David Montgomery’s Fantasy Football outlook for the 2022 NFL season
Is Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery poised to have a breakthrough year in 2022?
Bears running back David Montgomery averaged 20.5 touches per game last year, regressing in his yards per carry (3.8) and per catch (1.0), after recording career highs in every category (1,508 total yards with 10 touchdowns and 54 receptions on 301 touches) in 2020. On five of his 267 opportunities, he gained more than 20 yards. In fact, prior to missing four games with a left knee injury, he amassed more than 100 running yards in two of his first four outings (16/108/1 and 23/106/2). Unfortunately, over the course of his final nine games after recovering from the injury, his value as a rusher (156/540/4, 3.5 yards per carry) decreased. On the upside, the Bears did give him more opportunities to catch the ball (36/252 on 42 targets).
Bears veteran David Montgomery sees himself disrespected in running back rankings, and he’s out to prove himself right. https://t.co/aONYk1fudt
— Bears Wire (@TheBearsWire) August 1, 2022
Based on the expected workload he’ll receive from the Bears once again this season, Montgomery is still a top-15 Fantasy running back. On the flip side, his potential is limited by their weak offensive line, their anticipated low-scoring offense, and the possibility of teammates stealing some of his rushing work. Chicago’s front five is considered to be among the weakest in the league, especially at both tackle positions. This might provide a problem in their first few games, especially against the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.
Although rushing the ball will be a key feature, there is concern that both quarterback Justin Fields and outstanding second-year runner Khalil Herbert might prevent Montgomery from reaching his potential. The offense generally lacks punch, making it easier for defenses to plan against them. Nevertheless, among running backs last year, Montgomery had the eighth-most overall touches per game. He also tallied the fifteenth-most PPR points per game. In each of his three seasons, he has had at least 265 touches. That included at least 3.2 catches per game in each of his past two. Now, Montgomery doesn’t have the same upside as many other running backs in the Round 2 or 3 category. Still, he does have the appeal to be productive in most fantasy football leagues.
David Montgomery 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook
Experts worry that David Montgomery still has an ACL problem that could require surgery in the future. He is currently the 19th running back chosen in the NFFC as of mid-June, with an ADP of 41. With over 20 touches per game in Chicago, he ought to have a lot of third-down opportunities, too. The potential for Montgomery next season is 1,500 yards, eight to ten touchdowns, and 50 receptions.
Despite missing four games last year, Montgomery had the 10th-most touches overall among running backs. Again, he received almost 20 touches each game on average (which is something he also accomplished in 2020). Montgomery will likely have a similar role to last season, thus he should continue to have a significant workload in 2022.
The Iowa State alum not only receives a lot of touches. He also produces with 1,150 rushing yards in 13 games last year (88 yards per game). In 2021, he was RB16 in terms of average score among running backs who appeared in at least 10 games.
Having a lot of rushing opportunities is terrific, but that only works if Montgomery can make maximize them. Again, much of that is hinged on the Bears’ offensive line, which is objectively the worst in the NFL. Last season, when Montgomery averaged 3.8 yards per rush, that was evident.
In addition, Montgomery’s life will be difficult because of opponents’ expected concentration on stopping the run as a result of the Bears’ subpar passing. Keep in mind that the Bears also added 2020 third-round selection Darrynton Evans this summer. He won’t play a significant role but may reduce Montgomery’s touches.
“I’ve always looked at things in a serious manner, because I know opportunities are not forever."
— Bears Talk (@NBCSBears) July 29, 2022
Montgomery will be the No. 1 running back in this scheme, but we don’t expect him to average 20 touches per game for a third straight season. It will probably drop closer to 15, which is still a lot. In the context of a poor offense, however, every touch counts. Although Montgomery has some clear drawbacks, his advantages should significantly outweigh these.
Montgomery carries a reasonable value now that his ADP has dropped sufficiently low. Owners should expect him to receive at least 250 touches in 2022. Despite some unfavorable and uncertain circumstances, Montgomery does possess high-end RB2 potential. In fact, fantasy owners should regard him as a primary RB2 option going into next season.