RB Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
HT: 6-1, WT: 217, Born: 12-10-1985, College: Tulane, Drafted: Round 2
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Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full ADP list]Overall: A Morris (11), A Green (12), Matt Forte (13), B Marshall (14), A Rodgers (15)
Position: C Spiller (10-RB9), A Morris (11-RB10), Matt Forte (13 - RB11), C Johnson (17-RB12), S Jackson (20-RB13)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: J Graham (13), J Jones (14), Matt Forte (15), D Bryant (16), A Morris (17)
Position: C Spiller (9-RB8), M Lynch (11-RB9), Matt Forte (15 - RB10), A Morris (17-RB11), M Jones-Drew (20-RB12)
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Forte benefits from the new offensive line that is finally able to open the holes for him. With the improved passing game and run blocking, Forte posts some of his best stats in years. He returns to become that big play threat from two seasons ago. Michael Bush steals a few short yardage carries but Forte still scores from long distance. He stays healthy for the first time in two years and post some of the best numbers since his rookie season.
The offense continues to struggle, and Jay Cutler reverts to throwing the ball to Brandon Marshall multiple times again. Forte and Michael Bush split touches, but Bush vultures all of the short yardage TDs and Forte's fantasy value drops from last season. His yards per carry drops back down to around 4, and his lack of TDs make him a RB2 this season. He continues the trend of missing games due to injury.
The Bears spend this summer looking to upgrade their offensive line and there's a good chance that there will be four new or relocated starters. Given how terrible the line has been for the last two season, this should be a significant upgrade to both the running and passing game. With opposing defenses focused on the passing game, Forte will face fewer seven and eight man fronts, and should have bigger holes to run through this year. If he can stay healthy, we should see more of the big plays that made him a solid fantasy player from two seasons ago. However, Michael Bush will continue to vulture short yardage carries, and could limit Forte's upside when it comes to reaching the end zone.
Latest NewsBears | Matt Forte misses practice (Tue May 21, 03:21 PM) - Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte did not participate in practice Tuesday, May 21. Forte is taking part in a two-day USO tour and is visiting troops in Germany. link to story Bears | Matt Forte preparing for bigger receiving role (Wed May 15, 10:19 AM) - Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte is preparing for a bigger role in the passing game this season. Our View: Fantasy owners need to take note here. The Marc Trestman offense is going to do wonders for the Bears offense. Obviously Forte is a key piece for the offense and will be featured as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. The Bears upgraded O-Line and added weapons in the passing game should only help open up rushing lanes in 2013. Forte's current ADP is RB14 and he's coming off the board at the beginning of round two.
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|3||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|4||at Detroit Lions|
|5||New Orleans Saints|
|6||New York Giants|
|7||at Washington Redskins|
|9||at Green Bay Packers|
|12||at St. Louis Rams|
|13||at Minnesota Vikings|
|15||at Cleveland Browns|
|16||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|17||Green Bay Packers|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Forte has a ‘quiet’ game. Quiet for a guy who churned out 120 yards from scrimmage. Forte showed veteran patience, taking what the defense was giving him, and gashing them for medium and long gains while keeping the chains moving and proving he is exactly the back that he was last season. On one particular play, Cutler checked down to him, but the ball was thrown a little long. Forte made a great one-handed grab, and broke to the open field for a bit 31 yard gain. The only ‘drawback’ to Forte was that he was definitely pulled near the goal-line, and Michael Bush is definitely the red zone back for the Bears. He’ll probably get a few TDS this season, but he will definitely lose a few to Bush as well. In the 4th quarter with the game well in hand, the Bears pulled Forte and ground out the clock with Bush.
Week 2 - Forte struggled against and aggressive Green Bay Defense this week, and he had very limited success against them before he was hurt. Forte missed a block on DJ. Smith on the first play from scrimmage, allowing Cutler to be sacked for a big 13 yard loss. He gained 12 yards on next two plays, but they were both runs up the middle because the Bears had been backed up to their own goal line. On the next series, Forte showed good patience on a sweep, waiting for the opening before diving forward for a six yard gain. Cutler tried to check down to him two plays later on third and nine, but Forte was well defended and couldn’t come up with the catch. It looked like the Packers should have been flagged for pass interference on the play, but it was not called. Near the end of the first quarter on second and 20, Forte took a screen pass from Cutler, but the Packers picked it up and he was dropped for a two yard loss. Out of the shotgun on 3rd and 22, he took the inside hand-off up the gut for seven and the Bears had to punt. Before the half, Forte released over the middle from a shotgun formation and Cutler dumped the ball to him for a nice 22 yard catch and run. It looked like the Bears would be able to move the ball a bit, but Cutler was picked off two plays later. Forte opened the second half with five touches on the first six plays. The last was a nice 14 yard catch and run from the flat, but when he was tackled, his ankle was rolled-up underneath him and he had to leave the game. He was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and he will be out for the next few games, possibly until after the bye week during week six.
