#22 at #1- Why I’m Taking Matt Forte First Overall

Shaun McComb
July 26, 2014

I’m sure everyone has heard plenty of clichés informing you like public service announcements that leagues are won during the middle rounds of the draft and you can’t win your league with your first round pick, but you can lose it. While I tend to agree with those remarks, the most important pick you will make in your snake draft will be your first round selection. You want this pick to give you a weekly edge at his position in points scored and that is why I am taking Matt Forte number 1 overall.

On the surface the Chicago running back does nothing transcendent. He won’t have many, if any, Madden-esque, jaw dropping highlights, but he is far from a back that will only get what is blocked for him. He will be on the field for all 3 downs and he may be the best receiving back in the league in terms of blitz pickup, hands, and route running skills, especially when you factor in coach Marc Trestman’s affinity for throwing to the running back out of the backfield.

First let’s look at the competition for number 1 overall. You have last season’s high scorer at the RB position, Jamaal Charles who has 3 new starters on his offensive line, and we will probably see a drop in his total touchdowns (19) based on the line shakeup and the fact that he probably won’t see 104 targets in the receiving game again this season and he bested his career high in receptions by 25 in 2013. Also, there hasn’t been a player to lead the league in touchdowns in back to back seasons since Shaun Alexander did it in 2004 and 2005.

LeSean McCoy now has Darren Sproles eating into his receiving potential which is no small detail. We have seen the diminutive back catch over 70 passes every season since he left San Diego. With the speed that Chip Kelly likes to run his offense, players tend to get “stuck” on or off the field because it is more important to Kelly to get the next play off rather than change personnel. This may be a problem if the offense gets rolling with Sproles in and could limit McCoy’s touches. Also, the emergence of Nick Foles as a fantasy and reality stud could have the most run heavy team from a year ago tipping the tendency from run heavy to more a balanced or slightly pass heavy attack.

Adrian Peterson is always capable of recapturing his form from 2012, but with a new coaching regime that will showcase Norv Turner’s propensity to air it out, I wouldn’t bet my chances on the 29 year old that already saw the lowest yardage and touchdown total of his career in 2013. Peterson has always faced more defenders in the box than most running backs, but with Matt Cassel or Teddy Bridgewater at the helm, I’m not confident that they can take any of the defensive game planning away from AP.

That brings us to Forte, and if you delve into his 2013 stats under then first year coach Marc Trestman you’ll see over 1,300 rushing yards, 74 catches for 594 yards and 12 total touchdowns behind an offensive line that graded out as 19th best in the league, according to ProFootballFocus.com, while starting 2 rookies on the right side. That is a huge leap up from 30th, which the unit ranked in 2012. If the line can realize another marginal step forward in 2014 and you factor in the fact that Forte battled an ankle injury up until the week 8 bye last season it isn’t hard to envision a 1,450 yard, 75 for 600, and 16 total TD campaign for Mr. Forte in 2014. That would make him the number 1 non-QB player according to my projections. Couple that with the reports that the training wheels are being taken off of an already lethal offense that was 2nd only to the Broncos in points per game last year, and you have a recipe for huge year from Forte.

Obviously I am a fan of Marc Trestman’s system from a fantasy perspective and I believe enough in Matt Forte’s natural ability, combined with the opportunity stemming from that system, to be on board, driving, and collecting tickets for the Matt Forte bandwagon. You can get on now or try to find a seat later in the year after you bear witness, but one way or another, you’ll be climbing atop the #22 Express from Chicago to Fantasy Title Land.


3 Responses to #22 at #1- Why I’m Taking Matt Forte First Overall

  1. John says:

    as long as you are @peace…will end in top 5 or better, if all goes well

  2. Steve Gallo says:

    Congrats on publishing the very first article in the #PayItForwardWritersProject

    Good luck with the rest of your writing career.

  3. Drew B says:

    Shaun, you are almost getting a Packer’s fan to select Forte at the 1 spot but no I couldn’t do that. Also check out http://www.statchat.com if you play in a league you can get it nationally ranked now. Thanks.

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