Bears' Biggest Sleepers, Busts, Stars to Target in 2022 Fantasy Football Drafts

Jake RillAugust 1, 2022

Bears' Biggest Sleepers, Busts, Stars to Target in 2022 Fantasy Football Drafts

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    For the first time in his young NFL career, Justin Fields is spending training camp as a starting quarterback. And that's not the only change for the Chicago Bears heading into 2022.

    Matt Eberflus is the Bears' new head coach, while Luke Getsy has taken over as offensive coordinator. So while Fields is back under center (like he was for 10 starts in 2021) and there are plenty of returning players around him, a new offense is in place for the upcoming season.

    Because of that, it could be challenging for fantasy football managers to know which Chicago players to draft this year. Will Fields take a big step forward during his sophomore campaign? And if he does, who will be the primary beneficiaries from his development?

    The Bears will be an interesting team to watch this season, as they have some young players who could start to help them win more games than they have of late. So that makes some of those playmakers intriguing fantasy options heading into the year.

    Here's a fantasy outlook for notable players on Chicago's offense heading into the 2022 season.

Fantasy Studs

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    David Montgomery, RB

    When healthy, Montgomery has the potential to be a strong three-down running back in the NFL. But Chicago's struggles on the offensive line and the lack of big-play potential from the passing attack haven't helped Montgomery, even though he's still been solid.

    Montgomery has rushed for at least 849 yards in each of his first three seasons, and he has 24 total touchdowns over his first 44 career games. But he averaged only 3.8 yards per carry in his 13 contests in 2021.

    Still, Montgomery should get a heavy workload. And because the Bears' offense has improved around him, he should put up better numbers in 2022. Feel comfortable taking Montgomery around the third round in fantasy drafts, especially with him out to prove he can be a top-tier RB this season.

    Darnell Mooney, WR

    There's no question who the No. 1 wide receiver on Chicago's depth chart this year will be. Mooney took a sizable step forward in 2021, his second year in the NFL, and he could be poised for even bigger things this upcoming season.

    While playing all 17 games last season, Mooney had 81 catches for 1,055 yards and four touchdowns. He also began to develop a connection with Fields, which he'll get even more time to do during this year's training camp and the preseason.

    If some of the Bears' other receivers step up and take some of the defensive pressure off Mooney, the 24-year-old has the potential to be one of the league's top playmakers. And considering he could still be available around the fifth or sixth round of fantasy drafts, he should provide tremendous value for the managers who add him.

Fantasy Busts

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    Byron Pringle, WR

    After spending the past three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Pringle signed with the Bears in March and will look to provide a boost to their receiving corps in 2022. There's a good chance he'll be a starter, although he'll be competing for snaps with rookie Velus Jones Jr. and trade acquisition N'Keal Harry.

    Pringle got more playing time with the Chiefs last season than he did the previous two years, resulting in him having 42 catches for 568 yards and five touchdowns. He didn't put up huge numbers most weeks, but he was a consistent presence for Kansas City's offense in 2021.

    Even though Pringle could have a larger role in Chicago, the offense he'll be playing for won't be as talented. It may be wise to let him go undrafted in fantasy leagues (which is a possibility) and wait to see how he begins the season before identifying him as a potential waiver-wire target.

    Khalil Herbert, RB

    As a rookie in 2021, Herbert flashed his potential at times out of the Bears' backfield. He ran for 433 yards and two touchdowns. But the majority of his production came during the first half of the season, as he didn't get a ton of touches down the stretch.

    Perhaps that will change now that Chicago has a new offensive scheme and an overhauled coaching staff. Maybe Herbert will have a sizable role on the offense. That's far from a sure thing, though, making it a bit of a risk for fantasy managers to draft him.

    If Montgomery plays to his potential and shows he should be a bell-cow back, Herbert may not be too fantasy relevant. And it might not help that the Bears have also added Darrynton Evans and rookie Trestan Ebner to their backfield mix.

Fantasy Sleepers

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    Justin Fields, QB

    There was a clear learning curve for Fields during his rookie season in 2021. He passed for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and the Bears went 2-8 in the games that he started.

    However, Fields is an impressive athlete. He ran for 420 yards and two touchdowns, and he's capable of even bigger rushing numbers because of how well he can use his speed and agility to move the ball down the field, as he showed in college.

    Now that Fields has some NFL experience, he could take a big step forward in 2022, potentially becoming a worthy option at quarterback for fantasy managers. So he'll be a great second QB to target in the back half of the draft.

    Cole Kmet, TE

    Kmet may not have scored any touchdowns last season, but he was more involved in the Bears' passing attack than he was during his 2020 rookie campaign. He had 60 catches for 612 yards while starting all 17 games for Chicago.

    With Jimmy Graham no longer on the Bears' roster, Kmet will be the clear-cut top tight end on the field at all times. And because Fields will likely perform better, Kmet's receiving numbers should go up in 2022.

    If you miss out on the top handful of tight ends, Kmet would be good to target in the middle rounds. Should he struggle, managers can then stream the position or find a good waiver-wire option early in the season. But Kmet has a high ceiling and could be on the cusp of a breakout year.


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