The Chicago Bears are trading the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers for the No. 9 pick, the No. 61 pick, a first-round pick in 2024, a second-round pick in 2025, and WR DJ Moore. There was some talk early in the offseason that the Bears might consider drafting a QB at No. 1, but they have insisted throughout that they believe in Justin Fields and are interested in building around him. This move gives them additional draft pick assets and a weapon for Fields in the form of Moore, a veteran wideout who has posted solid numbers in Carolina despite lackluster and inconsistent quarterbacks.
Our own Andrew Erickson breaks down the move and all of the fantasy implications.
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Panthers Trade for No. 1 Overall Pick
The trade finally went down. The Chicago Bears are receiving an absolute haul of picks – No. 9, No. 61, 2024 first-round pick, 2025 second-round pick – and WR D.J. Moore from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the number one overall pick, which will be likely one of the rookie quarterbacks including Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis or Anthony Richardson.
Let’s break down the fantasy implications.
First off, to see Moore packaged in this deal is WILD. But finally, it means that Justin Fields now has a legitimate WR. Can’t help but draw parallels to how the Eagles traded for A.J. Brown to get Jalen Hurts to the next level. And now Fields can take another step forward as a passer with Moore a major upgrade at the WR position.
The Bears rushing quarterback is currently my QB5 in my 2023 quarterback rankings and his breakout potential is all but edged in stone that may force me to move him up further (waiting on Lamar Jackson, to be honest). He finished last season as QB6 in points per game (20.6). And in his 11 games played from Weeks 5-17…Fields ranked as the QB5 in points per game (24.1). The Bears used their available cap space to add Moore’s contract making Fields an easy candidate for a significant Year 3 leap as the NFL’s leader in rushing yards among signal-callers in 2022.
Justin Fields seeing that the Bears traded for DJ Moore pic.twitter.com/xuOdNoE2nI
— FantasyPros (@FantasyPros) March 10, 2023
As for Moore, I am hesitant to move him up too high in the rankings because we haven’t quite seen Fields properly fuel a fantasy WR for consistent production. As the pseudo No.1 in 2022, Darnell Mooney ranked 12th in air yards share (37%) and 15th in target share (27%) in his 11 healthy games played before his injury. However, he was WR46 overall and outside the top 50 in points per game.
Moore has been a pretty solid fantasy WR2 for his entire NFL career, so perhaps he can hit the backend of the WR1 conversation with Fields at quarterback. As of the news, he is now WR19 in my half-point rankings. Although there’s an argument that if his ADP climbs too close to that borderline WR1 range, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze with his long fantasy WR2 track record and fear the Bears overall offense (not specifically Fields) limits his production.
But it’s so clear that his presence will hurt Darnell Mooney (WR50) and Chase Claypool (WR73). If the Bears do indeed run back the same run-heavy offense for a second straight year, there simply won’t be enough passing attempts in the offense for anybody outside Moore (or Cole Kmet) to provide steady fantasy value.
Last year, Moore’s 54% team air yards share ranked first among all players and was 11% points higher than the next closest player (43%, Amari Cooper).
DJM also finished No. 1 in WOPR (weighted opportunity), which further solidifies his sheer dominant profile. His 98% route participation also ranked the highest among all players because he never comes off the field. I’d bet he has a similar role in Chicago.
As for Carolina, they are left with massive holes on offense across the board. They need running backs, wide receivers and tight ends. Word to the wise, I’d be putting Terrace Marshall Jr. on the block in my dynasty leagues for this short window of time where he looks like the No. 1 WR. A whole new coaching staff has no bounds to any of his guys left over from the last regime.
– Andrew Erickson