Chicago sends No. 1 pick to Carolina for DJ Moore and draft capital

Chicago sends No. 1 pick to Carolina for DJ Moore and draft capital

NFL Draft

Chicago sends No. 1 pick to Carolina for DJ Moore and draft capital



That’s a massive haul for the Chicago Bears to land in order for the Carolina Panthers to select the quarterback of their choosing next month, and it’s an upgrade for the overall 2023 fantasy football outlook in the Windy City.

Carolina immediately goes into full rebuilding mode as the Bears remain on the upward swing of their major remodeling. Chicago quarterback Justin Fields gets a legitimate No. 1 receiver, while the team slides down to just the ninth pick this year to add more talent around the young signal caller.

Many fantasy footballers will be excited for Moore to rebound after a disappointing 2022 season. His acquisition should solidify Fields as a top-seven or so fantasy passer after a QB1 showing thanks to his legs. Thanks to coaching changes and quarterback woes, Moore fell to WR25 in 2022 but has a chance to return to his WR15-17 range from 2021 and ’19. Interestingly, he scored a career-high seven times in last year’s letdown. The Maryland product was the 25th-best positional performer in 2020.

Concerns of production from a city that has struggled to generate viable fantasy receivers are overblown. Wideout Allen Robinson finished inside in the top seven in 2019 and ’20. Darnell Mooney emerged as WR23 out of nowhere in 2021 before an disappointing, injury-shortened 2022 when he was the only Chicago receiver to finish inside of the top 73. Moore’s floor should be no worse than WR30, and he has potential to finish in the mid-teens.

Mooney also stands to benefit from Moore joining the fray, and it allows him to get back to relying on his vertical nature, but there are only so many footballs to go around, especially if the quarterback rushes 10 times and throws only 21 times per contest. Translate that to better season-long stats but inconsistent production from week to week.

Moore’s presence cuts into Chase Claypool‘s chances of getting back on track. Much like with Mooney, there’s is only one football, and the presumed WR3 in Chicago is just a fringe lineup gamble in sport’s the virtual counterpart. Granted, injuries or an unforeseen leap in Fields’ passing prowess could change that to a small degree, but this situation only places yet another obstacle in Claypool’s way of contributing in fantasy.

Tight end Cole Kmet has the chops but was a forgotten man in this system last year, which is surprising given the design and Fields’ inexperience. We’re now up to four capable options who can catch passes any given week from an offensive game plan that never threw even 30 times in 2022.

The Bears will need to improve the line with the new picks and via free agency. Running back is a question mark, too, with David Montgomery facing free agency. However, the veteran back’s role diminished with the emergence of Fields’ ground game, and any replacement figures to meet the same fate in fake football.

So, while we could see a reasonable rebound from Moore, everyone else is fighting for scraps and profile as matchup plays. Mooney is draftable for depth, and Claypool is no more than a late-round flier. Kmet will be selected as a TE2 in most settings due to his upside, though gamers should tread carefully.

From Carolina’s side of the deal, just about every position is now up for grabs, and the extensive refurbishing will require a post-draft assessment to do it any justice. The only thing for sure is a quarterback will be the top pick.


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