Week 3 - Forte was inactive for this game. The team has said does not have a high ankle sprain as originally reported, and he could be available next week against Dallas.
Week 4 - Forte came into this game nursing an ankle injury, and after an eight yard run up the gut on the first play of the game, he walked off the field in frustration and needed to have his ankle re-taped. However, returned later in the same series and took a short screen pass but was stuffed behind the line for a loss of 3. On Chicago’s first series of the second quarter, Forte looked to be fully recovered. He gashed the Cowboys for runs of nine and 14 yards both to the outside and straight up the guy. He ran hard through arm tackles, and didn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that Dallas was getting good penetration. He finished the drive with five carries for 36 yards and it led to a Robbie Gould field goal. Dallas controlled the ball for the rest of the quarter, but Forte again took the field to start the third quarter. He had just three carries though as the Bears were moving the ball through the air and their defense was creating turnovers and scoring TDS. Forte opened the 4th quarter with three carries for just four yards before leaving the game with Chicago well out in front. He looked solid in the second quarter and should be ready to go next week against Jacksonvill
Week 5 - Matt Forte had his first 100 yard rushing game since week nine against Philadelphia last season. He ran strong against an overmatched Jacksonville defense, and finished the day with over 125 yards from scrimmage. He could have had even more if the Bears would have continued to run the ball. Forte looked like he could gash the Jaguars for three to five yards every time he touched the ball. He had six carries in the first quarter and only one of them was for less than five yards. On one run, Cutler audibled to a run after seeing the defense spread out to cover the four WR on third and five. Forte took an inside hand-off up the gut, cut back and rumbled for a big 10 yard gain and a 1st down. Three plays later, Forte went off tackle, hesitated a step and then exploded through the line for another 14 yards. Forte’s two catches came with under two minutes to play in the first half. Jacksonville had just fumbled the ball deep in Chicago territory, and the Bears were looking to get out of trouble first, and possibly score before the half. Forte initially stayed in to block, then released into the flat, where Cutler hit him for a short eight yard gain. On the next play, Cutler checked-down to Forte who had a nice 12 yard catch and run to put the Bears near mid-field. He might have had another pass come his way on the next play, but he was tripped up running through the line as he released, and Cutler was forced to scramble and go to Kellen Davis instead. Cutler went to him once more just before the half, but the ball was thrown too low and it fell incomplete. In the second half, Forte was slowed down a bit, and he finished the third quarter with only four carries for five yards. In the fourth however, he continued to dominate the Jaguars, and he had six carries of four or more yards, before giving way to Armando Allen when the game was well out of Jacksonville’s reach.
Week 7 - Matt Forte was the workhorse for the Bears in this game, despite being held in check on almost every play. The Lions were ready for any check downs or screens to Forte and he finished the game with just three receptions for four yards. 12 of his 22 carries were for two yards or less, and his biggest play came in the first three minutes of the game. After opening the game with two runs up the gut that were stuffed, Forte took a handoff and ran off-tackle, splitting the defense on the left side and raced untouched into the defensive secondary. By the time the Lions were able to recover, Forte was 39 yards down the field, setting up Chicago’s only TD pass to Brandon Marshall on the next play. He had a nice eight yard run up the gut on a shotgun delay, where he cut back across the middle, juked and powered forward for solid gain on 2nd and 10. Three plays later, Forte showed good patience on a sweep, following his blockers and picking his way forward for five yards on 1st and 10. Unfortunately he was stuffed on the next run, a sweep to the right and after a sack and a blocked field goal, the Bears came up empty handed. With Jay Cutler in the locker room for X-Rays on his ribs and Jason Campbell at QB, the Bears turned to Forte to close out the half – and they called his number four times in a row to end the second quarter, the longest play being a nine yard run up the right side of the field. In the second half, it was more of the same – with Forte’s longest run coming in the third quarter. He carried the ball four times in five plays, starting with a solid five yard run on 1st and 12 after a false start penalty. On the next play he cut to the outside after clearing the line, and burst up field for an 11 yard gain from his own eight yard line. The Lions clamped down though and Forte’s next carry was just for one yard, and the quick pass to him hit the ground well before he could come up with it. Late in the game, with under three minutes to play, the Bears ran Forte three times up the gut to grind the clock. He was stuffed twice and had a nice six yard run in the middle. He finished just short of 100 yards rushing, but worked for every yard.
