News of Matt Forte’s MCL strain and absence for the next 2-6 weeks has caused serious issues for fantasy owners vying for titles. This is the time he’s needed most, but now we are left picking from the leftovers and trying to piece together a viable championship team.
If you are thinking that you are going to simply pick up Marion Barber as a replacement, Michael C. Wright (via Twitter) has the following quote from head coach Lovie Smith regarding Marion Barber:
”He’s a different running back than Matt Forte. Kahlil can probably do more of the things that Matt Forte does.”
The Professor’s Thoughts:
It would still appear that Marion Barber will be the better back moving forward, but he’s not necessarily going to be the “main” back in Chicago. Both Barber and Bell received one target in the passing game in Week 13, though neither had a completion. Barber, though, did receive more carries:
- Marion Barber – 14 carries for 44 yards
- Kahlil Bell – 4 carries for 34 yards
Most of Bell’s yardage came on one carry (26 yards). Obviously the Bears are going to need to change their offensive philosophy, as you can’t depend on either back to simply simply what Matt Forte was able to do (997 yards rushing and 490 yards receiving). They will likely use Barber for the majority of the runs up the middle, with Bell possibly working the runs outside the tackle.
In fact, with Caleb Hanie likely remaining the team’s quarterback, would it be a major surprise if the Bears allowed him to run the ball more often?
The bottom line is that this situation is a wild card and it is impossible to predict at this point. If you are desperate for a replacement I would go with Barber, but check out the waiver wire and see what else is available. Hopefully there is a more dependable option for you to grab.