Justin Fields' Updated Fantasy Outlook Ahead of Week 3 Start for Bears vs. Browns

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 22, 2021

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Chicago. The Bears won 20-17. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini

The Chicago Bears named rookie quarterback Justin Fields their Week 3 starter on Wednesday, which could have huge implications in fantasy football leagues.

Fields should be added in all leagues, and he could be an interesting trade target if he is already on another manager's bench. You might not get another chance to acquire him after this week.

The No. 11 pick of the 2021 NFL draft has plenty of fantasy upside because of his rushing ability. The Ohio State product totaled 867 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns during his last two years in college.

The Bears have already schemed plays for the rookie near the goal line:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

JUSTIN FIELDS GETS HIS FIRST CAREER TD 💥<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLBrasil?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLBrasil</a>)<a href="https://t.co/H2RX6ehDcU">pic.twitter.com/H2RX6ehDcU</a>

Fields also gained 31 yards on 10 carries during his stint in relief of injured starter Andy Dalton in Week 2.

Quarterbacks are a lot more valuable in fantasy when they can run the ball, as Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray have demonstrated in recent years. If Fields can take advantage of his weapons like Allen Robinson II, David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney, he could be a top-10 fantasy quarterback moving forward.

However, you should also temper expectations in the early going.

After filling in for Dalton last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, Fields managed only 60 passing yards on 6-of-13 with no touchdowns and an interception. Other rookie quarterbacks taken above him have also struggled with their adjustment to the NFL, notably Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson. 

It would be a significant risk to put him in fantasy lineups in Week 3, especially against a difficult Cleveland Browns pass rush. Consider him a high-end QB2 who should only be started if you don't already have a reliable option at the position.

Fields' long-term outlook also takes a hit due to Dalton's presence on the roster.

"When Andy is healthy, he's our starter," head coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday. 

If Fields performs well, it may be difficult for Nagy to go back to Dalton. The rookie could wind up being a league-winner by the end of the season.

Now is the time to get him on your roster, even if he stays on your bench for a few more weeks.