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Alright, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: ‘All Chris Carter does is catch touchdowns’.  Alright so you have, but how about ‘All Matt Forte does is score touchdowns’?  No, that would be news to you, wouldn’t it?  That’s because in 60 games and with a total of 1237 career rushing and receiving touches, Forte has 30 TDs.  So he has averaged a touchdown every other game, you’d say, but his career line goes a little more like this: 12/4/9/4.  Now that’s not a badly formatted date, that’s his total touchdowns from each season since 2008.  As anyone can tell you, it’s hard to predict touchdowns but there’s one thing you can predict besides the next M. Night Shyamalan movie being disappointing: what a team thinks about it’s players based on the moves they make.  With that, in steps Michael Bush.  You’re probably familiar with him from his days in black and grey with the Raiders.  What you may not be quite familiar with was where he finished in rankings last year for RBs.  Nestled between the muscular backside of Steven Jackson and in front of Reggie Bush was Michael for 11th place according to ESPN standard scoring.  What’s even more intriguing about Michael is his career line.  Over 61 career games, Michael Bush has crossed the goal line 22 times.  However, he’s done it in a little over half the combined touches (723) it has taken Forte to tally his 30 TDs.  So what’s with all the math and will there be a test later, you say?  To answer your last question, no, but to answer the original one, it’s to prove that you might be overspending to get Forte’s services for this year if he plays with the Bears.

Now for some non-fantasy talk that has fantasy relevance.  As of this writing, Forte has not signed the long-term contract he has requested even though it’s being treated like a foregone conclusion, despite how unhappy he was to get slapped with the franchise tag.  Some people say the wrinkle of LeSean McCoy and his contract are to blame as it’s changed Forte’s price.  If it did, I’d like to think a level headed team would just stay with Bush and let Matt test the waters but I’m sure that won’t happen.  Forte lovers out there, I have news for you.  Those 1237 touches come with a 26 year old running back, not a 23 year old one.  Michael Bush is 27 and only has those 723 touches.  Smart money would use the four years of Bush while drafting younger backs as a future replacement.  While this won’t happen, as summer drags on there will be a higher and higher likelihood that Forte could become a hold out.  Unlike Allen Iverson, football players need to practice to be ready to go for the upcoming season.

What was this all about, you say?  Lotta words, but what are you supposed to do?  My words of advice is to try and avoid Forte in the drafts and feel free to nab yourself Michael.  At worst, you’ve still got the goal line back.  I double this stance if Forte’s contract talks stretch on too long.  Who knows, maybe Forte won’t like how much you paid for him in the draft and holds out on you too.

  1. David_KOA says:
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    @Sky,
    In a perfect world for both Forte and us fantasy owners this summer. The Bears give Matt Forte his dead presidents and don’t let him miss any training camp.

    This is not the first time that we have seen the Bears bring in another RB(Taylor and Barber). They both compiled at least 183 snaps while playing in Chicago. We got to see Forte still average 110.8 TYPG & .46 TD’s in those two years.

    Michael Bush is a better player then both Taylor and Barber at the time when they cam to the Bears. I know Bush brings some ability to the passing game. Is he really in the same class as Forte? no, but he should see a little work. We have also seen Bush AVG drop as the carrries have gone up.
    2009- 123 carries & 4.8 AVG
    2010- 158 carries & 4.1 AVG
    2011- 256 carries & 3.8 AVG
    I think that Bears are hoping that Bush can be what they had hope and failed with Taylor and Barber. With the added phase of helping in the passing game.

    This is all just wishful thinking but I believe it would be a win for all fantasy owners heading into the summer. We get back a RB1 in all formats. More of a RB1 upside in PPR formats. We also could still view Bush as a flex play(RB3) option. He just comes with a large risk of having to get into the end zone.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @David_KOA, 100% true he’s no Forte just as he’s no Run DMC and yet, the stats wre there last year. The issue with the carries might be a true stat or might be an outlier; the Raiders were in free fall late last season with all those injuries and a QB in Carson Palmer that was not ready for an NFL season. Basically, Bush was Cedric Benson in less starts. There are truly worse things to be…

      For me, I don’t see a risk of the endzone as simply how many touches he gets. I do truly see him as the goal line back given Forte’s inabilities to punch them in last season. Couple that with being a good receiver, he could make Forte’s 2012 season look like Ray Rice in 2009/2010.

      • David_KOA says:
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        @Sky,
        If Forte is to miss time(holdout or injury) or heck say he was traded. Then yes, I believe Michael Bush is a instant RB1 option(in all formats). I don’t think we see Ray Rice type numbers. He should produce solid numbers.

        When looking at Bush stat line in 2011. A big number that jumps out is his total touches from week 9-17. He was given the rock 23+ times in five of those games! Looks like that huge total, might have played a big part in his not so impressive stat line of 743 yards & four scores on 196 carries over that span.

        Being that I want to try and leave the first couple of rounds RB-RB. If I was drafting today and I pick Forte in the second. Which at this point in time, I am comfortable doing. I am making sure, I leave that draft with Michael Bush. He is coming off the board at pick 8.02(36th) RB off the board. He is a must have handcuff(top shelf) for me.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          You can’t see me but I’m nodding my head in agreeance with everything you just said. Forte is giving me Chris Johnson nightmares.

  2. David_KOA says:
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    @Sky,
    Speaking of the running back position and ADP. Looking over at FFC and see James Starks not coming off the board till 7.05(30th).

    With no Ryan Grant in the mix(as of now). His only other major competition(Alex Green) is trying to come back from a torn ACL. A 200+ carries, 40+ catchs, 1200 total yards and at least 6 total TD’s seems very with in reach.

    I will be more then happy to draft him as my RB3.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I definitely agree with you about Starks. If GB does what it did last year – get a large early lead and then drag out the clock with the run over the second half – and Starks is inserted as the de facto back, he could be very useful in deeper leagues/spot starts.

      • David_KOA says:
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        @Sky,
        A interesting stat, I came across regarding the Packers and 4th quarter leads. They threw the ball 65% of the time in that situation.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          That is interesting. With that stat, the question has to be ‘how well did they run the ball in the 4th?’. Maybe they handed the ball off for a total of 3 yards and were forced to throw on 3rd down too much and eventually gave up. I think that’s the only thing going against Starks: how committed the team will be to the running game.

          • David_KOA says:
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            @Sky,
            The Packers backfield in the 4th quarter
            James Starks- 229 yards, 4.6 avg on 50 carries
            He saw around 40% of his carries in the 4th quarter.
            Ryan Grant- 73 yards, 2.6 avg on 28 carries
            He was down right awful!

            I think if the Packers backfield stays as is for the 2012 season. James will see around 15+ touches a game. The biggest head ache, I see for owners is his lack of goal-line touches. Even though Ryan Grant will be out of the picture this year. He(Starks) will still be behind John Kuhn. We also can not forget about Mr. Rodgers sneaking 3 to 4 TD’s.

            In that offense, he will get enough touches to accumulate a good amount of yards and sprinkle in a handful of TD’s. With his current ADP, I still see good value in drafting him. You are drafting him as your RB3 but really getting a back that gives you RB2 production.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              That alone says without the Ryan Grant fly in the ointment he could very well contribute some strong numbers at a reasonable draft price. Nice find on that info!

              • David_KOA says:
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                @Sky,
                Thank you!

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