The Chicago Bears cashed IN on their 1st overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, trading it to the Carolina Panthers for two 1st round picks, two 2nd round picks and, most excitingly for fantasy football purposes, DJ Moore.
The former 24th overall pick from Maryland (2018) is joining forces with budding superstar Justin Fields, which has massive upside for both of them. Moore will be the best WR that Fields has ever played with, and Fields will be the best QB that Moore has ever had.
The 25 year old wide receiver has already flashed plenty of upside, finishing with more than 1,100 yards in 3 of 5 professional seasons despite catching his passes from washed up Cam Newton, Kyle Allen, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and PJ Walker.
Steadily consistent despite shoddy QB play, Moore has finished as fantasy's WR 16 (2019), WR 25 (2020), WR 18 (2021) and WR 24 (2022) over his last 4 seasons.
But let's get a bit more granular...
In 73 career games where Moore has played at least 42 offensive snaps, he's averaged:
- 13.6 PPR points per game
- 8.2 targets per game
- 4.8 catches per game
- 68.6 yards per game
- 0.3 TDs per game (20 total)
Moore has scored 15 or more points in 31 of 73 games (42%), including 20 or more PPR points in 14 of 73 games (19%).
Of course, he also had fewer than 10 PPR points in 25 of 73 games (34%), which can be expected when playing with the QBs that he did.
Working against Moore in 2023 is the fact that the Bears finished dead last in passing attempts and passing yards last season as the Bears did their best to protect Fields from needing to throw (Fields averaged just 21.2 pass attempts per game last season, never throwing more than 28 passes in 15 games).
Of course, part of that can be explained...
For starters, the Bears may have been trying to ease Fields into the mix after a lackluster rookie season. With question marks surrounding him as a passer, it made sense to limit the amount of times he has to throw the ball.
Second, when he did throw the ball, his "number one receiver" (hardly) was 2020 5th round pick Darnell Mooney, who had very little help for most of the season (unless you call Byron Pringle, Dante Pettis and Equanimeous St. Brown "help"). Again, with no one to throw to, it made sense to limit pass attempts.
Now the Bears LOST David Montgomery and ADDED DJ Moore, not to mention a full offseason with Chase Claypool and another year of progression for Fields, Mooney and promising TE Cole Kmet.
And if that wasn't enough, consider that Vegas Sportbooks have the Bears pegged for just 7.5 wins, indicating they'll be losing often (and, thus, needing to throw more to keep up).
Translation; it would make an awful lot of sense for the Bears to throw the ball more in 2023 considering their personnel changes and implied game script.
If DJ Moore can secure 20% of the Bears' targets and Chicago throws closer to the league average this season (565 pass attempts), then Moore *should* be in line for 113(ish) targets with upside for more.
Entering his age 26 season and paired with the best QB of his still-young career, I want as much DJ Moore as I can get on my 2023 fantasy football rosters.
DJM is best treated as a rock solid WR 2 with explosive upside for a lot more. This could finally be the year of a top 12 campaign.
DJ Moore is currently drafted as the WR 22 around pick 45 (mid 4th round) in early best ball drafts (on Underdog). I'm excited to draft him there over the likes of Travis Etienne, Calvin Ridley, Jahmyr Gibbs, Christian Watson and Mike Williams, who are all drafted ahead of Moore.
When balancing my portfolio, I also look at Justin Fields, Joe Burrow, DeAndre Hopkins, Jerry Jeudy, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, TJ Hockenson, Terry McLaurin and Christian Kirk in this range.
Max best ball exposure: 25%
Entering his age 26 season and paired with a budding superstar at QB, DJ Moore is a hold and someone I'm actively trying to "buy" in dynasty fantasy football leagues.
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