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Fantasy Take: Matt Forte Out, Michael Bush Good For Next 108 Carries

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Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte left last night's game in the third quarter with what has been determined to be a high-ankle sprain. He's out for at least four weeks, probably longer. So everyone is clamoring over Forte's handcuff, Michael Bush. Bush will be considered a must-own, but for only about 108 more carries.

Let us explain.

In 2011, Bush became the lead back for the Oakland Raiders when Darren McFadden suffered his season ending injury in Week 7. Over the course of the next nine games, Bush showed that he doesn't possess featured-back type of endurance.

With Bush's first 134 carries of the 2011 season he was able to earn a 4.44 yard average every time he ran the ball. He was effective and looked dominant in Oakland's offense. Then came the true test—the last-half of the season.

Over his final 122 carries of the season, Bush managed a weak 3.13 yards per carry. It was evident that he could not carry the backfield on his own. Perhaps that's why Chicago has already called Steve Slaton to put on a Matt Forte costume. 

Either way, we ran the numbers and have determined that Bush is good for his next 108 carries (when he was banging away for 4.44 yards per carry). And that's being generous. 

So far this season Bush has shown that he may not even make it to the half-way point before he starts breaking down. He had 12 carries in Week 1 and was able to gain 42 yards. For those counting at home, that's 3.5 YPC. All was forgiven in Week 1, however, because he rumbled into the end zone twice.  

Last night, Bush was unable to breach the 4.0 YPC mark, as well. He had 14 carries for 54 yards, or 3.9 YPC. Some Bush owners who were expecting to see at least one more touchdown poached from Forte were disappointed. And now the real concern sets in. 

What exactly will Bush's role be now? Will Bush hold up over the next several weeks while Forte's ankle heals? And will the Bears sign Slaton, or perhaps Ryan Grant, and make the backfield cluttered again?

Some say to keep Bush and use him as a solid RB2. He is a goal line back and will get a monster's share of the carries.

Our advice is to trade Bush while he has high fantasy appeal. He's easily shopped given that he is the "featured" back in the Bears offense, and he plays against the Rams in Week 3 and Jags in Week 5 (Dallas in Week 4 is no bueno). 

You could possibly land a solid No. 2 wideout for Bush. So those with Pierre Garcon hurting or Greg Jennings ailing on their rosters, use Bush wisely. 

Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins Bio

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).

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Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).