David Montgomery’s dynasty value is at a pivotal point entering the 2022 season. After a stellar conclusion to the 2020 campaign, Montgomery’s dynasty value was at an all-time high. Following a bit of a down 2021 season, how should dynasty fantasy football managers value Montgomery going forward?
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David Montgomery’s dynasty profile for 2022
Montgomery is at a crucial point in the career of running backs. He’s 25 years old and in the final year of his rookie deal. Montgomery isn’t the type of player with any leverage to hold out for a new contract, so he will either get extended or play the season out. This presents a challenge for dynasty managers in assessing Montgomery’s fantasy value.
The Bears have always had an affinity for Montgomery, consistently pushing him into the starting role regardless of how well his backups may perform. However, this is a new era for the Bears.
Justin Fields is entering his first full season as the Bears’ starting quarterback. The team has a new general manager and new head coach. Given their lack of success for the better part of the past 15 years, I do not expect ownership (or anyone) to foist Montgomery upon a new regime if the coaches have other ideas.
Whether Montgomery is part of the Bears’ long-term plan will depend heavily upon how he performs in 2022. And even if Montgomery has a strong season, history has not been kind to running backs on their second contract and even less so to non-elite talents.
Fantasy projection for Montgomery
In preparing PFN’s dynasty rankings, I was pretty bullish on Montgomery. It’s a bit ironic because I really did not like him as a prospect, and he was downright dreadful over the first 1.5 seasons of his career.
With that said, Montgomery does have several things working in his favor. He’s a proven three-down back with job security. Khalil Herbert was fantastic filling in for Montgomery last season. Yet, as soon as Montgomery was healthy, he assumed his previous role, and Herbert was nothing more than a pure backup.
If Montgomery does remain with the Bears, he will be part of an offense that is improving along with its young quarterback and young WR1, Darnell Mooney. Montgomery may be 25 years old, but 25 isn’t exactly old.
Although he’s not quite as prolific, Melvin Gordon is a good comparison for what we can expect from Montgomery’s career. Gordon was never the best running back in the NFL, but he was a complete back that has been effective through his age-28 season.
What is Montgomery’s future beyond 2022?
Despite his 2021 being significantly worse than his 2020 season, Montgomery wasn’t exactly bad. He still averaged 15.3 PPR fantasy points per game, finishing as a high RB2. Even if Montgomery doesn’t return to the Bears, I’d be surprised if he signed somewhere where he wasn’t given an opportunity to be the primary back.
Montgomery should remain fantasy-relevant for at least the next 4-5 years, which is an eternity in dynasty leagues. He’s still younger than many high-end running backs such as Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon, and Nick Chubb.
What can fantasy managers expect from Montgomery?
Montgomery is locked into a three-down role in 2022. Even with the coaching change, I’m not concerned the Bears will suddenly scale back Montgomery’s work. Improvement from Fields is only going to benefit Montgomery’s efficiency, which has been his biggest issue throughout his career.
Going forward, I don’t have a clear recommendation on how to proceed with Montgomery. He’s properly valued.
If you can move him in a deal where you feel confident you’re the winner, do it. If you can trade for him at a price below market value, do that, too.
Montgomery is the type of player whose value to your dynasty team is relative to how he can best help you. Is that in your lineup? Or is it in shipping him off to another team for plus value? Either way, he’s a good player to have on your roster.