Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Right now, the Bears are insistent on starting the season with Andy Dalton. But if the first preseason is any indication of the future, it will only be a matter of time before Fields overtakes Dalton. It might be when the Bears are out of the playoff conversation, or perhaps head coach Matt Nagy will realize that Fields needs the starter reps.
Once Nagy does that, and opens the playbook then time will tell how far he’ll go. I know. You’re wondering, is Fields fantasy worthy? It depends. 95 times out of 100, rookie quarterbacks face a steep learning curve, even when the rookie class is as promising as 2021, it usually takes a season or two worth of seasoning before locking down a roster spot in fantasy and I’m not one to waste a bench spot on someone who would rarely start.
Between Fields, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance, the Chicago rookie has the most set pieces around him with the only hurdle being Dalton. Lance is in the best situation, but Jimmy Garoppolo led the Niners to the Super Bowl just two seasons ago and is healthy, for now. Lawrence and Wilson don’t have all the complete team around them yet and I foresee both needing to work through the struggles of an NFL rookie season. The Bears though, are starving for good quarterback play, and have been for a long time.
The bottom line is that Fields is a quarterback for that fantasy owner who already has Mahomes (or another elite starter), because chances are you won’t need him until Week 12. At the least, he could become trade bait down the line. If you’re in a dynasty league, Fields should definitely be pursued in a rookie draft. But unless you have a deep bench, it’s hard to justify everyone go out and stash him. It’s a situation to watch in training camp, but once Nagy makes the call, we doubt Fields will give the keys back.