As you rigorously prepare and research leading into each week of DFS, injuries are always going to change the landscape. “Next Man Up” is a series that examines players who are now being propelled into the starting role (thus creating a larger opportunity for that player), whether it be via injury, or simply a change to the depth chart.
In a week where Le’Veon Bell was lost for the season, it’s tough to shine a spotlight on any other injury. Unfortunately, several big names went down on Sunday, though.
Word out of Chicago is that Matt Forte has indeed injured his MCL, but unlike Bell, is expected to return this season. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Forte will miss at least two games.
Meet Jeremy Langford, the rookie I thought was named Jonathan Langford until 10 minutes ago.
The Michigan State product hadn’t rushed for more than 21 yards in a game this season behind Forte, however, he has vulchered two touchdowns away from him.
In relief of Forte, Langford managed a pedestrian 46 yards on 12 touches against the Vikings on Sunday. The thing with Langford is, if you’re going to use him, you probably need to start now.
Since Forte is reportedly going to miss two weeks, there’s a small window to use Langford. Of course, Forte could always miss a month, but there’s no way of telling that now unless we get more news from the Bears on the extent of his injury.
Unfortunately, we can’t sit back and see how Langford performs in his new role as we could with someone like Charcandrick West, nor are we familiar with him from the past like DeAngelo Williams.
The Bears next two games are on the road against San Diego and St. Louis. Not ideal matchups for Langford for a combination of reasons. The Rams have had a great defense at home, while the Chargers are actually weak against the run, but their high powered offense may allow them to jump out to a large lead early when the Bears are in town. And if Forte were to miss a third game? It’d be against a Broncos defense that just ripped the Packers’ hearts out.
Here’s what I can tell you about Langford. In his last two seasons as a Spartan, he rushed for 2,944 yards and 40 touchdowns in 27 games. That’s damn impressive. He’s a risky play, but his price tag combined with opportunity may be enough to roll the dice on Langford during the short time he’ll be a starting RB.
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