Matt Forte: Updated Fantasy Analysis After Jay Cutler's Return from Injury

Brandon Alisoglu@@BrandonAlisogluCorrespondent INovember 25, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 11:  Running back Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears carries the ball against the defense of outside linebacker Connor Barwin #98 of the Houston Texans during the game at Soldier Field on November 11, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

That shaking feeling you just felt wasn't an earthquake. Well, not technically. It was just the earth moving due to the simultaneous collective sigh caused by every Chicago Bears fan's reaction to the return of Jay Cutler

It wasn't an overreaction either.

The Bears are a contender with Cutler under center. Without him, not so much.

The loss of Cutler came at the worst possible time, so it's difficult to truly gauge the team's performance over the past couple weeks.

Would the Bears have beaten the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers with a healthy, full-game-playing Cutler? It's debatable, but it's a much more difficult question than the opposite. 

What we do know is that Chicago can actually move the rock now.

Thus, let's get down to the truly important stuff: How does this affect Matt Forte's fantasy value?


Fantasy Analysis

Your first reaction might be one of fright. With Cutler back and winging the ball, Forte isn't going to get the work he did when the former was out.

While that is somewhat true, it is an overreaction.

Forte did have more carries in those two games with Jason Campbell than any other, save for two. However, he wasn't extremely effective, only averaging 2.8 yards per carry.

In one game, he actually "amassed" minus-three yards receiving.

That's what happens when you start Campbell.

Defenses will respect Cutler's ability and willingness to attack downfield, which will obviously provide plenty of space for the slippery Forte to work with.

Quite simply, the last two games were the worst two games of Forte's year. As mentioned above, they were against two of the tougher defenses in the league, but the sharp decline (he's averaging 4.5 YPC for the year) is too much to ignore.

So start Forte without a second thought. Not that you wouldn't—just don't read too much into his time without Cutler.