Foxy’s Fantasy Forecast – WRs
Allen Robinson (WR ADP Rank: 11)
If you’ve been watching Bears football over the past two seasons, it’s plain to see that Allen Robinson is the best offensive weapon they’ve had. Even with poor QB play over those two seasons, Robinson finished as the WR12 and WR11 respectively. That’s in part due to the fact that Robinson is an absolute target monster (154 in 2019, 151 in 2020). I expect him to be somewhere in that 145-150 target range again this season as Andy Dalton and Justin Fields should lean on him in any and all passing situations.
The Bears will have a middle of the road strength of schedule at the WR position (15). He’ll have games where he feasts and games where he’ll be a bit quieter, but he’s shown that regardless of the match up, he can consistently produce on a weekly basis. While the ceiling may have been capped in the past due to poor QB play, the floor is consistently higher than most. This year, that ceiling could rise with better QB play from both Dalton and Fields.
Currently Robinson’s ADP puts him towards the end of the third/early fourth round (4-1). After finishing as a WR1 the last two seasons, there is no reason to believe he won’t repeat the trend as he’ll be playing with the best QBs he’s ever played with in his career. On top of that, he’s going to be working with multiple speed WRs who should open up the field for him to operate underneath converting 10-12 yard routes for 1st downs. I’m bullish on Robinson putting up another solid season as his floor. If Fields comes in and immediately clicks with Robsinson, we could see a season like we did early in his career with Jacksonville (1,400 yds/14 TDs). If you’re planning to go RB/RB in the first two rounds, A-Rob will be a great WR1 for your squad to rely on for consistent production.
Darnell Mooney (WR ADP Rank: 55)
Ryan Pace, for all his faults (poor cap management, bad trades, poor FA signings, etc.), did it again in finding an ultra talented contributor in the 5th round in last year’s draft. Darnell Mooney was touted as a speedster coming out of Tulane, but no one could have predicted that he was so much more than that. He’s shown himself to be an incredible playmaker who can run routes with the best of them and catch anything within his reach. One can only imagine what type of numbers he would’ve put up his rookie season had he been playing with better QBs. Well, he’s about to get that chance.
There are many people in the fantasy community that are understandably very excited about the potential that Mooney has shown his rookie year. He’s an exceptional route runner with elite speed to beat CBs (see Jalen Ramsey clip). With better ball placement and more accurate QB play, it’s easy to see why people are getting excited. His current ADP (12-10) makes him a late add with great potential upside. He can take up one of your last bench spots while you wait to see how well he clicks with Dalton and Fields, meaning you’ll be investing very little for what many see as a player with big fantasy potential.
My only hesitation with Mooney is how well he gels with his QBs and how the (almost guaranteed) transition from Dalton to Fields will work out for him. However, both Dalton and Fields have much better downfield accuracy than Trubisky did, so it should be a positive transition for him from last season. If the passing game clicks the way Nagy wants it to, he could be a 900+ yd WR this year though the projections have him around 760 yds. I’ll definitely be looking to add Mooney in the late rounds of my draft and I encourage you to do the same.
One thing to note: for Bears fans in fantasy leagues with other Bears fans, I’d anticipate your league mates also being high on Mooney. That said, I’d anticipate his ADP being a bit lower in those leagues (likely 10th/11th round vs. his overall ADP in the late 12th). Keep that in mind when draft day comes.
Damiere Byrd (WR ADP: 119)
Damiere Byrd is an interesting FA WR addition for the Bears this off season that shows the lack of confidence in WRs still on the roster from last season like Riley Ridley and Javon Wims. He played in all 16 games for the Patriots last season compiling 47 recs for 604 yds and 1 TD with Cam Newton under center. While Cam has been a great QB in the past, he was not as sharp last year as he has been in the past. For Byrd to record those stats in an offense that was highly focused on the run is an accomplishment.
Byrd is currently listed as the WR3 on the Bears depth chart and should see a lot of action in 3 WR sets. Pairing his speed with Mooney’s should open up the middle of the field a lot for Allen Robinson but will also open up opportunities downfield for big plays which is something that Byrd excelled in, at times, last season. With the increased accuracy of both Dalton and Fields downfield, I anticipate a couple of nice games for Byrd, but it’ll be difficult to predict when those games will be.
