It is one thing to lose your first round fantasy football draft pick in the first or second week of the season. It’s another to lose him the week before your playoffs. Welcome to the Matt Forte fantasy nightmare.
Fantasy owners watched on Sunday in anguish as their prized first round draft pick went down holding his knee. The top 10 and in some cases, top 5 fantasy RB going into the season was already giving owners sleepless nights when Jay Cutler went down. But now, Forte owners are just in an all out panic.
Forte has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, with no damage done to his ACL. The good news is that Forte is scheduled to be back. The bad news is that he isn’t likely to return for at least two weeks, just enough time for you to get bounced out of the playoffs.
Let me be clear. None of these guys are going to come in and shoot you to the playoffs. Even Matt Forte on his own with a crap team around him wasn’t going to be enough. So I am assuming that if you own Forte and are in the playoffs, you have a strong team around him. I can’t imagine anyone sneaking in otherwise, although I have seen some strange things in my history of playing fantasy football.
So with that said, here are some quick fixes for your Matt Forte problem.
CJ Spiller, Buffalo Bills – CJ is still out there on some wires and I have no idea why. He is a rare case of fantasy player that could be plugged in at either a RB or WR position. He had nice numbers on Sunday and will continue to be the featured back of the Bills offense. Between his plays as a wide receiver and running back, he will easily be getting 20-25 touches a game. He has San Diego next week who have been gashed several times this season on the ground. He’s my overall top sub for Forte owners if you are lucky to get him.
Maurice Morris, Detroit Lions – Detroit is finally acknowledging their lack of running attack and have made a concerted effort to incorporate more runs in their game plan. Kevin Smith is having a hard time staying on the field for four quarters, thus the veteran Morris is getting his chances. The Lions have been running more at the goal-line and with Smith out, Morris is bound to get some chances. He is probably the most gettable guy at the top of the list, but probably the furthest from anyone of being even remotely close to a sure thing. He also has a great matchup this week against a Minnesota Vikings team that was just shredded on the ground by the Denver Broncos.
Marion Barber, Chicago Bears – Barber is the obvious choice as Forte’s backup, but is he the smartest choice? The reason Barber did so well this season in spelling Forte is that he had limited carries and took advantage of a defense that Forte had beaten down. With Forte out of the game, Barber managed just a measly 44 yards on Sunday to the Chiefs. He is better than nothing, but with this current offense that may be about exactly what you get from him.
Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts – After a disappointing start to the season, Brown has a touchdown in each of his last two games. I am still hesitant to get on the Don Brown train but as a Forte owner you don’t have the luxury of being picky. The Colts have some tough games coming up, but it is very possible that teams like the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens look past the Colts or blow them out to the point that the Colts get some garbage time points.