Forte, McFadden affected by Bush signing

Remember a few months ago when I wrote about how the value of the running back position was taking a major hit in fantasy football? Well friends, it’s just getting worse.

Michael Bush, who finished ninth in fantasy points among runners last season, has signed a four-year deal with the Chicago Bears. The move puts a dent into his fantasy appeal and the value of Matt Forte, who could now lose short-yardage and goal-line work to his bruising backfield mate. Of course, that assumes Forte (who was franchised) doesn’t hold out over a new contract — one the Bears might not be willing to offer him with Bush and Kahlil Bell in the mix.

Barring an extended holdout, I still see Forte as a No. 1 fantasy back. However, I have dropped Forte behind Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden at the position — and he’s not going to do anything but move down based on what happens in the coming months. As for Bush, he’s now more of a middle- to late-round pick or handcuff for Forte owners.

Speaking of McFadden, his value rises with Bush no longer a threat to steal short-yardage and goal-line touches. But “Run DMC” doesn’t come without risk, as he’s been as durable as a glass chandelier at the pro level. He missed nine games with a bum foot in 2011, and has never played in more than 13 games in a single season. That doesn’t install much confidence on draft day.

Fantasy leaguers who do end up taking a chance on McFadden now need to remember the name Taiwan Jones. A fantasy sleeper due to McFadden’s proneness to injuries, Jones is going to be selected in most drafts either as a handcuff or late-round, high-upside runner.

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