Justin Fields
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during the NFL football team’s rookie minicamp Friday, May, 14, 2021, in Lake Forest Ill. (AP Photo/David Banks, Pool)

Should You Take A Flier On Justin Fields Later In Your Draft?

The Chicago Bears headed in a new direction with their franchise this off-season, drafting Justin Fields from Ohio State with the 11th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Bears also have Andy Dalton under contract and have decided to name him the starter going into the year. Even though Dalton is the starter, most fantasy sites have Fields above Dalton on their fantasy Quarterback Rankings (QB22). With the nice compliment of weapons at his disposal, should you consider taking a flier on Fields later on in your draft?

Let’s Just Spoil The Ending

The short answer? Yes, yes you should. *Don’t you hate spoilers?*

But in all seriousness, I understand the hesitation to pick up rookie Quarterbacks for fantasy. In 2011, QB12 in fantasy put up almost 223 points that season. If you take that average to 2020, QB12 put up just over 282 points. Using the last 10 years as a time period, to finish top-12 in fantasy, Quarterbacks must put up right around 262 points. Since 2011, only 8 players were able to hit that number in their rookie season. To me, that number seemed low, but it does show that it is not impossible to have fantasy value as a rookie.

Let’s also take a look at some of the other guys around that ranking he is at:

  • QB18: Jameis Winston, Saints
  • QB19: Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
  • QB20: Derek Carr, Raiders
  • QB21: Baker Mayfield, Browns
  • QB23: Trey Lance, 49ers
  • QB24: Daniel Jones, Giants
  • QB25: Carson Wentz, Colts

Right now, I take Fields over Winston and Carr, no questions asked. I don’t want a QB that needed eye surgery to be good, and Carr isn’t the same as he once was pre-injury. Mayfield, I consider only because that Browns roster is loaded. Lance is an intriguing option but I believe Fields sees the field before Lance does. Jones doesn’t even last all season so I won’t touch him. Wentz is low at QB25 and if he stays healthy that could be a worthy pick but the keywords here are “if he stays healthy”.

What do all the numbers mean? It shows that it is difficult for rookies to provide near QB1 mid QB2 output in their rookie seasons, but not every rookie is Justin Fields. Fields is definitely a guy you want to have on your roster going into the 2021 NFL season for fantasy. Andy Dalton will not have the starting job for long, and Fields showed so much upside during the pre-season that without a doubt If he is available in the later rounds of your draft, he is worth investing in.

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