Heading into Week 12 against Philadelphia, Forte has been one of the best surprises for Fantasy owners. There was a thought that the addition of Mike Martz as the offensive coordinator this season would ruin Forte’s production. The signing of Chester Taylor didn’t help matters either, but Forte has proven all the skeptics wrong.
He is the No. 13 running back in standard-scoring leagues, and he is coming off a solid game in Week 11 at Miami with a season-high 25 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown. Forte is hoping for more games like that as the season goes on.
“It’s fun when you get back there as a running back and get into a rhythm,” Forte said in an interview with CBSSports.com. “It makes the game slow down, and it’s easy. “
Last year wasn’t easy for Forte. He played through injuries to his knee and hamstring and struggled to gain just over 1,300 total yards and four touchdowns. It was a tremendous dropoff from his rookie season when he gained more than 1,700 total yards and 12 touchdowns. But he’s healthy now, and it shows in his production.
He has five games with double digits in Fantasy points, and he’s been pleased with his performance.
“I’ve been pretty consistent,” Forte said. “I just have to stay consistent throughout the rest of the year.”
The expectations for the Bears on offense with Martz were that Jay Cutler would be an elite Fantasy quarterback, they would have multiple receivers to count on and that Forte and tight end Greg Olsen would turn out to be busts. None of that has come true.
Forte is the best Fantasy option for the Bears while Cutler, who missed one game with a concussion, is only the No. 21 quarterback in standard leagues, and he trails unheralded passers like Ryan Fitzpatrick, David Garrard and Mark Sanchez. He only has one game with more than 300 passing yards and four games with multiple touchdown passes.
But with the Bears (7-3) winning games, Cutler doesn’t mind being a game manager and sacrificing his stats. Wide receiver Johnny Knox said Cutler has been “incredible” so far this season in his overall play.
“He takes some hits but is always getting back up to make plays,” Knox said. “He’s always motivating us to get better, and that’s what keeps us all going.”
Knox has been the best Fantasy receiver for the Bears, but he’s only No. 37 in standard formats. He has just one touchdown on the season. The next best Chicago wide receiver is Devin Hester at No. 72.
Still, Knox said Martz’s offense is exciting, and he said the Bears still have plenty of plays in their arsenal that have yet to be displayed. If they open up the offense then the passing game can still flourish.
“The offense has picked it up the past few weeks,” Knox said. “From what I’ve seen how the offense worked in the past and what I see to this point, it’s a lot of fun.”
Olsen has turned into a pleasant surprise for Fantasy owners. Martz told the Chicago Sun-Times that Olsen brings “a whole different dimension that I've never experienced before'' at tight end, and it shows in his production.
He is only the No. 16 tight end in standard leagues, but he is just eight points back from cracking the Top 12, which would make him a starting option. And he’s on pace for a solid year with 44 catches for 515 yards and six touchdowns if you project his stats for 16 games.
“When the plays come my way, for the most part I make them,” Olsen said. “I’m doing a lot of things you don’t see in the stat sheet, but I’m pleased so far. I feel good about my role.”
The Bears are rolling now, especially Forte, heading into the showdown with the Eagles. It’s not a great matchup for them, but they have proven many people wrong so far this year. We’ll see if it can continue for one more game and as the season goes on.