Yes, Matt Forte is now a free agent and it doesn’t appear he will be back with the Chicago Bears in 2016.
While the veteran has easily surpassed 1,000-total yards every season since entering the league in 2008, the Bears are likely to move on from Forte for two reasons (outside of money):
- Jeremy Langford
Forte just turned 30 in December, and he was considered one of the most overused running backs dating back to 2014.
He was still productive in 2015 Fantasy Football leagues despite only playing a 13-game season, but his outliers from 2014 made Fantasy players expect a lot more from him.
From 2008 until 2013, Forte averaged 486.5 receiving yards per season. He also averaged two touchdown receptions per year.
But in 2014, the 30-year old running back basically turned into a wide receiver. He caught 102 passes, recorded 808 receiving yards and caught four touchdown passes.
Especially in PPR leagues, Forte’s involvement in the passing attack is what made him so valuable. He only finished with the 12th-most rushing yards (1,038) for running backs in 2014.
The brass will also feel comfortable to move on from Forte because of Langford. He stalled in Week 11 against the stellar defense of the Denver Broncos, but he rushed for 145 yards, two rushing touchdowns, recorded 179 receiving yards and caught a touchdown pass between Weeks 9-10 when Forte was sidelined.
So whenever the Bears decide to make it official, what is next for Forte?
Matt Forte and the 2016 Fantasy Football Season
Forte has been linked to the New England Patriots, but there isn’t any concrete information to support that idea.
Forte did say he wanted to win a Super Bowl and he didn’t care about money at this point, which would make New England a nice, new home for the veteran back. But the Patriots have a young Dion Lewis and should be able to reach a new deal with LeGarrette Blount.
It’s true that the Patriots had to go as far as signing Montee Ball and Steven Jackson because of how decimated the backfield became, but that doesn’t mean the organization will suddenly shell out millions of dollars for Forte.
If the Patriots don’t reach a deal with Blount, that is when a contract with Forte would make the most sense.
Despite the uncertainty, Forte is still being drafted near the end of Round 3 on FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
I would personally feel more comfortable drafting him in Round 4 right at this moment, but everything depends on where he signs. As a featured back, Forte would obviously have the chance to be more productive. But his age and a large workload could create more injuries.
If he’s in a time share, he could play a full 16-game season. But, his workload would be split and his production for Fantasy Football purposes could be extremely limited.
It’s a tricky situation. Our only option is to play the waiting game.