The race for the top spot at running back in the NFC North is a little more interesting on paper than it should be.
With all the talk about how great Adrian Peterson is, he should be the clear-and-away winner of this, and he is. But, it's a lot closer than one might think. Then again, it's still not all that close.
1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
2. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
3. Ryan Grant, Green Bay Packers
4. Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions
5. Chester Taylor, Chicago Bears
The NFC North is the home of the non-running back by committee teams (RBBC). Most teams nowadays live by the RBBC format, but with all the discrepancy in talent between the No. 1's and No. 2's on all the teams in the NFC North, it is clear that these teams are trying to buck the trend.
The only team that has a legit backup would be the Bears, which is why Chester Taylor is on the board, and worthy of a late-round draft pick in all fantasy leagues.
Fact is, he is going to see the ball. But, before he does, Matt Forte is going to get his.
Forte may have gone downhill in terms of rushing yards, last season, but the fact of the matter is that in a PPR league, he is a top draft pick at RB.
Only Ray Rice, Tim Hightower, and Frank Gore had more targets (when the quarterback threw the ball to the player) than Forte. And only Rice and Hightower had more receptions.
And, with Mike Martz at the helm of the offense, it's most likely he is going to turn Forte into a Rice-type back, where he will use him in the passing game in order to set up his running game.
Martz has always had a thing for pass-catching running backs, so aside from Rice, there is no other running back who Martz is more suited to coach than Forte.
I expect big numbers out of Forte this season. If he can get up over 1,200 yards rushing, adding that to his totals in the passing game, he may have the opportunity to take over the No. 1 spot in the NFC North.
The only problem he faces there is the fact that Taylor will be taking away some of his touches, but also that Peterson has no apparent backup (unless you believe Toby Gerhart is going to take the ball out of his hands), and will pull up his receiving numbers this year, as well.
This will be the most fun race of all to watch.