.

Darnell Mooney

Summer is the best time to evaluate dynasty assets and their place in the dynasty market. In this brand-new series, we will bring you a riser, faller, and longshot from each NFL team. We will cover dynasty values, potential trades, and overall team outlooks

Let’s jump into the Chicago Bears!

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Riser: DJ Moore, WR

The Chicago Bears head into the 2023 NFL season full of question marks. Can Justin Fields continue to progress and become an elite quarterback? Will a quarterback upgrade finally turn DJ Moore into the superstar many fantasy managers expected? What do we do with this backfield?

In addition to these questions, the Bears are also surrounded by potential. This offense has the potential to take a major step forward with a solid core of key contributors. Despite all this potential, the team is a risky one to gamble on as a trio of running backs and a trio of wide receivers could prove to be too many mouths to feed for one of the lowest pass volumes teams in the league.

Current Market Value

Moore currently sits as WR22 and 40.75 overall in DLF’s June ADP.

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As evident by the ADP list, Moore has found his way into the top 24 wide receivers for June and is currently going towards the end of the fourth round at 44.50 overall. He seems like a safe bet to outproduce his current ADP as WR22 would tie his lowest finish in standard scoring formats since he was WR22 in 2019, every season since he has finished in the top 20.

The wide receiver landscape currently has a steep drop-off after WR14. Once DK Metcalf goes off the board it becomes a case of pick your poison. We see a collection of receivers after Metcalf who are a combination of young, upside plays and aging veterans. Moore has the potential to outproduce all of them, while providing a floor far safer than most.

Future Outlook

The Bears offense gives every indication of being on the upswing. If Justin Fields can produce the way he did during the second half of 2022, there could be several fantasy values on this roster. Moore joins the Bears after five seasons with the Carolina Panthers and a variety of sub-par quarterbacks. Even if Fields is unable to take a step forward in 2023, and only plays at the same level he played at in 2022, he would still be better than anyone who has been throwing the ball to Moore during his career.

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There are a few things of note on Moore’s career stat line. We start with his games played totals. 15 is the least number of games he has played in a season during his career: he does not miss games very often and is beyond safe. Next, we look at his targets. Since his rookie season, Moore has received at least 100 targets, with him eclipsing 130 targets on two occasions.

Finally, we look at his receiving yard totals. 788 is his career low in receiving yards, which was his rookie year total. After his rookie year, he posted three consecutive 1,100-yard seasons before dropping to 888 yards in a 2022 season that saw the Panthers’ offense fall completely off the map.

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The chart above is from DLF’s Air Yards App. The chart is sorted to show the top 20 in target share. As you can see, Moore ranks 15th in target share among qualified wide receivers, checking in with 27.63% of the Panthers’ total targets in 2022. While this massive target share came as a member of the Carolina Panthers who had little to no competition for him in the passing game, the competition in Chicago is not much stiffer. His closest challenger for targets should be Darnell Mooney who has failed to produce with any consistency to this point in his career.

Trade Finder

Let’s use the DLF Trade Finder to look at possible DJ Moore trades.

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There are three interesting trades. The first one amounts to a manager throwing in Moore to turn the 1.08 and 1.09 into the 1.02. This can only be a manager in desperate need of a quarterback or else this manager is insane. Even if I need a quarterback, I’ll take the Moore side here. This is due to my lack of faith in the 2022 quarterback class.

Next, we see one team throwing the kitchen sink at another manager to land Justin Jefferson. Three first-round picks are typical value for Jefferson however, getting Moore in addition to the picks is a sneaky play as it guarantees the manager a mid-range WR2 while he waits for the youth to develop from these picks. Give me the Moore side here, even though it costs me Jefferson.

Finally, we had what must be a rebuilding team who has decided to dump all their veteran receivers for a haul of first and second-round picks. Three first-round picks, two second-round picks and a third-round pick is a haul, but I would still prefer the Moore side here – you can’t trade away everyone!

Faller: Darnell Mooney, WR

To be brutally honest, I’ve never been a huge believer in Mooney. He was nothing more than a volume play at WR. This year I am even lower on him. Fields is an elite runner and between budding tight end star Cole Kmet and newly acquired star Moore, Mooney’s best season is behind him.

