How addition of Justin Fields impacts Darnell Mooney’s fantasy value

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The Chicago Bears found a gem in fifth-round wide receiver Darnell Mooney in last year’s NFL draft. Mooney impressed the coaching staff and quickly climbed his way up the receivers depth chart.

Mooney’s numbers weren’t super flashy — 61 receptions for 632 yards and four touchdowns. But he established himself as a deep threat for the Bears. The only problem is, they didn’t have the quarterback that could connect downfield, and Mooney often found himself wide open and overthrown.

But now, Chicago has added someone who has proven success in the deep-ball game — rookie quarterback Justin Fields.

Pro Football Focus believes that Mooney will benefit greatly from the addition of Fields to the offense given his penchant for deep-ball accuracy and Mooney’s ability to get open down the field.

The minute rookie quarterback Justin Fields hits the field in the preseason, Darnell Mooney’s ADP will be sent to the moon. The former fifth-round pick flashed as a deep-ball threat last season, commanding an almost identical percentage of 20-plus yard throws as teammate Allen Robinson II (30% versus 29%).

Fields finished second in passing touchdowns of 20-plus yards (29) and third in air yards percentage (71.2%) since the start of the 2019 season, showcasing his affinity to throw the ball downfield.

Obviously, the addition of Fields also benefits Chicago’s top wideout Allen Robinson. Fields ranked fifth in passing touchdowns in the end zone, which is something the Bears struggled with. According to PFF, Robinson earned a 35% end-zone target share last season (10th), and he only caught 31% (21st) of those passes.

While you usually don’t consider drafting offensive players in fantasy leagues — aside from Robinson and David Montgomery — once Fields gets the go-ahead, Mooney is someone fantasy owners should keep an eye on.

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Bears' projected depth chart following 2021 NFL draft