Matt Forte: Is He Better With Cutler or McCown?


While many people were focused on how Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery would perform with Jay Cutler, I didn’t really hear anything about how Matt Forte would be effected. Granted, this switch really doesn’t seem like it would have much of an effect on Forte, but I still wanted to see what Forte’s production looked like when he had different quarterbacks running the show. Here is what I found.

To start, I did not include Week 7 in the data as McCown was just thrown into the game with Cutler’s injury, and I did not include Week 10 as Cutler still seemed to be hurt from his groin injury.

With Cutlers starts in Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 15, here are Forte’s averages.

Carries- 17.71

Rushing Yards- 81.28

Passing Targets- 6.28

Receiving Yards- 35.42

Here are Forte’s numbers when McCown started in Week 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14

Carries- 20.2 

Rushing Yards- 101.4 

Passing Targets- 6.8

Receiving Yards- 48

While McCown has a smaller body of work than Cutler and has been said to have faced a somewhat cushy schedule, Forte still seems to be more productive in the offense with McCown under center. The carries and passing targets are somewhat similar, but Forte has the ability to turn a few more carries and catches into huge gains. Some of the most staggering numbers I saw were that Forte is averaging 20.12 more rushing yards a game with McCown, and 12.58 more receiving yards. That is at least three extra fantasy points per game when McCown is quarterback, and as some of you may know, 3 points can be the difference between a fantasy football championship and finishing third or fourth.

Now, you may be wondering if Alshon Jeffrey was more productive under Cutler or McCown, and that Jeffrey could be the reason why Forte was less productive under Cutler. Jeffrey actually averages 103.6 receiving yards a game with McCown, and only 61.14 with Cutler. Even with Jeffrey much more active when McCown started, Forte still saw an increase in his numbers.

Forte will be productive no matter what, and under no circumstance should you sit the third highest scoring running back in standard fantasy football scoring formats. If you are projected to loose your Week 16 matchup by 3 points though, you may want to start a letter writing campaign to get McCown back as the starter as soon as possible.

Categories: Fantasy Football

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