Week 8 - If you were still worried Matt Forte would split carries with Mike Bush, this game wiped those fears away. Forte got almost all the carries and had a very effective game. So much so that it’s hard to fathom not running him more when the offense was struggling for three quarters. Forte ran with authority, made defenders miss and sometimes bowled them over. On his touchdown run late in the first, he took a delayed handoff from Jay Cutler and blew through the hole the offensive line had opened for him. Then he turned on the speed and ran almost untouched for the score. A few plays earlier, he took a handoff from Cutler and went right, speeding around the corner and getting to the second level before Carolina could even react. Forte actually had a lot of success getting to the corner and turning it for positive yards. Forte was very effective all day, alternately showing tremendous speed and a willingness to run hard through trash. He also looked very effective receiving the ball. Again, though, it is a mystery why Forte wasn’t used more by the Bears when the passing offense was so clearly struggling for much of the game. Forte had a good game—he could have had a huge game though.
Week 9 - Forte played great today as well, as he rewarded his owners with some strong play. Forte started his day by bouncing off of three defenders and then dragging the entire pile into the endzone for an 8 yard TD. Later in the half, Forte took a screen pass, and made two beautiful cuts at full speed, streaking from the right side, to the left side and getting 47 yards downfield. Then in the 3rd quarter, he made one cut and then exploded through a big hole, as the Titans only had 6 defenders in the box, and he burst downfield for 46 yards. Forte looks so smooth and effortless when he runs. Those two big runs helped Forte 148 yards despite only getting 14 touches. Forte obviously would have been used more if the game had been closer, but he barely played in the 4th quarter and the defensive TD’s kept the offense off of the field.
Week 10 - Matt Forte was completely shut down in this game. Between the poor weather conditions and the relentless Houston defense, Forte was never able to get anything going. Of his 18 touches, only one of them went for a first down. It came on back to back carries to start the second half which turned out to be his longest carries of the day – seven and eight yard plunges up the gut to start the second half. Aside from those two carries, Forte had just 21 total yards from scrimmage. Even when the Bears tried to swing it to him on a pass out of the backfield, Forte was stopped for no gain on one and dropped for a three yard loss late in the game. On a day when the Chicago offense struggled to throw the ball, Forte’s lack of production only magnified their total lack of offense.
Week 11 - No matter how far behind Chicago got they didn’t abandon the run, even calling five run plays on their final drive while behind 32-7. Unfortunately for Forte, the amount of touches didn’t result in a productive day, as the running back met contact at the line of scrimmage on almost every run. There were times when the Chicago offensive line was able to open a hole, and though Forte was able to hit these holes hard, the San Francisco defense was always able to cap the run at the second level. Without any blockers creating gaps in the second level, Forte was only able to pick up four or five yard gains at best. As the game wore on, Forte looked slower to the hole as the defense filled gaps. Chicago tried to get Forte in space with screens, but Patrick Willis made numerous plays to beat the blocker and stop screens before any yards could be gained. With success in the passing game, perhaps some holes could have opened up as the game wore on, but the passing game was even more disastrous than the running game, and Forte was left running in to walls of defenders on every touch.
Week 12 - Matt Forte was only marginally effective running the ball during the first 2 ½ quarters of the game before leaving with an ankle injury mid-way through the third quarter. Until that point, Forte’s longest run from scrimmage was just six yards, and he was averaging just three yards per carry. The four yards that he had receiving were on a play where Jay Cutler was under pressure and nearly sacked. Cutler lofted a lame duck pass in Forte’s direction on 3rd and 13, but Forte was able to come down with it for just a four yard gain. It killed the second series of the game for the Bears. Forte also had his first fumble of the season on the opening carry –where his arm hit Evan Rodriguez as he ran by him and the ball popped out and Minnesota recovered. The injury play was late in the third quarter, and was also nearly a fumble that Minnesota returned for a TD. But the replay showed that Forte’s knees were down before he was bent backwards and the ball was stripped out. He was considered down and he had to be helped off the field. Forte was visibly limping on the sideline and limped back into the locker room. His status for next week and beyond is currently unknown.
