Breaking down the Jets' backfield

ESPN - [Full Article]

It's all about Matt Forte, who will be asked to replace 1,000-yard rusher Chris Ivory as the lead dog in the Jets' backfield. Forte will be highly motivated after getting the cold shoulder from his forever team, the Chicago Bears. Forte, 30, is battling Father Time and a cranky knee that sparked some concern in free agency, but he's said to be healthy and rejuvenated as he approaches his ninth season. His workload will be an ongoing story. As a three-down back for the Bears, he averaged 315 touches (rushes and receptions) per year. That's a bit steep for an aging runner, so look for a time-share system with Bilal Powell.

There was a noticeable improvement last season in Powell's speed and quickness. He set career highs in yards per rush (4.5) and receptions (47), becoming a valuable member of the offense. He was the ideal complement to the bruising Ivory, but the dynamics have changed. Powell and Forte have similar skill sets, so it'll be interesting to how it plays out in terms of role definition.

Khiry Robinson could wind up as the short-yardage/goal-line back (fantasy alert). Don't be surprised if he starts camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Robinson sat out the offseason as he recovered from a broken leg, but he should be good to go in the preseason.

Fantasy Impact: 

Forte may lose carries to Powell and/or Robinson, and is unlikely to score many rushing touchdowns. But if he's utilized regularly in the slot, he should be able to catch at least 50 passes, maybe more. Jets running backs caught a total of 90 balls last season under OC Chan Gailey. Forte hasn’t finished outside the top 12 in PPR formats in his eight-year career.

Filed Under: 2016, Preseason

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