Fantasy Football Scout 2017: Matt Forte

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Playing fantasy football effectively every week is more than just seeking out flashy point scorers. Sure, guys like Will Fuller and Travis Benjamen are incredibly useful for their big-play ability but lack the reliability to be considered safe plays every week. The key to crafting the ideal fantasy team is to have both electric playmakers with high ceilings while having high-volume players that have steady statistical floors every week. While veteran running back Matt Forte may not be the dominant dynamic rusher he once was in his prime, he is still one of most reliable pass-catching packs in the NFL and has been a go-to contributor for the Jets. Although he may never breakaway for a 20-40 yard run very often, he makes the most of his opportunities, of which there are many for a Jets team that needs different players to step up each week.

Team: New York Jets
Position: Running Back
Percent Owned On Fantasy Teams: (Yahoo Fantasy): 41%
Fantasy Points Total Thru Week 7 (Half PPR): Projected: 40.50 Actual: 41

What has made Forte such a valuable asset for the Jets and fantasy owners, especially in the last two weeks, are his elite passing catching abilities. With a highly impressive catch rate of 90.9% (2nd amongst running backs), Forte is the ideal dump-off target for Josh McCown and has been a reliable PPR flex player as a result (13 receptions for 100 receiving yards in his last two games). Combined with Forte’s speed, the veteran back usually makes the most out his receiving opportunities and will certainly be an effective high-volume producer in that regard going forward.

While Forte will never be the roughly 4.5 yards per rush attempt back that he was when he played for the Bears, his breakneck speed still gives him enough of a boost to be fairly effective (four yards per carry this season). As is the case with his talents as a receiver, Forte usually makes the most of his somewhat limited opportunities when he touches the ball (5.3 yards per touch, 15th amongst running backs). He may not be the most prolific back when it comes to producing rushing yards or touchdowns (0 on the season), but his place within the Jets offense is clearly solidified when he’s healthy.

Although it would be easy to get riled up over Forte’s lack of end zone production and explosiveness as a runner, he still possesses the necessary attributes to be a respectable and dynamic running back. The fact that he can function effectively as both a runner and pass-catcher means that he is almost always guaranteed to get double-digit touches per game. Going forward, Forte is a safe flex-play that could be upgraded to a low-end running back two depending on the matchups during bye weeks.

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