If you're like the Jets, you believe Matt Forte has plenty left to offer. If you're like the Bears, you believe Forte's best days are behind him. Here are the facts: Forte has 2,077 career carries and 500 career catches, eight full seasons of work and happens to be 30 years old (31 in December). These are typically the benchmarks that make Fantasy owners wary of a rusher. Furthermore, Forte joins a Jets roster flush with running backs - the team re-signed passing down specialist Bilal Powell and added ex-Saints rusher Khiry Robinson. It should mean Forte won't average 19 or more touches per game for the first time in his career (he averaged just over 20 last season). So if we reel in expectations and figure Forte comes closer to, say, 1,000 total yards and five touchdowns with fewer receptions, then there's no way we should count on him as a No. 1 Fantasy option. That projection might even be too high. Your best bet is to consider Forte a solid No. 2 Fantasy option worth a pick starting late in Round 4.
Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey recently suggested he will adjust his system as necessary to suit Forte's strengths, ESPN.com reports. Asked how Forte will fit in his scheme, Gailey simply replied, "That's not the question. The question is, how do we adjust the system to fit Matt Forte?" Fortunately for all parties, Forte is one of the better pass-catching backs in NFL history, which should make him a natural fit in Gailey's spread attack. Bilal Powell will likely have a role and Khiry Robinson could also be in the mix, but the Jets seemingly intend for Forte to join Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker as centerpieces of the offense. The team has an unimpressive group of tight ends, along with shaky depth behind its top duo at wideout.
Forte said Monday that he is expecting to be an every-down back for the Jets, ESPN.com reports. The Jets brought back Bilal Powell, who greatly increased his role in the passing game last season, and signed Khiry Robinson this offseason, and while Forte is fully expected to be the starter, he will certainly miss some snaps to at least Powell. That being said, if quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick does not re-sign, the Jets could rely more on the running game in 2016 than they did last year.
Forte will reportedly sign with the Jets, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. With Chris Ivory headed to the Jaguars and both Bilal Powell and Stevan Ridley set to become free agents, the move makes perfect sense for the Jets, who need to re-stock their backfield. In Forte, the team lands an experienced all-around back, who is capable of leading the team's rushing attack in 2016.
Forte was informed by the Bears' front office this week that they won't attempt to re-sign the unrestricted free agent. Forte had already expressed what he expected to occur in the offseason, which has seemingly come to fruition. While he'll join the likes of Doug Martin and Lamar Miller on the free-agent market, Forte's versatility could help him serve as one of the final pieces of a playoff-worthy organization. In eight seasons with the Bears, Forte surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on five occasions, reeled in at least 44 catches in each campaign, and reached the end zone 64 times in 120 games.
Forte, an impending free agent, does not expect to remain with the Bears, ESPN.com reports. Forte said in late December that he wants to return but doesn't think it will happen. WR Alshon Jeffery will likely be the Bears' top priority in free agency, as Jeremy Langford showed signs that he may be ready to replace Forte as the lead back. The 30-year-old Forte has aged well for his position, so he shouldn't have much trouble finding a starting job in free agency. However, he probably won't match the gargantuan workloads that he handled for much of his time in Chicago, where he had three seasons (2008, 2013, 2014) with 350+ touches.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/25||@Kansas City Chiefs||4||13.44|
|10||11/13||Los Angeles Rams||23||18.50|
|12||11/28||New England Patriots||5||14.00|
|14||12/11||@San Francisco 49ers||32||22.88|
|16||12/24||@New England Patriots||5||14.00|
|3 Year Avg||258||1092||6||73||597||3||226|