Matt Forte: Why Bears RB Isn't Worth Fantasy Start in Week 4

Mike Shiekman@TheRealShiekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Running back Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears runs the ball as Lofa Tatupu #51 of the Seattle Seahawks attempts to tackle him from behind in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Calling all fantasy football owners: As much as it may sting, leave Matt Forte out of your starting fantasy lineup.

Waiting on the injury status of the Bears running back before Monday’s kickoff equals fantasy suicide. It will leave your team void of backup options and almost ensure you'll add one to the loss column.

Bears’ beat writer Brad Biggs said on NFL Network that Forte seems likely to play Monday “barring a setback." The juice doesn't look worth the squeeze.

The Chicago Bears’ prized back did not run through a whole practice Wednesday, participating only in individual drills. While Forte seems optimistic that he’ll be able to give the ankle a go on Monday night against Dallas, Lovie Smith seems more cautious, telling CBS Sports:

"We have said he's making progress every day, which he is, and it's no more than that. But I would hold off on ... he's got a long ways to go still, but he is making progress and hopefully we can get him out there."

In addition, the Dallas Cowboys’ defense has been able to limit fantasy blowouts in the running game. Rob Ryan’s unit has allowed only two touchdowns and two runs of 20-plus yards on the year. Yikes.

His mere presence on the field does not mean an ideal workload that fantasy owners are hoping for. Look no further than the Bears’ watchful-minded use of Forte in practice.

Even if Forte is cleared to play, the Bears’ running back won’t be much of a fantasy factor. Backup running back Michael Bush had become Forte’s “touchdown vulture” before he went out with the injury in Week 2.

Bush signed with Chicago in the offseason due to Forte’s injury history. He was also believed to be an insurance policy in the event Forte did not sign his franchise tender. The running game was never the same when No. 22 went down last season. The Bears covered their tracks this year; now their offense can still be explosive in Forte’s absence.

Here’s the rub with Forte: His best-case scenario is splitting carries with Bush, whether he’s apart of the game plan against Dallas or not.

With an average ceiling and a floor lower than sea level, Forte’s fantasy value doesn’t make the heart grow fonder.

If you just snagged Mikel Leshoure or Tashard Choice off your waiver wire, doesn’t that sound more enticing?

Note: This recommendation is for standard-scoring leagues only.


Mike Shiekman is football junkie who loves to give advice to unsure fantasy owners. He also is a Breaking News writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him @TheRealShiek on Twitter