Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields could be a whole lot of something or a whole load of nothing.

Fields had a 2-8 record with the Chicago Bears in his rookie campaign and threw ten more interceptions than touchdowns (7). He had weaknesses in his completion percentage (58.9) and yards per throw attempt (6.9), but he carried the ball proficiently (72/420/2). In one game over his first six starts, Fields passed for more than 210 yards while completing only five combined touchdown passes. He also missed the last game of the season because of COVID-19 and an ankle injury.

Despite not winning a national title in college, Fields represented one of the top NCAA programs in 2019 and 2020. He did them proud by finishing 20-2. He completed 5,373 yards of throw attempts with 63 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Fields ran for 1,133 yards and 19 touchdowns on 260 attempts during his time at the collegiate level. He clearly has top-tier potential/

At the NFL level, though, Fields has not been able to replicate that sort of production yet. Many see that as a blow against his ceiling.

Fields has received criticism from several NFL scouts despite having some intriguing performances. When facing the blitz, he has to get better at pre-snap reads and have greater speed when releasing the ball. Additionally, his ability to make plays while escaping the pocket after being struck is among his assets. Fields runs with whatever the defense gives him, which is actually a valuable skill, especially near the goal line.

His arm is powerful enough to do any pass in the NFL. Fields even performs admirably when forced to throw while moving. One big question is whether these will translate to tangible fantasy value.

Justin Fields’ 2022 fantasy football outlook

Fields is currently the National Fantasy Football Championship’s 17th-ranked quarterback. His pass-catching targets on the Bears affect his value a lot. His potential scoring also seems to be quite limited. 4,000 combined yards would be a lot to ask with only 17 starts, and he likely won’t surpass the league average in touchdowns.

The good news is that Fields’ fantasy value doesn’t require him to significantly improve as a quarterback in the real world. Things got off to a rough start in 2021. By the end of the year, though, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft had put together a few more-than-useful fantasy outings. He even showed some genuinely entertaining big-time moments.

It would be misleading, however, to estimate Fields’ average throughout a 17-game season based just on one favorable fantasy stretch. The Ohio State product has never shied away from accumulating yards on the run, and in 2021, he looked very good doing it.

Fields’ evident improvement came from a renewed desire to run as the season progressed. In his first four games, he averaged just 3.75 rush attempts per game, but in his final five starts, he averaged 8.4 rush attempts per game. The more he runs, the better he is.

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If Fields continues to push as a rusher, there is a real fantasy potential here. With 2020 Cam Newton (QB17) being the lone exception, 11 of 12 quarterbacks who had at least 125 carries in a season went on to produce top-12 fantasy results per game. The quarterbacks aren’t getting too much credit for merely staying healthy because seven of the 12 qualifiers ended as a top-five quarterback on a per-game basis.

Experts anticipate Fields to make 140 run attempts. That would rank fourth among quarterbacks according to PFF. He now ranks above Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr despite a possibly terrible supporting group. In other words, Fields has the potential to perform far better in fantasy football than in real life. As the final quarterback that fantasy managers can select, Fields isn’t a bad choice.

Having said that, although he is a good quarterback, there are several significant drawbacks that make him a dangerous choice this season. Fields could even be considered a Top 10 pick if he were in a different system. When estimating Fields’ output, though, the lack of a strong supporting cast, such as a mediocre WR corps and a subpar offensive line, is a real problem.

Looking ahead, Fields should be in the QB20 region. He’s not someone you want to depend on every week as a starter. In a particular week’s favorable matchups, though, he can be a viable backup option.