Discussion

Ranks reactions: What to make of Matt Forte

Updated: November 3, 2010, 2:33 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

I'm all for playing the matchups, and I saw our Week 9 projections on Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte, but I just couldn't go so far as to make him one of the top three scorers of the week at his position in my rankings. I mean, do you feel comfortable making a running back with precisely one game of more than 50 rushing yards a sure-fire play?

Forte is ninth in standard running back scoring for the season, thanks nearly as much for his work as a receiver out of the backfield than for what he does the conventional way as a runner, though I still feel like he's an all-or-nothing proposition. In Weeks 1 and 5, against the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers, he's accrued 60 fantasy points, split equally. In the other five games, he has 32 points. Sure, he and the Bears get to face the winless Buffalo Bills this week, so I understand why most people expect the "all" part when it comes to fantasy scoring. The Bills have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs, but I can't say that alone makes me so excited about Forte. He scares me because of the offense around him.

That all noted, I did make Forte my No. 12 running back this week, which means he's a good play but not one of the guys you absolutely have to use. One reason I didn't go overboard was due to the presence of Chester Taylor, whom Bears coach Lovie Smith claims will become more involved in the offense this week. Maybe the previously underused Taylor will get goal-line carries, or split the rushes much like the Kansas City Chiefs tandem does. Maybe Taylor and Forte will play together, one of them lined up outside because the team's wide receiver corps, other than Johnny Knox, is so unimpressive. But just because the Chiefs' Jamaal Charles went hog wild last week against the Bills -- he can do that against any team, really -- I can't compare Forte with him. The Bears have had some problems of their own the past month, you know.

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