Coming into 2009, there were a number of young backs around the top of many fantasy draft boards. Houston's Steve Slaton, Tennessee's Chris Johnson, and Chicago's Matt Forte all had fantastic seasons in 2008, and figured to have offenses that would nurture their strengths.
After two weeks of the 2009 season, though, Forte is struggling to be involved in an offense that was... well, him last year.
In the wake of the Bears adding quarterback Jay Cutler, what was predominantly a run-first offense has become pass-happy. The continuing development of receivers Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester has made a team marketing their new star more dependant on him than planned.
After games in Green Bay and against Pittsburgh, Forte is averaging only 2.2 yards per carry, totalling just 84 rushing yards and zero touchdowns. He has only added 33 receiving yards so far as well.
With Cutler in the mix, and his primary objective being a vertical passing game, the numbers have made a lot of Forte's owners nervous.
Which is why now is the time to buy Forte at his lowest point.
Buying Forte now, after two weeks of poor performances, might be possible at a significantly lower cost than a 1,200-yard back usually carries. There's no reason to think Forte won't bounce back, either.
Looking forward at the Bears schedule, there is a lot of opportunity for Forte to have bigger, better games. He averaged over 80 yards per game on the ground against Detroit last year, and has them coming up. Cleveland, Arizona and St. Louis are also on the schedule, giving Forte a few more games to put up strong numbers.
Oh, and in case you missed it, San Francisco's Frank Gore had a nice game on the ground against Forte's next opponent, Seattle, this weekend.
Green Bay wanted to isolate Cutler in his debut, and did a good job of doing just that. The Bears only gave the ball to Forte seven times in the first half of Week One, and he never got on track while Cutler was making mistakes through the air.
Let's also not forget that Pittsburgh had one of the strongest run defenses in the last decade last year, and missing Troy Polamalu also opened up passing opportunities for the Bears who took advantage of them in a big Chicago victory in the rain.
As the season progresses, the reality for the Bears is that they need Forte to compliment Cutler not only on the ground, but also through the air. He will get more opportunities to bring his skills to the table in Chicago.
If you own Forte, don't bail on him just yet. And if he's available for a trade, buy while you can.