Week 13 - Forte started the game slow, with his first four carries being stuffed for a total of negative two rushing yards. He had marginal success as the game wore on, but overall his running was contained pretty well by the Seattle defense. While nothing specific contributed to Forte’s poor day rushing the ball, the poor blocking on the offensive line certainly contributed. Forte frequently was met at the line of scrimmage or even in the backfield, and he struggled to make any progress between the tackles or when he tried to bounce it outside. His first positive yards came on a nice designed screen late in the first quarter, and Forte was able to break it for 11 yards and a first down on 3rd and 10. He had four more carries on the drive for 17 yards total, but was stopped short of the first down early in the second quarter and Michael Bush wasn’t able to pick it up either. The Bears leaned on him heavily in the third quarter, but his longest run was just a 10 yard off tackle that he was able to break to the outside and power up field. He ended the drive though being split out wide to the left and cutting across the middle on a slant, making a diving catch and sliding into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. His last two carries were a delayed handoff, good for seven yards on 3rd and 21 and the 2 yard run to center the ball for Robbie Gould’s game-tying field goal as time expired.
Week 14 - The Stat sheet might show that Forte did OK in this game, but the truth of the matter is that Chicago abandoned the run in the second half of this game, and over half of his receiving yards came on the final drive of the game. While Adrian Peterson opened the game with a huge first quarter, Forte struggled with just four carries for 11 yards and one reception for a one yard loss. Forte was most effective when going off tackle and bouncing to the outside, depending on how the Vikings were rushing the QB. In the second quarter he had a nice 15 yard run on a delay, where he showed good patience, and picked his way forward for a nice run. It turned out to be his best play of the half though, and the only other play of note was an eight yard screen with under a minute to play in the first half. Forte opened the third quarter for the Bears with five touches on Chicago’s first drive, but it only resulted in 25 yards from scrimmage. At the end of the third quarter, Forte had his longest run of the day, a 36 yard off tackle sprint where he bounced it to the outside and was able to get around the defenders for a huge gain. In the 4th quarter though, the Bears only used him as a receiver on the final drive, and he did have a nice catch on a deep crossing route where he lined up on the outside, then cut across the middle for an 18 yard gain. It set up the TD pass to Brandon Marshall two plays later.
Week 15 - The Bears started things off by leaning on Forte for four straight Forte runs to start the game, and the running back delivered for 37 yards on that opening gambit. Then Packer nose tackle B.J. Raji started getting into the backfield and it pretty much fell apart. Forte was hit often behind the line, either by Raji or Clay Matthews. Even when they didn’t take him down, they slowed him enough for someone else to do it. Forte did have a very nice run called back on a Gabe Carimi penalty where the running back saw the hole closing and made a pretty cutback so he could get to the edge. On the other hand, without that hold, Forte doesn’t get away. One of his best runs came in the middle of the 2nd quarter. Forte took the ball deep in the backfield on a play which looks like it was designed for an off tackle/up the middle run. However, Forte instantly saw he wasn’t going to get any yards going that way, and switched directions to head outside. He shows some tremendous speed as he heads to the corner, leaving one defender grasping for air as he turns upfield and gains a first down. He finishes by lowering his shoulder and delivering a great hit on the tacklers. The Bears fell behind and got away from the run game, but still threw the ball to Forte quite a bit on checkdowns and screens, both of which were effective. They haven’t been doing that as much this season, so hopefully this is something they’ll do more of in the last two games because it works.
Week 16 - Forte left the game with an ankle injury and while he seemed to be begging the staff to let him back in, there was no point given the beating the team was giving the Cardinals without him. When Forte was in the game he had great success behind a line which was opening some huge holes for him, particularly on his touchdown where he got into the end zone virtually untouched. Most of the time the offensive line did a good job of getting him off the line before first contact and when they couldn’t Forte continues to break tackles and make defenders miss regularly. Forte’s injury is reportedly not serious and he wants to play next week. Given how vital it is (Chicago has to win if they even want a chance to make the playoffs) he likely will. On the downside, he was seen leaving the stadium in a walking boot and the ankle he injured is the same one which has bothered him for some time. The Bears face a tough decisions in that they need him to win, but they do not want to cost themselves his services if they make the playoffs because they abused him. As for this game, Forte showed his power and vision once again in his one half of play pre-injury and if healthy, will continue to be a force for the Bears.
Week 17 - Forte was extremely effective at running the ball, and he showed no signs that his ankle injury was slowing him down. He ran with authority up the gut, made solid cut backs and showed good power and speed when trying to get to the outside. His longest run was just 13 yards, but on the play he was running left, then stopped on a dime and cut back to the middle. The defense was caught off guard and when they tried to adjust, Forte quickly changed direction and ran back the other way for another four yards. On the final drive of the game, Forte had another nice 13 yard run where he powered up the middle, was hit and dragged his tackler another three yards to get the first down and put the game away. Forte also had a nice 18 yard catch and run screen in the 1st quarter. The Lions had the play well defended, but Forte showed good patience and used his blocker well, cutting back when the defense tried to close down on him and running for another 10 yards.