Publish date:

Is Justin Fields a Fantasy Play Yet?

Rookie quarterbacks who have just been put in charge of their offense rarely win the confidence of fantasy owners but is it possible Justin Fields exceeds expectations?

The win looked great for the Bears and so did the critical numbers, like Justin Fields' 12.3-yard average per pass attempt.

Any team would love to have this, but in the world of fantasy football Fields' effort and his upcoming games are causes for concern for owners who might have him or might have one of the top two Bears wide receivers.

Injury has taken out the one Bears dependable fantasy producer, running back David Montgomery. It will be this way for at least the next three weeks as he's on injured reserve. So fantasy owners with the Bears could be on hold for the time being.

Fields hasn't thrown for more than 209 yards in a game, hasn't thrown a touchdown pass yet and hasn't run for a TD since Week 1. 

Here is the fantasy outlook for Sunday's Bears-Raiders game and players best sat or played.

Play 'Em

WR Darnell Mooney

Fields seems to have the rookie's eye, as five catches for 125 yards showed last week. At some point it will be this way with Allen Robinson, as well. But Robinson's yardage usually comes off well-timed, precise routes and until Fields is feeling more comfortable and is also getting more consistently solid pass blocking, the mechanics of throw-and-catch will be slowed. Mooney is the best bet, also because of his speed. Fields tends to look for the big throws downfield and Mooney is much more likely to be there.

TE Darren Waller

This isn't the no-brainer it might have looked like at first glance. It's been three straight weeks since Waller had a game of significance and the Bears defense has held up fairly well against tight ends since giving up five catches for 68 yards to Tyler Higbee in the opener. Even without safety Tashaun Gipson, they limited T.J. Hockenson to four receptions last week. However, Waller is a different type of animal entirely. He's overdue. The Bears held him to four catches for 39 yards in their last matchup. With the Raiders' offensive line in shambles, expect Derek Carr to turn heavily to the short, quick passing game and Waller will figure prominently into this.

WR Hunter Renfrow

Ditto for Renfrow, who is very effective running shorter underneath routes against zone coverages like the Bears play. Renfrow will get matched up in the slot against Duke Shelley much of the time. That's a win for silver and black.  

RB Josh Jacobs

It's been a slow start for Jacobs due to injuries but coach Jon Gruden still has game films and when he looked at that win over the Bears in 2019 he saw something similar to what he'll face in this game. Big No. 96 is gone. Akiem Hicks missed almost all of the game between these teams in 2019. Jacobs flourished in 2019 against the Bears defense without Hicks, gaining 123 yards. It was his first game over 100 yards in the league. He should be over the ankle injury that kept him out the last two weeks and the only way the Raiders are going to beat the Bears defense in this one is by occupying their pass rush with the run, because those guys are simply awful pass blockers.

RB Damien Williams

At midweek, fantasy sites were reporting mad rushes to pick up Williams, who was very nearly Super Bowl LIV MVP. The reason Williams is a potential pick-up-and-play is because of his ability as a receiver. With Fields still trying to work his way into the offense and needing experience reading coverage downfield, the running back is a perfect target. The Bears haven't thrown enough screen passes to backs, anyway. Williams always has had a high ratio of receptions to snaps played, and now the offense is going to have to run through him for three or four weeks. There should also be a continued emphasis to work the running game to help Fields even with Montgomery out.

Sit 'Em

Henry Ruggs

The Raiders speed demon shouldn't be running free like he did last week. The main reason is his routes downfield take longer to develop and Derek Carr shouldn't have the time required to throw those deeper passes with an offensive line in tatters. 

Justin Fields

He's a new wild card for fantasy, an unknown quantity. It's safer to let this play out a bit before rushing in and taking a gamble by playing him. The Raiders already showed they could bottle up Lamar Jackson, and Fields couldn't be as challenging as this.

Derek Carr

Carr went up against almost exactly the same defensive scheme last week when he faced Brandon Staley's Los Angeles Chargers and had his worst performance of the season, an 84.9 rating and 5.76 yards per attempt with only 196 yards. The Bears pass rush has been superior to the Chargers and they lead the NFL with 15 sacks. Carr might need to consider sewing a seat cushion to his rear end because his line going against the Bears' front seven is as great a mismatch as it gets in this league.

Allen Robinson

The connection hasn't been established yet. It could, eventually. Robinson is so precise in the way he runs routes, but it's wasted on a quarterback who isn't yet entirely comfortable throwing with precision from the pocket. When Robinson works more in the scramble drill as plays are extended he will catch more passes from Fields. Until it's proven, look for more viable options.


It's never a good idea to play a defense facing the Raiders. They might seem to be bottled up and then things explode in a game and it becomes a track meet. It happened in the Raiders' loss to the Chargers on Monday night. Las Vegas' defense might be a better play here because they figure to be able to limit Fields due to his inexperience.

In IDP leagues, anticipate a strong performance from Roquan Smith after he had an off week against the Lions. 

Khalil Mack is an automatic because of the motivation he'd have for facing his old team but mainly because the two pass blockers the Raiders could use against him have struggled. Even if they go to double-team tactics or triple-teaming Mack, they'll find Robert Quinn formidable coming off the other side. They may not be able to get away with the double team as much.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven