Jeremy Langford Fantasy & Keeper Value Without Matt Forte

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Matt Forte’s time with the Chicago Bears has ended, meaning the team will feature a new lead back in 2016. Last year was supposed to be Forte’s year, but a knee injury in a contract season hurt his value. The real breakout performance belonged to Langford, who scored a touchdown in four straight weeks during Forte’s absence. That stretch was enough to force a committee system when Forte returned, signaling the beginning of the end for Chicago’s franchise back. Now that Forte won’t rejoin the team next year, the starting job appears to be Langford’s to lose.

Without Forte, the Langford hype will build heading into next season. But like we saw in Carolina last season, just because the committee is over doesn’t mean the numbers will explode. And even while Langford was getting the lion’s share of carries, his numbers were far from keeper-worthy. Langford never finished a game with over 100 yards rushing, and had just one run of over 20 yards. Langford’s numbers are similar to Antonio Andrews of the Titans, if that gives you some reference as to his fantasy value.

It’s true that running backs are harder to find, and Langford’s consistency is a positive for his fantasy stock. But Langford only scored multiple touchdowns once, and struggled in the passing game. Overall, his value was only slightly better than average for the 2015 season.

Langford could prove a solid mid-round pickup next season, but shouldn’t be looked at as a keeper for next season. You can do better.