Matt Forte: Bears RB Not Reliable Enough to Carry Your Fantasy Team in Week 13

Ethan GrantAnalyst IDecember 1, 2012

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

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte injured his oft-talked about ankle last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, but it appears he'll be ready for his Week 13 tilt with the Seattle Seahawks.

However, with the fantasy football playoffs looming and running back being arguably the most crucial position for teams down the stretch, it isn't smart to make Forte your last hope for winning this week.

If faced with the option to bench Forte for a better option, jump on it.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, there is little doubt that Forte will be in the starting lineup on Sunday. He's been to practice over the course of the week, and Friday helped confirm his status.

#Bears LB Lance Briggs, CB Charles Tillman, RB Matt Forte, TE Kellen Davis all practiced again today so looking good for Sunday.

— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) November 30, 2012

It's great news for the Bears, as their tandem of Forte and Michael Bush has stifled opposing defenses all season. The Bears are averaging 121 yards per game on the ground, good for 10th in the league, so they rely on the run game to make quarterback Jay Cutler's job easier.

But there are too many factors working against Chicago's starting running back to make him your best option on Sunday.

For starters, it's troubling that Michael Bush was elevated to RB1 status by many at the time of Forte's injury. That was the case with fantasy guru John Paulsen, who noted as much earlier in the week.

If Matt Forte has a high-ankle sprain, Michael Bush will likely start for the rest of the fantasy season. He'd be in fringe RB1 territory.

— John Paulsen (@4for4_John) November 26, 2012

The opponent this week doesn't lend any favors to the Bears, either.

Seattle is the fifth-best team at defending against the fantasy running back this year. Disregard the 27-point output last week by Miami, and they would be in the top three.

It's a physical front seven for the Seahawks, and the coverage skills of the secondary is going to make it possible to stack the box against big fronts and force Forte and Bush to make guys miss. That won't be easy for Forte, who is going to have to test that ankle out early.

It hasn't been a great year for a guy who was drafted high in most leagues. He's only scored 97 points in standard leagues, good for 20th at his position. Forte also only has three rushing touchdowns all season—the most recent coming against the porous Tennessee Titans defense.

It's time to write this season off for Forte. If he surprises us all as a flex play, then so be it. But if you are relying on Forte to carry your team to the playoffs or to a deciding victory, then you are in a bad spot this weekend.


Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.