Mercifully, the poking, prodding and Wonderlic-ing has ceased. With player destinations finally set, this wannabe soothsayer forges ahead previewing what newly drafted contributors could accomplish in their fresh digs for fantasy/betting audiences. Today’s rookie under the microscope: QB Justin Fields.
Current fantasy ADP: 152.6, QB20
Current futures/props: OROY +500 (DraftKings)
Upsides: Please, don’t spew the same tired and baseless nonsense Fields can’t be successful at the next level because of supposed anticipation and processing issues. He's a prizefighter, tough, wonderfully versatile, plus athletically, blessed with a Howitzer, owns sensational playmaking skills and, most importantly, is accurate. Last season, his 87% catchable pass rate with Ohio St. was No. 6 among all FBS quarterbacks. He also posted a 117-plus passer rating on throws beyond 10 yards and 146.8 rating on play action. Both measurements are even more impressive when considering how much he attacked downfield (10.7 aDOT in ‘20). Additionally, at 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, he’s a load to wrangle on the ground. Similar to yesteryear Cam Newton and Jalen Hurts, Fields has the juice (4.51 40-yard) to race to 700-plus rush yards straight away.
Downsides: Matt Nagy lurks. Giving credit, the head coach did a phenomenal job masking Mitchell Trubisky’s weaknesses early in his career, altering the offense to maximize the passer’s strengths. Still, many question whether Nagy’s concepts will somehow ruin Fields. Depth at wide receiver is also a minor concern. If the injury imp snacks on an Allen Robinson or Darnell Mooney appendage, it would significantly hinder his development and immediate potential given the talent dropoff.
Fearless forecast (13 starts): 3,278 passing yards, 17 passing TDs, 12 INTs, 489 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs
Final word: Slow clap, Ryan Pace. Slow clap. After displacing private parts of Bears fans for years due to grossly incompetent draft picks, the much-maligned GM finally tickled onlookers in all the (in)appropriate places. Fields is the greatest dual-threat passer to walk through Halas Hall since Bobby Douglass. Predictably, Andy Dalton remains fixed atop the team’s depth chart, but come Week 3, or, hell, Day 1 of training camp, the Red Rifle will go the same way Mike Glennon did when Trubisky infamously joined the roster in 2017. From Fields’ starting lineup insertion on, expect a top-12 return, at a minimum. Chicago’s upgraded offensive line and better-than-advertised weaponry point to handsome early returns for the former Buckeye. Go the extra dollar in fantasy and prepare your bankroll for steady OVER hammers on his weekly rush yard totals.