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Matt Forte: Fantasy Expectations for Bears RB vs. Seahawks

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 11:  Running back Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears carries the ball against the defense of defensive tackle Earl Mitchell #92 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
Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2012

The Chicago Bears are getting healthy at the right time, as they got Jay Cutler back last week and Matt Forte is in the lineup this week against the Seattle Seahawks

Forte is one of the most valuable fantasy running backs in the NFL when he is on the field. His ability to make big plays in the running game and catch passes out of the backfield is virtually unmatched. 

But coming off an ankle injury can be tricky for a running back. You don't know how the body will respond to making cuts, or when he gets hit, or what will happen under a pile. It also doesn't help that Seattle boasts one of the most imposing defensive units in the league. 

Here is what fantasy owners should expect from Forte in Sunday's showdown against the Seahawks. 

 

Rushing

Even with his explosiveness out of the backfield, Forte only has two 100-yard games this season. He has only run for 144 yards combined in the past three games. Two of those games were against San Francisco and Houston, who rank in the top five in run defense. 

The Seahawks are physical up front, but they are weaker against the run than the pass. They are 12th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, but tied for fifth with 30 sacks, so they can break through a line. 

Given that the Bears have problems up front, both with run and pass protection, it would be foolish to expect Forte to get back on track right away against a very good defense. 

Forte will get his carries because the Bears need to at least establish they aren't going to abandon the run, but a big week does not seem like it is in the cards. 

Projection: 17 carries, 64 yards

 

Receiving

Forte has had a poor season catching passes out of the backfield, mainly because the Bears have another big weapon on the outside in Brandon Marshall

His season high in receptions is five, done on Oct. 28 against Carolina. His season high in yards was 45 against Tennessee on Nov. 4. 

The Seahawks do not give up a lot of yards in the passing game, which could actually work to Forte's advantage. Because they are so good against the pass, third in the league, there likely won't be as many opportunities for Brandon Marshall and the receivers to make plays. 

Cutler will have to check down to Forte, affording him the opportunity to make plays with his legs in the passing game and serving as a pseudo-running game. 

But again, it all comes back to how much the ankle limits Forte in what he is able to do. He needs to be able to make defenders miss. If you have him in a PPR league, he will hold value. If you need yards, Forte probably isn't a good option. 

Projection: Seven receptions, 44 yards


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