Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Three-Headed Monster in the Midway?


Many fantasy players seem to be thankful that Jordan Howard has left Chicago. He was widely regarded as a plodding disappointment and he’s not getting a lot of love with his new team in Philadelphia. 

Meanwhile, owners appear to be very excited about the guy who was drafted to potentially replace him, David Montgomery. Chicago did not have a 2019 pick until the third round and used their first selection on Montgomery. He is versatile, has excellent vision, and runs with power. So far, he is being selected the highest of all RBs in FFPC high stakes drafts, at 21st at the position. 

The reasoning seems simple: Howard is gone, and Montgomery was drafted to produce more effectively in his place. Tarik Cohen should continue to have a significant role and will be the top pass-catcher at the position. He is going 28th off the board at RB in the FFPC. To many, those should work out to be the Bears’ two primary backs. But isn't there something we're forgetting?

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Third of the Trio

Too many fantasy players are overlooking or forgetting about free-agent acquisition Mike Davis. He is going to be more than just a backup to Montogmery, as some are assuming. Davis performed well when pressed into action at times in Seattle last year and left the team in free agency to pursue a larger role. He is also versatile and can run with power. Davis is elusive and runs with a lot of determination. 

Bears RB Coach Charles London has praised both Montgomery and Davis so far as the team readies for the upcoming season. He or the team has given no clear indication that they clearly prefer Montgomery over Davis and there have been no true insider reports to support such a theory. Fantasy players are viewing Montgomery as the upside play and don’t see Davis as a major threat to the rookie’s status. That may be a mistake. 

Davis is not even being drafted in the Top 60 RBs in the FFPC. But we should not forget he ran for 169 yards and three TDs in Weeks 4 and 5 last year. In the first of those two games, he rushed for 101 yards and two scores while being pressed into starting duty. That week, most observers expected Seattle to start Rashaad Penny in place of an injured Chris Carson, but they turned to Davis. There is a lesson to be learned there about not pushing him aside in your mind in 2019. He also had 107 yards from scrimmage with seven receptions in Week 9. The following game, he totaled 80 yards from scrimmage and caught four passes. 

Those numbers may not be enough to consider Davis a favorite to emerge as a featured ball carrier, but they are certainly good enough for him to be considered a legitimate threat to the playing time of Montgomery and even Cohen. The latter finished as a fantasy RB1 in PPR last year, but he appears set to carry the ball less with both Montgomery and Davis being added. There are now two other RBs to compete with Cohen for carries for instead of one. The Bears can focus more on him operating more frequently as a pure receiver. 

 

Fantasy Outlook

There appears to be a very good possibility that Montgomery will have to battle Davis for playing time this preseason, and the two could very well share carries and reps, making this a pure committee situation. By the way, I consider two or more RBs involved to be a true RB by committee situation. I don’t think there is such a thing as two-person committees. If only two RBs are splitting work, that is a time share. 

Montgomery could eventually end up being the lead RB, but that is what Fantasy players want, not necessarily what the Bears want to employ. If they can attack defenses with different running backs and keep them off balance and better ensure all of them stay fresh, such a situation could be considered a luxury. The cliche ‘three-headed monster” will apply. But that sort of situation could be a headache. 

Such a scenario would likely put all three RBs in flex territory and make Cohen the best option of the three to start out in PPR, as he should have a pretty consistent role in the passing game. He seems much less likely to carry the ball 99 times this year and his rushing attempts will be reduced. 

The preseason will obviously go a long way to determining how the situation could shake out when play begins for real, but right now it looks better for real NFL purposes than in fantasy. Optimally, the Bears would seemingly prefer to use all three RBs effectively. And if either Montgomery or Davis gets injured, the Bears can then hand the main running duties to the healthy guy. It could take that sort of situation to gain more clarity. 

I am not saying that Montgomery cannot sparkle in the preseason and early in the regular season to become the clear top fantasy option here. The potential is certainly there. But he is going to have to earn the lead ball-carrier role, and Davis must heavily be considered a threat to his possible playing time. 

So initially we have to view this as a scenario that strongly suggests we’ll be looking at a committee. That makes Montgomery more of an RB3 type in my eyes. I would not take him over guys like Mark Ingram, who is ticketed for a more certain workload, or James White, who is underrated and will play a very important role in the New England offense again. He could end up being the Patriots’ No. 2 pass-catcher in 2019. 

This situation is not as simple as a more promising Montgomery replacing the departed Howard. The Bears brought in another RB they like in addition to the rookie. So while you can still view Montgomery as the one with the most ultimate promise, temper your initial enthusiasm on his immediate impact and also expect Cohen’s overall numbers to take a bit of hit this year. 

More Fantasy Football Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

Best Waiver Wire Pickups from 2019

Each and every year we see an incredible number of players step foot on the NFL gridiron. Just in 2019, using Pro-Football-Reference.com Play Index, a total of 2,025 players took part in at least one game while one (Emmanuel Sanders) did the impossible and played 17 (!) games in the regular season as he was... Read More


Tight End VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Running Back

The 2019 NFL season was an interesting year for the running back position. Christian McCaffrey was the overall RB1, but some of the other top players fell below expectations. That led to some interesting final results when the final season standings came around. And while some of those -- Dalvin Cook as the RB3, Leonard... Read More


Quarterback VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More


2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The @Fleaflicker Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 343 teams - across two divisions - competing to be crowned champ... Read More


Introducing the 2020 Rookie Tight End Class

Out of all the skill positions, tight end is the one where rookies have the most issue making an immediate impact. But there's still always some value at every position in every NFL Draft, and the 2020 one is no exception, even if people are very down on this year's crop of tight ends. Let's... Read More


Can a New Coach Fix Baker Mayfield in 2020?

Another season has passed and another disappointment by Browns fans has been realized. Baker Mayfield got the head coach he wanted in Freddie Kitchens in 2019. In 2020, hopefully he's got the one he needs in Kevin Stefanski. Last season, under Kitchens, Mayfield had a coach he could control and manipulate. He did just that... Read More


Wide Receiver VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The one (and only) good thing about fantasy football season ending is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few months and put performances into context to prepare for next season. As football is an ever-evolving game, though, it makes sense to assess how good players were in fantasy... Read More


The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More


Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More


Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More


Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More


Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Tight End

2019 was not the record-breaking season for tight ends 2018 was. San Francisco’s George Kittle (most receiving yards for a TE in a season) and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (most receptions for a TE in a season) did not break the records they set last season, although both were fine for fantasy players. Kansas City’s Travis... Read More


Rushing Quarterbacks Are Becoming Necessary

The 2019 fantasy season is over. We are all thinking about what to do come 2020 draft day. So let me ask you something. What if I offer you the chance of drafting a quarterback who is a lock to finish the season with 270 fantasy points? Would you take him and make him your... Read More