The first three players off the board in almost all fantasy football drafts this year will will be, in no particular order, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, and Jamaal Charles. But you have the fourth pick. Who do you take? You could go quarterback. Peyton Manning vs. Aaron Rodgers is a reasonable debate to have. You could go wide receiver where you’d face the question: Calvin Johnson or Demaryius Thomas? You could also stick with the running backs. Outside those top three, it’s a little bit more of a gamble, but should you go with a running back with pick number four, who do you take: Matt Forte or Eddie Lacy?
The Case For Matt Forte:
Former NFL wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad once said that Chicago is “where wide receivers go to die.” That is no longer the case. The passing game is thriving for the Chicago Bears and that will be of benefit to Forte. The rolling offence will mean more points on the board, more chance for touchdowns, and most importantly, opposing defences not loading up the box. This showed last year as Forte posted career numbers.
The Case Against Matt Forte:
His workload has been pretty significant throughout his career, especially last year, when he played 887 offensive snaps, more than any other running back. He’s still just 28, so he should have a year or two left in the tank, but there’s no question he’s nearing the end of a running back’s shelf life and a heavy workload year in and year out doesn’t help that.
The Case For Eddie Lacy:
He showed up in a big way when Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone last year. Lacy proved he could carry an offense and be an every down back. In an offense like Green Bay’s and with a quarterback like Rodgers, that should mean big numbers for Lacy in 2014. Lacy has the body type at 230 pounds to be the Packers best bet at short yardage goal line situations as well. Assuming he converts the majority of those, Lacy could put up big touchdown numbers.
The Case Against Eddie Lacy:
He only has one season under the belt. Lacy’s rookie season was a smashing success by any account, but it’s hard to pick a guy with a much smaller track record than a proven fantasy beast like Forte.
What’s so great about this matchup is that these two guys play for division rivals, arguably the most storied in all of sports, and we’ll get to see them go head to head twice this year. Both are so multifaceted as they can run and catch the ball out of the backfield. This is a tough call, but I’m going with Lacy in 2014. The running back position in the NFL is so fickle, so I tend to favor the younger guys who have less wear and tear on their bodies. Give me the soaring sophomore over the venerable veteran.
*Photo Credit – Mike Shadle via wiki commons.