Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney was forced to play a WR1 role pretty early in his career with the Bears after Allen Robinson left. This is typically tough for a 5th round pick, but he’s been solid so far in his career.
2023 Fantasy Football: Darnell Mooney Profile
Recap of 2022 season
Mooney finished 2022 with 40 receptions for 493 yards and two touchdowns. These were all career lows, but he was hurt and missed five games. This was also his first season without Robinson and it clearly hurt his numbers a bit.
Updated Chicago Bears outlook
The Bears made the wide receiver room much stronger this offseason. They added DJ Moore in a trade for the first overall pick while they’ll also have Chase Claypool in a full offseason with their system. These two guys with Mooney makes a strong wide receiver room for Justin Fields who is due for a breakout season.
Best case scenario
Mooney finished as WR16-WR20. With all the attention on stopping Moore and Claypool, I truly think Mooney can put up big numbers this season. He’s played with Fields for two seasons now and Mooney will want to breakout after last years down season. Mooney knows the wide receiver room is stronger and he won't have anything given to him, so he will look to prove people wrong,
Worst case scenario
I said above that having Moore and Claypool could make his job easier, but it could also hurt his numbers. He could drop to WR40 or worst. With two options viewed higher, Mooney may not get the targets that he deserves and the bears are balanced so they won't be throwing the ball 50 times per game.
I think Mooney finishes around WR25. He is a solid wide receiver who has been overlooked in my opinion and deserves more credit. Mooney has played with Fields more than the other receivers who will have big roles on this team. That chemistry will help his numbers and I think Mooney and Moore will be a stellar WR1-WR2 combination, with Chase Claypool as WR3.