The anticipation for what D.J. Moore will do next year after the Chicago Bears made a huge trade for him is getting big. There are some buying in and saying he will be the next big wide receiver traded to turn a team around. Others think that Justin Fields and the passing game will drag him down.
Mike Clay of ESPN makes the fantasy projections at ESPN. We will look into what he thinks, and we will see if Moore will go over or under these totals.
Over or Under 64 catches on 112 targets for D.J. Moore with the Chicago Bears
There is just one year when D.J. Moore went under this total, and that was his rookie season. Even with P.J. Walker last season, he had 118. Moore once had 163 as well. It is fair to think that Moore was brought to catch the deep ball from Fields. With Moore, deep balls would mean a few fewer underneath and perhaps a lower completion rate.
Still, in 2020 Moore had an average depth of target of 13.2 and still had 66 catches on 118 targets. That was with Teddy Bridgewater throwing the football. He is not entirely known for his deep ball. So, considering he was the highlight of the trade, and the team will not only use him deep but all over, the thought is that 112 is closer to the floor. He should also have a better deep ball completion rate with Fields than Bridgewater or P.J. Walker. Fields has work to do as a passer, but the deep ball is his game.
With that in mind, we are going over on both fronts.
Over 112 targets, over 64 catches
Over or Under 925 yards for D.J. Moore with the Chicago Bears
This comes off a bit low as well. Again, if you go back to 2020, when he was used almost exclusively as a deep ball target, he averaged 10.1 yards per target and 18.1 yards per catch. Even if you gave Moore that rate on the same targets you would be at 1,131 yards or 1,158. He either thinks that the Chicago Bears will run the same offense they ran with Dante Pettis as the primary target, or he thinks that Justin Fields cannot throw the deep ball as well as Teddy Bridgewater. Both of them are selling D.J. Moore the talent off.
Even for his career, he averages 14.3 yards per catch and 8.4 yards per target. Clay has him at 14.4 and 8.3 in those areas. He does not see Moore being more efficient with a better quarterback, or he does not see Moore as a better receiver than what Fields had last year. Both are wild. We are going over.
Over 925 yards
Over or Under 7 touchdowns for D.J. Moore with the Chicago Bears
This one is more interesting. D.J. Moore only had seven touchdowns once last year. He had a run of four touchdowns in three straight seasons. That is why this whole projection makes no sense. Moore is not a red zone target as much as he is a field flipper. As we have noted, his deep ball catching and the deep ball accuracy of Fields is huge for big gains that should have him with more catches and yards than usual. However, only some many 30-yard catches can get all the way into the end zone. We see Moore closer to four or five in this area, with much better yardage and catch numbers down the field.
Under seven touchdowns