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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL FREE AGENCY FALLOUT: MATT FORTE STAYS MAIN BACK WITH JETS

The free agency derby was on overdrive on Wednesday as players were officially allowed to sign on the dotted lines with their respective teams.  The running back position has been one spot filled with turnover already as Chris Ivory signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and as a result of his void, the New York Jets inked veteran Matt Forte to be his replacement.  We already discussed what Ivory's move to the Jaguars did to his fantasy football value and now Forte needs to be looked at closely as well in his new home. 

Before we delve too far on Forte, the first issue that needs to be looked at closely is his age.  Forte is your classic high-mileage back who has a ton of wear and tear in his body as he turned a very old for his position 31 last December.  Still despite his age and the perils that come with relying on a back who is 30 and older, the Jets felt comfortable investing in his multiple skills which have made Forte arguably the very best PPR back in fantasy football for the last 7 years or so.  Forte has been the epitome of a dual-threat runner/receiver in his career as he has caught as many as 102 passes in a season while rushing for as many as 1,339 yards.  Despite all the glowing numbers in his career, the Bears had zero interest in bringing him back in free agency and the track record of backs 30 or older is incredibly nasty.  One only has to look at the recent example of Steven Jackson and his awful tenure with the Atlanta Falcons as prime evidence of this. 

Be that as it may though, the Jets plan to rely a bunch on Forte as Ivory is now in Jacksonville and Bilal Powell is still sitting out there in free agency.  As far as 2015 was concerned, Forte dealt with injuries as he missed 3 games and he also rushed for a career-low 898 yards and just 4 scores.  Perhaps more troubling is that Forte averaged just 4.1 yards per carry which was almost as ugly as the 3.9 he picked up in 2014 after being a steady mid-4.00 guy.  Thus the evidence is clear that Forte has lost a bit of a step and his durability might continue to be a problem going forward as he continues to age.  On the surface though, the Jets will lean on Forte at a decent clip and in PPR formats he could slip in as a low-end RB 1 if Powell or another complementary back is not brought in.  If another back does join up with Forte, drop him into clear RB 2 status.  Either way you just don't want to pay much for a back who has as many carries as Forte has had pm top of his advancing age. 

 

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