Will Matt Forte Bounce Back?
Matt Forte had an unbelievable rookie season compiling 1715 total yards (1238 rushing) and 12 TDs (8 rushing). Jay Cutler was brought in to keep defenses from stuffing the box. He was going in the top five of fantasy drafts. Then 2009 happened.
It wasn’t an utter failure as he piled up 1400 total yards (929 rushing) and 4 TDs, but a far cry from his brilliant rookie season and fantasy owner’s expectations. He failed to top 70 rushing yards in 11 games last year. He had 62 or fewer total yards, without a TD I might add, in four of his first six games. Imagine getting 6.2 or fewer points from your number one pick four out of six times to start the year. He killed fantasy owners.
That’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise why his ADP, according to Mock Draft Central, sits at 44 (22nd RB). I have him right around the same place (click to see my 2010 RB rankings). With Chester Taylor and Mike Martz in town, it’s easy to see why people have soured on Forte. He didn’t help matters when he ran for seven yards on four carries in the preseason opener against the Chargers. Things, however, may have changed in the Bears’ second preseason game.
Forte ripped off an 89-yard touchdown run on his way to 109 yards on five carries. Clearly the burst that seemed to be missing is back. While Chester Taylor’s arrival may hurt him in the passing game, and subsequently knock his PPR value down a bit, Forte could be better served by having fresh legs down the stretch. That could be important because the Bears play in Buffalo, Green Bay, and four times in Chicago from Week 9 (November 7th) on. With those potential bad weather games, Forte could be very busy as the season winds down. Having somewhat fresh legs will go a long way.
If you aren’t able to draft Forte, you may be able to get him early in the season as he plays the Cowboys, Packers, and Giants in Weeks 2-4. If he struggles early, he could become an excellent buy low candidate. With a fantasy playoff schedule of New England, Minnesota, and the Jets, he may not help when you need it the most, but he can help get you there.
What are your thoughts on Matt Forte?