NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Bears HC Matt Nagy wants to have QB Andy Dalton spend this season as the starter, with Justin Fields learning behind him. Nagy, of course, was the Chiefs OC in 2017, when K.C. traded up to 10 to draft Patrick Mahomes and then sat him for a year behind Alex Smith. Overall, history says that Fields is more likely to enter the starting lineup at some point this season. But this report is worth taking seriously for at least current best-ball drafting. Dalton doesn't come close to Fields in upside for either real or fantasy football, but he's pretty similar to what Smith was in 2017. Dalton does throw a lot more INTs, however, than Smith did. He has also posted sub-.500 win-loss records in his past 5 seasons. It's hard to imagine a struggling Bears team not making a switch to Fields. It's also worth noting that Fields enters the league as a more-polished passer than Mahomes did. We'll see if the buzz changes once we get into training camp and preseason.
The Athletic's Adam Jahns expects the Bears offense to feature more deep passes this season. "[HC Matt] Nagy’s offense has always been vertical," Jahns writes. "His practices in the offseason program and camp have featured plenty of shots down the field, including this year with [Andy] Dalton and [Justin] Fields in OTAs and minicamp. Nagy wants to be aggressive down the field. It’s in his playbook and in his nature as a coach and play-caller." QB Mitchell Trubisky struggled throwing deep over the past few seasons -- but it's a strength of Fields' game. More deep shots would be particularly good news for speedy WR Darnell Mooney.
The Bears traded up from #20 to #11 to snag Ohio State QB Justin Fields. Fields’ career has run parallel with that of Trevor Lawrence since high school. He entered college essentially tied with Lawrence as the nation’s top recruit. After a year at Georgia, Fields starred across 2 Ohio State seasons. He delivered 63 TD passes vs. just 9 INTs while completing 68.4% of his throws at 9.3 yards per attempt. Fields ranked 2nd only to Alabama’s Mac Jones in Pro Football Focus adjusted completion rate among draft-eligible QBs in 2020 (80.8%). Fields adds dynamic running ability, tallying 1,133 yards and 19 TDs on the ground for his college career. Fields hits the NFL with at least as much fantasy upside as Lawrence and the potential to deliver QB1-level numbers right away. It shouldn’t take him long to beat out Andy Dalton for the starting job in Chicago.