Chicago Bears: Darnell Mooney 2021 Fantasy Football stat projections

Chicago Bears (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Darnell Mooney
Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears have to be excited about what they have in Darnell Mooney. Mooney is entering year two and coming off a very strong season for a rookie. Heading into the 2020 season, Mooney started the season as the fourth or fifth option at best. At the beginning of the season, the first three wide receivers on the depth chart were actually Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Ted Ginn, Jr. Yep, Ted Ginn, Jr. was the third receiver on the depth chart heading into September.

However, Ginn struggled to be an impact and only played in six games. He was waived by the Bears in early November. Then, by the time the season hit the midway point, Mooney became the second option on offense — even ahead of Anthony Miller.

Darnell Mooney quickly became the Chicago Bears second option in 2020

This season should be even better for Mooney as he enters into the year with not only NFL experience, but also a more “normal” offseason now that COVID-19 protocols are being loosened as players and coaches become vaccinated. With a full NFL season under his belt and now a full offseason, Mooney should be able to play even looser.

The hope is that nothing shows on tape that tips his hand. Last year was a historically bad year for defense. Things usually catch up and shift back to the norm. Can Mooney build on his rookie year or are we in for another Anthony Miller disappointment? Don’t forget, Miller finished his rookie year with seven touchdowns. He only had 54 targets (far less than Mooney in his rookie year) but their catch rate was very similar at 61.1% (Miller) and 62.2% (Mooney).

Mooney and Miller are very different in regards to their skill set and I don’t think we can begin to truly compare them as apples and apples, but instead apples and oranges. Let’s take a look at Mooney’s 2020 fantasy value despite the small sample size.