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Darnell Mooney start or sit: Week 1 fantasy football advice

We break down the fantasy football outlook of Darnell Mooney ahead of the Bears Week 1 matchup against the 49ers.

Wide receiver Darnell Mooney #11 of the Chicago Bears runs a play during the second quarter of a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The NFL regular season is finally here. The Los Angeles Rams fell to the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night, but the action continues on Sunday, September 11. The Chicago Bears will host the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The game will kick at 1 p.m. ET and will air on Fox.

Fantasy Football analysis: Bears WR Darnell Mooney

Chicago hopes quarterback Justin Fields can take a step forward in his second NFL season. If he can, it will likely be due to a large reliance on his top wide receiver Darnell Mooney. Behind Mooney, the depth chart is rather bleak. Mooney is going to draw the best defenders every week but began to show last season that he has what it takes to be a team’s WR1. Mooney played in all 17 games last season, catching 81 of his 140 targets for 1,055 yards and four touchdowns.

Start or sit in Week 1?

Start Mooney in Week 1. Yes, he has a tough matchup against the San Francisco defense but they gave up the 12th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers last year. Mooney should lead his team in targets in a game that the Bears are expected to play from behind. While it isn’t ideal, he should be treated as a back-end WR2 for Week 1, thus earning him a starting spot for your fantasy football lineup.