NFL Draft Fantasy Fallout - Matt Forte

When you first heard that the Bears drafted a running back with in the second round, your reaction was probably "Aaargh!" as it seemed another team had decided to move from a single running back to a running back by committee.  OK, maybe it was only me.  But fear not, gentle reader, for this is actually good news.  Matt Forte (44th overall) comes not to compliment Cedric Benson, but to bury him.

482566_mediumAs any fantasy owner knows, Cedric Benson is not that good.  The injury-prone Benson finished last season with 674 rushing yards, a 3.4 yard per rush average and four rushing touchdowns.  To be fair, the quarterback carousel and underwhelming receiving corps in Chicago hasn’t helped, but most of the blame for the terrible rushing game has to fall on Benson.  Forte was a strong candidate to take over for Benson the minute he was drafted, but with Benson’s recent problems it becomes even more likely.

Benson was charged with Boating While Intoxicated recently and now is likely to face a suspension from the NFL.  Even if he escapes a suspension, the Bears are probably ready to get past all the negatives Benson brings to the team and the clubhouse.

With the Bears spending their first round pick on building-sized OT Chris Williams, there is every opportunity for Forte to succeed.  At 6’2" and 222 lbs, Forte is the type of power back the Bears need to grind out yards in the frozen tundra (three of their four December games are at home this season, two of those at night) at Soldier Field.  If Benson is suspended, Forte should be able to muscle past the other Adrian Peterson to grab the starting role.  I’m not too worried about a Benson-Forte committee either.  Either Forte will take over from Benson and be the sole starter, or Forte will be so bad that even Cedric Benson will be a better choice.  I’m going to predict the former option.

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