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DJ Moore: Buyer Beware at WR26

I get that Justin Fields can take a step forward in the passing game, but at the end of the day, this is going to be a run-first offense that’s going to feature a heavy dose of Fields running the ball and handing it off to Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson.

Justin Fields might have averaged 20 fantasy points per game last year, but he wasn’t doing that by throwing the ball to his receivers! The highest finish by a Bears receiver last year was the WR70, done by Chase Claypool – who wasn’t even with the team until halfway through the year! And Darnell Mooney finished as the WR72.

I get that this trend of No. 1 WRs going to teams with young quarterbacks to take the next step is real, but can D.J. Moore meet his WR26 ADP if Justin Fields is throwing the ball at the 2nd-lowest rate of any QB with at least 350 dropbacks?

He averaged just 21 pass attempts per game last year in 15 games, and the guy we’re comparing him to when we talk about him taking the next step, Jalen Hurts, averaged 30 attempts a game last year, and 28 attempts the year before. Even if Fields increased his passing volume by 25% in 2023, he’d still be averaging just 23 attempts per game over a full 17-game season.

That’s not going to be enough for D.J. Moore to get it done, unfortunately – according to Fantasy Life passing accuracy statistics, Justin Fields had the third-highest bad throw percentage and the 4th lowest on-target pass percentage in the NFL among QBs with 300 or more attempts. So even if there’s volume to be had for Moore, and even if Fields slightly improves his accuracy this offseason, it’s hard to imagine that Moore is going to be earning enough quality targets to produce among the league’s best. Darnell Mooney is still there, and so is Chase Claypool, and Cole Kmet was one of Fields’ favorite red zone targets during the stretch of games where he was on fire.

I love D.J. Moore as a receiver, I think he’s great, and I love Justin Fields too as a QB – but the bread and butter of this offense is going to be the run game, the bread and butter for Justin Fields is going to be scrambling – the pass attempts are never going to climb to a level where we can get consistent production out of any Bears receiver, even if that receiver is D.J. Moore.

He could fall into the WR40s range this season, and to have him going as the WR26 as early as the 4th round in some leagues – that would be a titanic bust as your fantasy WR2.


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