This Fantasy Roundtable debate between the Atlanta Falcons' Steven Jackson and the Chicago Bears' Matt Forte isn't totally fair. Jackson is expected to be the Falcons' unquestioned workhorse this season, while Forte figures to share at least some duties -- particularly on the goal line -- with veteran backup Michael Bush.
As we've discussed many times, Forte has displayed many strengths in his career, among them: open-field running, receiver-like catching skills, able pass-blocking. But for whatever reason, he has been one of the NFL's worst goal-to-go runners over the past five years.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, he has converted only 12 of 98 such carries for touchdowns since joining the Bears in 2008. Bush filled that role last season, scoring five touchdowns in 11 carries.
But the discussion also reminds us to drop all previously-held assumptions about the Bears. With a new coaching staff in place for the first time in a decade, the Bears are much harder to predict. Forte might not have had much success at the goal line, but that doesn't mean new coach Marc Trestman won't want to see for himself -- or that he might not have some new ideas for getting it done.
Plus, as we discussed in May, Trestman was once the coordinator of an offense that got its starting tailback 91 receptions in a season. (Charlie Garner, Oakland Raiders, 2002). Who knows where that could take Forte from a fantasy value. That season, Garner accounted for 11 touchdowns, including four by reception. There are plenty of ways to peel the (fantasy) apple.