Out early: Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte has been ruled out for Sunday’s contest against the Rams, leaving Michael Bush as the expected starter. Bush makes for a solid play against a Rams rush defense which has allowed four scores to opposing runners. For Jay Cutler, things might be a bit tougher. The Rams are ranked a misleading 24th versus the pass, but have allowed only two scores and picked off opposing quarterbacks four times. Still, expect Cutler to make up for his horrible showing last week by pulling the trigger as often as possible. Though you should temper expectations for the Vanderbilt product, don’t be surprised if he lights up the scoreboard. He’s got to save face after being the focal point of scrutiny this week, and putting together a convincing performance has a way of making people forget the negative.
Turning around: Much has been made over the prospects of Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner since before the season even started. The transition to a pass-first mentality on offense and the explosiveness of Jacquizz Rodgers has put a damper on his fantasy football value, but maybe it’s time to reevaluate things based on the numbers. While the safest play is to trade him after a good Week 2 performance which saw him net 10.20 fantasy points, a look at the numbers could prove otherwise. The Falcons willingness to throw first does impact his value, but he is still considered one of the few backs not in a timeshare. He has carried the ball 28 times compared to Rodgers’ ten, is the only back with a score, and has averaged just a hair more per carry. It’s also important to consider he has the easiest strength of schedule among all fantasy running backs moving ahead. Turner is going to be a liability due to his limited touches, but as long as he keeps getting the bulk of the carries and goal line work, he is actually in better position than most other borderline No. 2 or No. 3 running backs. Considering his total point score is shared by the likes of Cedric Benson, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson and DeAngelo Williams, it might be worth giving him another week or two before giving up.
Downed bird: Another player ruled out for Sunday is Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. The Missouri product re-injured his hip during Week 2 action, leaving Jason Avant as the expected starter in his absence. Avant is a risky play this week, as will be tight end Brent Celek. Though Celek had a great Week 2 performance, the Cards have been stingy against the pass, allowing just one touchdown against both Tom Brady and Russell Wilson. The one Eagle who has proven he can still score for you despite poor performances is quarterback Michael Vick. Sure, he’s thrown six picks in two weeks, but he hasn’t dipped below 15 fantasy points in a game. He’s worth the risk in what could be a contest in which we watch him rack up the rushing yardage.
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