Spin Doctors: What running back would you rather invest in for fantasy, Matt Forte or Justin Forsett?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Spin Doctors: What running back would you rather invest in for fantasy, Matt Forte or Justin Forsett?
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Offensive architect Marc Trestman switched hats this offseason going from Chicago to Baltimore. What affiliated running back will churn out more fantasy production: The former, Matt Forte (10.1 ADP), or the current, Justin Forsett (21.5)? Fanalysts Brad Evans and Liz Loza disagree completely. Read. Ponder. And insult the loser in the comments section below. 

[Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

Liz sings "Sweet Home Chicago:" Don't fall victim to simplistic plug-and-play analysis... 

Forte caught more balls than any other RB in the league last year.

He did that in Trestman’s offense.

Trestman is now the Ravens’ offensive coordinator.

Forsett is the Ravens lead back.

Whoah! Forsett is going to catch over 100 balls too!

To be fair, I like Forsett. And I think he could put up RB2 numbers. But to rank him above a Pro-Bowl talent like Forte is shortsighted.

A fantasy mainstay since his rookie outing, Forte has consistently produced RB1 numbers, falling outside of the top 12 prospects at the position only twice (and one of those times was in 2011 when he finished as the RB13).

Known for his sure hands, the dual threat RB has also rushed for over 1,000 yards in five of the seven years he’s been in the league. What’s even more impressive is that he’s done all of this while staying remarkably intact, having missed a mere five regular season games over the length of his career.

Coach John Fox has openly stated that he wants to employ a more balanced and run-friendly offense in 2015. So yes, Forte’s receiving stats are bound to regress. However, Fox has never been blessed with a pass-catching weapon of Forte’s caliber before. Additionally, he’ll be bringing offensive coordinator Adam Gase with him, who, over the past two years, has successfully utilized receivers out of the backfield. In fact, both Knowshon Moreno and C.J. Anderson averaged nearly 4 receptions per game in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Furthermore, Forte’s rushes should see an uptick under the new regime. When Denver recognized Peyton’s failing arm and shifted their focus to the ground attack – from Weeks 12 through 17 - Anderson averaged over 23 rushing attempts per game. While I don’t think Forte will carry the rock that often, he should get upwards of 18 touches per game.

Forsett may have won hearts with the feel-good story of 2014, but Forte has been a stud for the better part of a decade. He’s the top dog in Chicago with a burst-less Jacquizz Rodgers and fourth-round pick Jeremy Langford far behind him on the depth chart. Forsett could easily lose touches to either/both of the younger and beefier power backs on Baltimore’s roster (Pst… keep an eye on Buck Allen).

Perhaps not the PPR dynamo he was under Trestman, Forte is a proven commodity who will continue to pay dividends.  

Brad quotes the Raven: The arguments against trusting Forsett this year are your run-of-the-mill RB clichés:  

He’s too small to handle a heavy workload.

He’s bound to break down.

He’s 30 years old, which means he’ll self-destruct.

He’s a one-year wonder … 

Ignore the played-out narratives and the Raven will reward you with a vault full of statistical treasures. 

The scheme and situation in Trestman’s offense are crafted perfectly to maximize his versatile skill set. Just look at what Forte, a rusher of similar ilk though larger in size, accomplished in the system. Last year, he set a new RB record for receptions in a season (102) and totaled 1,846 yards with 10 touchdowns. 

[Fantasy Draft Guide: Safest Bets Busts | Sleepers | Breakout Candidates | Top Rookies]

More importantly, we can’t overlook what Forsett accomplished in his breakout campaign saving the organization in wake of the Ray Rice incident. Behind the fourth-best offensive line in terms of run blocking according to Pro Football Focus, he slashed and accelerated his way to 1,529 combined yards with eight touchdowns and 44 receptions. His 5.4 ypc set the pace among RBs with 500 or more snaps. He also ranked top-12 in breakaway percentage (No. 1) and elusive rating (12). Even though a different marshal will call the offensive shots this year, the zone-blocking scheme Gary Kubiak installed last season has been retained, a system that plays to the strengths of a patient, one-cut runner like Forsett.

Whether via ground or air, well-rounded RBs are always the focal point in a Trestman offense. That’s why many writers walking the Baltimore beat project as many as 75 receptions for the pint-sized rusher. And that could be a conservative estimate. Throw in roughly 1300-1500 yards and 8-10 TDs, and he’s sure to be the toast of the town in PPR.

Yes, Forte’s king of consistency crown still sparkles. He’s tucked inside the RB top-12 in fantasy points per game five times in seven seasons. Once again slated to handle a hefty load, he’s the crutch John Fox will lean on in a more traditional power attack. However, a reduced role in the pass game combined with his high mileage (2,315 career touches) raise doubt. Most worrisome, Chicago’s offensive line isn’t nearly as rigid as Baltimore's 

Bottom line, Forsett is more bang for the buck.

Follow Liz (@LizLoza_FF) and Brad (@YahooNoise) on Twitter 

More fantasy advice from Yahoo Sports