Current Market Value

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If you were to sort through the ADPs of all NFL players, you would be hard-pressed to find one who has fallen further over the past year. After a solid rookie season in 2020, Mooney’s ADP saw a modest boost from 181.25 to 106.33 in 2021. The departure of Allen Robinson would see Mooney as the only man in town and would see his ADP skyrocket to 73.75. A hugely disappointing season in 2022 combined with the acquisition of DJ Moore has since caused his ADP to plummet to 123.67, the lowest since his rookie season.

For those managers who still believe in the talent, now is the time to buy low. His ADP is at a point where he can’t go much lower while still being on an NFL roster.

Future Outlook

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We go from one receiver who is the definition of consistency to another who is a hope and a prayer. Mooney has failed to top 1,100 yards receiving in his three-year career, the benchmark set by his competition for touches. In addition to never being an elite yardage monster, he has only topped 100 targets once in his career. Throw in the fact that his career high in touchdowns is four and it becomes painfully evident that Mooney’s sole useful season in 2021 was the result of massive volume and being the only tangible pass catcher on the team. That simply will not be the case in 2023. It’s entirely possible that Mooney could be third on the team in targets and is unlikely to top 100 targets or 1,000 yards. A stat line more in line with his 2022 production is the likely outcome.

Trade Finder

Let’s take another look at the DLF Trade Finder for trades involving Darnell Mooney.

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The first trade on the app comes off as a positional need trade. One team gets a potentially flex-worthy receiver and a third-round pick, while the other gets a potentially flex-worthy running back and a second-round pick. Either side is fine, fill out your flex as you see fit.

As I stated above, I am not a Mooney believer. Having said that, if you are the manager accepting the Ezekiel Elliot side of this trade you should find a new hobby. This manager has acquired an aging running back who is well past his prime and who currently is not signed to an NFL roster. In addition to acquiring this plummeting stock, they have traded away not just Mooney but also a third and fourth-round pick. Why anyone would give up this much for Elliott mystifies me.

The third trade is a trade swapping stud receivers and middling receivers. I have no strong preference here, if you prefer Chris Olave, you take that side and if you prefer CeeDee Lamb, you take that side.

Our final trade sees Mooney moved for a 2024 second-round pick. Again, I am not a believer in Mooney, but if you need a receiver, a second-round pick isn’t a terrible gamble to take.

Longshot: Roschon Johnson, RB

Pathway to Relevance

Win the battle in an ambiguous backfield.

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These are the types of situations I love in fantasy football. We have an ambiguous backfield, and a trio of running backs where no one really knows who is going to be the most productive at season’s end. In this situation my plan is simple: avoid the most expensive option.

After an off-season of hype where many fantasy managers bought Khalil Herbert in anticipation of him being the bell cow in Chicago, the Bears did the unthinkable and not only signed a veteran free agent in D’Onta Foreman, but also drafted a rookie running back.

The Case for Him

Herbert is now going as pick 106.5 overall, while Foreman has an ADP of 162.5 and Johnson an ADP of 121.2. Out of this trio of Chicago running backs, my favorite is easily Johnson. His value has been suppressed as he spent much of his college career stuck behind Bijan Robinson at Texas. Most running backs would have found their way into total irrelevance in this situation, but Johnson managed to thrive despite being at a huge disadvantage.

The Case Against Him

Johnson was a day three-pick as he was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, so his role in the Bears’ offense is anything but guaranteed. His rookie season may be a bit of a struggle as he will have to fight for every touch he receives, making him far less appealing in redraft. As far as dynasty goes though, he is easily the most appealing running back of this trio. Foreman is getting old, and Herbert is just a plodder. Johnson on the other hand is a multi-talented and skilled rookie who should have a bright career ahead of him.

2023 Dynasty Riser, Faller and Longshot Predictions: Chicago Bears
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2 months ago

I like Roschon Johnson, too, and that’s fine if he’s he’s your favorite of the trio, but Khalil Herbert’s efficiency metrics are outstanding. “Plodder” is unfair.

Eric Whitt
2 months ago

Pretty obvious you’ve let your opinion get in the way of facts here. Mooney missed 6 games and you think his 23 production will be the same as that? The stats you use to put him down are frankly ridiculous. The target share table you show has them right next to each other… Only topping 100 targets once.. He played 1 full season as a starter without injury or being a rookie. Less bias and more rationality would be nice.

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