Considering ADP, the unpredictability of the Bears passing attack going into the season and the unpredictability of how Byrd will fit into the offense, he’s not worth taking a shot at in any draft formats right now. I see Byrd as a potential waiver wire add later in the season. Depending on the health of the WR corps and how well he gels with his QBs, Byrd may end up being a spot starter to replace your high end WRs during bye weeks late in the season. With his speed, he could end up being more than that in the future, but right now he’s not on my draft board.
Marquis Goodwin (WR ADP: 104)
Last time anyone saw Marquis Goodwin in an NFL game was in 2019 for the Santa Clara, er, San Francisco 49ers. That season he played in nine games and pulled down only 12 receptions for a total of 186 yds and one TD. While those numbers are far from impressive, there are many who still believe Goodwin possesses elite speed to stretch the field. After a season away from the NFL, Goodwin should have fresh legs. Considering he’s only four seasons removed from a 105 catch, 962 yd season in 2017, this was a good gamble for the Bears and adds veteran depth at the WR position.
It’s a bit odd that the older Goodwin has a lower ADP than his younger counterpart in Damiere Byrd, but he’s proven he can be a big contributor from that 2017 season. That said, I see Goodwin and Byrd through a very similar lens. Elite speed guys who were brought in to compete for snaps over what’s already on the roster. How well Goodwin plays will depend on how much playing time he gets and how well he clicks with Dalton/Fields.
Like Byrd, I’m keeping an eye on Goodwin but I won’t be drafting him in any fantasy leagues and I suggest you do the same.
Javon Wims (WR ADP: UD) & Riley Ridley (WR ADP: UD)
I’m putting Wims and Ridley in the same spot here as I view them as very much the same type of player/prospect. Both have been with the team for 2-3 seasons and neither has done much to prove themselves in that time. Both were drafted as developmental prospects that have shown flashes at times but have also made multiple mistakes that have caused the coaching staff to not only question their abilities but also infuriating them in the process.
Between dropping Mitch Trubisky’s best throw in the first round playoff loss to the Saints and throwing a punch during the same game, it’s almost a miracle that Wims is still on the Bears roster as it looked like he was gone after that game. Anthony Miller can attest to the fact that dropping balls and doing stupid stuff will get you a one way ticket out of town.
Ridley on the other hand just can’t seem to hold onto the ball. While his brother Calvin Ridley looks like one of the best young WRs in the league, Riley has only suited up for 10 total games through his first two seasons as a Bear. Even though he came in as a 4th round draft pick, he’s just never lived up to the price they paid to get him and looks like he’ll perpetually live in his brother’s shadow.
Neither of these guys are worth a pick in your fantasy draft and really shouldn’t garner any fantasy attention as they likely won’t see much playing time at all. This could be the last season on the roster for either of these guys. Wims contributes on special teams which has helped get him on the field more than Ridley. These two are purely depth guys until they can prove that they can bring more to the table on a consistent basis.
Dazz Newsome (WR ADP: UD)
The final WR we’ll cover is 6th round pick Dazz Newsome. Dazz not only has one of the coolest names coming out of the draft, his tape looked awesome. Unfortunately, while trying to make a catch during OTAs, Dazz broke his collarbone which has set him back both in his development and on the depth chart. There’s a lot to like about this guy and his future in a Bears uniform as it sounds like he was already building great rapport with Justin Fields during OTAs.
Newsome figures into the Bears plans as the slot receiver that Anthony Miller was supposed to be but never materialized into. While Miller was a 2nd rounder and Newsome fell to the 6th, there are some that believe he had a 3rd/4th round grade prior to poor testing in Pro Days and at the combine. If he can get back to full health quickly, there is a possibility that he sees some playing time in 2021 and could develop into a quality slot WR in the future.
Based on what we’re seeing, the Bears aren’t rushing Newsome back into pads and giving him plenty of time to recover from that collarbone injury as they have decent depth at the WR position right now. From a fantasy perspective, Dazz shouldn’t be viewed as a viable option until at least the second half of the season. I’d be more than happy to see him come back and be productive this year, but I’m looking more to 2022 for Dazz to make any measurable impact on this Bears offense.