Fantasy football managers should stay patient with Justin Fields

The embattled QB has struggled immensely as a passer throughout his NFL career.

Justin Fields points to the sky against the Green Bay Packers.
Justin Fields points to the sky against the Green Bay Packers. / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The 0-2 Chicago Bears are still a bad football team, and for fantasy football players, that means a lot of bumps and bruises once again with the Bears' skill position players. Justin Fields is still very raw and inefficient as a passer, but finished as one of fantasy football's top QBs in 2022 thanks to his 1,143 yards and eight scores on the ground.

2022 was the first time Fields finished with more touchdown passes than interceptions, and so far in 2023 he's not on track to repeat that. Through two starts, the third-year QB has just 427 yards, two touchdown passes, three interceptions, 62 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and one lost fumble.

In short, Fields has done enough to make himself fantasy football's QB21, and only three lower scoring QBs (Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence, and Dak Prescott) are rostered in more than 30 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues. The good news for fantasy owners is that only seven fantasy points separate QB21 Fields from the top-10 QBs currently; QB10 Jared Goff has 36.94 points and Fields has 29.28.

Furthermore, the Ohio State product has just 0.16 fewer points than Baltimore Ravens QB and former MVP Lamar Jackson, who seems to still have the confidence of the fantasy football world despite his slow start. We also can't expect signal callers like Baker Mayfield, C.J. Stroud, Sam Howell, and Mac Jones to stay in front of Fields all season in spite of their clear lack of rushing upside.

Lastly, notwithstanding Fields' own lackluster individual performances, the matchups to start the Bears' season haven't been the greatest. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST is the second-highest scoring unit in all of fantasy football through two weeks, and in Week 1 they forced three turnovers from current fantasy QB1 Kirk Cousins. In Week 2, they picked off Fields twice and sacked him a whopping six times.

The Green Bay Packers D/ST, currently 16th in scoring, is no slouch either, but they made Atlanta Falcons QB Desmond Ridder look much better than Fields had in Week 1. For what it's worth, Ridder is fantasy's QB19 ahead of Jackson and Fields, but really only got there thanks to a rushing touchdown against the Packers last week.

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In short, Fields hasn't been super effective or efficient on the ground or through the air, but he hasn't been terrible either. Better days are ahead for the 24-year-old, with matchups with the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Washington Commanders, Minnesota Vikings, and Las Vegas Raiders on tap next. With a little bit of a push, Fields will soon relieve his fantasy managers' headaches.