With training camp set to open this week, it means that Fantasy Football is right around the corner. Most seasons, the Chicago Bears were a Fantasy Football afterthought aside from maybe the Defense and Special Teams. That will not be the case in 2009. In this series, we’ll take a look at the Bears you should target for your fantasy football squad.
Forte burst onto the fantasy scene in his 2008 rookie campaign with over 1700 combined yards and 12 TD’s. He was one of a few featured backs that carried the majority of his teams carries and did not have to deal with fantasy football’s biggest enemy – the dreaded Running Back by Committee.
Overall Rank: 4
Position Rank: 4
2008 Stats: 1238 yards/8 TD’s Rushing, 477 yards/4 TD’s Receiving
Projected Stats: 1200 yards/9 TD’s Rushing, 460 yards/2 TD’s Receiving
Upside: Jay Cutler adds a passing threat and prevents teams from loading up against the run. The re-vamped line opens some bigger and better holes.
Downside: The re-vamped line doesn’t gel quickly and Forte doesn’t sneak up on anyone. Cutler and the passing game take away carries from Forte. Kevin Jones, a full season removed from his knee surgery, the other Adrian Peterson or Garrett Wolfe (if he could find his Darren Sproles-type role and make the final 53-man roster) could take some carries from Forte. Don’t panic. I’m not saying Running Back by Committee, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.
My take: I’ve heard of comparisons to Brian Westbrook. I’ve heard criticism of his upright running style. Forte is a legit #1 back and will be more effective with the additions along the offensive line and that Cutler guy. In a league where a single featured back is becoming a thing of the past, Forte will carry the load and should surpass his 2008 stats, particularly in the passing game. If you have a pick outside of the top 5, you’ll probably need to trade up if you want Forte.
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