NFL Fantasy football: Forte expecting to play

Ready to exhale?: Chicago Bears fans and fantasy owners alike have reason to relax after running back Matt Forte quelled fears of a lengthy holdout. Speaking with ESPN Chicago, Forte admitted holding out into the regular season is unlikely because “I don’t think I really have a choice, do I?” The back took it a step further, flatly stating “Yeah, I’ll be here.” Although the Tulane product’s status for training camp is still uncertain, knowing he will be available for the regular season keeps his fantasy value intact. Forte will once again be a No. 1 RB in fantasy drafts, and if a deal does not get worked out, the added motivation of a contract year only heightens his fantasy appeal.

Hard knock: After missing the 2011 season due to surgery on a herniated disk in his back, quarterback David Garrard is expected to enter training camp atop the depth chart for the Miami Dolphins. The nine year veteran has looked good during minicamp and OTAs, while rookie Ryan Tannehill is reportedly “not in the running” according to The Palm Beach Post. Matt Moore is the consensus No. 2 QB entering camp, and still has time to regain the starting job. Regardless of who is at the helm Week 1, too many questions remain at wide receiver to make either quarterback a target in fantasy drafts. Both Moore and Garrard will be breathing over each other’s shoulders, so neither has much job security regardless of who is named the starter.

Running downhill: Reports continue to surface validating the notion Falcons running back Michael Turner will not get enough touches to replicate past success. Running backs coach Gerald Brown spoke with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, stating “Michael has been our workhorse for a few years. We discussed the possibility of making sure that we monitor his reps so that he can stay strong for us through the season and into December. We feel very good about Jason Snelling and Jacquizz (Rodgers), too.” Fewer reps, younger talent and plans to focus more on the pass game has Turner’s fantasy stock tumbling. He is safest selected as a borderline No. 2 or 3 running back in drafts, but still carries good value. Should Rodgers or Snelling fall to injury, “The Burner” could find himself getting a healthy amount of work regardless of what the team’s plans are.

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