David Montgomery Dynasty Profile: Fantasy Outlook, Value, Projections, and Rankings

David Montgomery is coming off a disappointing 2022. What does his future look like, and what is his value in dynasty fantasy football leagues going forward?

As we close in toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move, with key events like free agency currently rolling on and the 2023 NFL Draft still to come. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the dynasty rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty fantasy football value of new Detroit Lions RB David Montgomery.

David Montgomery’s Dynasty Outlook and Value

As part of a deep and talented free agency RB class, there’s a case to be made that Montgomery was the most talented available after the likes of Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, and Tony Pollard all received franchise tags.

As a rookie, some were always going to be skeptical of Montgomery. The worst part about it is it’s not even his fault. The public perception of Montgomery was set in stone when the infamous “Frankenstein” graphic flashed on everyone’s screens while he was still at Iowa State. That’s still following him to this day.

While he never won the rushing title or has been measured for a gold jacket, Montgomery has been a solid NFL running back. Rushing for 889 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, he had his best season in the NFL during his second year.

MORE: Top Dynasty RB Trade Targets

Despite the turmoil of 2020, Montgomery rushed for 1,070 yards. He recorded 1,508 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns, with the bulk of his efficiency coming when then-offensive coordinator Bill Lazor took over play-calling duties from former head coach Matt Nagy for the final six games. Montgomery scored over 20 PPR points each time out.

2021 and 2022 were both reasonably successful seasons, although Montgomery failed to reach the 900 rushing-yard threshold in either year. 2022 saw him have his lowest production yet, rushing 201 times for 801 yards and five touchdowns while also catching 34 of his 40 targets for 316 yards with one score across 16 games to finish as the RB24 overall and RB27 in points per game at 11.1 PPR.

With that said, it would be unfair to place all the blame strictly on Montgomery’s shoulders. He’s played behind a poor offensive line throughout his career and was subject to highly questionable play-calling.

Yet, the advanced stats paint Montgomery in a far more favorable light. He was seventh in missed tackles and yards per route run, 18th in yards created, and fourth in yards per reception.

David Montgomery Signs With the Detroit Lions

Truth be told, I did not see this one coming. Sure, there were always the odds Montgomery would find a new city to call home, but the two sides clearly were unable to work out a deal despite Bears GM Ryan Poles’ statements at the end of the year.

Poles stated during his end-of-year press conference in January that he would like to see Montgomery back next season. “I’ve always wanted to keep David,” Poles said. “I love his mentality, how he plays the game.”

That did not happen. Reports say Montgomery has reached an agreement on a three-year, $18 million deal, including $11 million guaranteed with the Lions, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

That is a substantial move. For one, this unlocks Khalil Herbert to be a screaming value barring additional roster change for the Bears, but when it comes to Detroit, I wouldn’t call this a positive outcome. While D’Andre Swift managed to hold value with Jamaal Williams, there will certainly be a noticeable impact on his fantasy ceiling with Montgomery in the backfield.

Appearing in 14 games in 2022, Swift saw career-low usage. After rushing 151 times last season, he carried the ball only 99 times, albeit for an efficient 542 yards with five touchdowns. While Williams scored the touchdowns, Swift was catching passes, hauling in 48 receptions on 70 targets for 389 yards and three scores to finish as the RB24 overall and 16th in per-game scoring at 13.6 PPR.

Now rather than having two RBs come out of free agency with positive news and hopefully a path to more opportunities, both Montgomery and Swift will vulture touches from the other. Swift will operate in a similar role while sacrificing red-zone and goal-to-go opportunities. At the same time, Montgomery will get the upgrade of a vastly better o-line but will likely see his target share cut in half from 40 the year prior to around 20-25.

While this move makes sense from an NFL standpoint, especially for Detroit, who wants to have a rotation in the backfield, and acquiring more talent is never frowned upon, it comes as a detriment for fantasy managers as the value of both has taken a noticeable hit.

David Montgomery’s Fantasy Ranking

Given what we saw from Williams last season, if Montgomery sees similar usage or is in the 230-carry range, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he outscores Swift in 2023. By no means would I expect to see 17 touchdowns come his way, but a career-best season on the ground is absolutely in the cards, even if it does come at the cost of a few targets.

No matter what you think about a player, the NFL will tell you what you should think about the player. Looking at you, Swift. Given this news, Swift has fallen out of the RB1 range and will settle somewhere in the back half of the RB2 range as he heads into the final year of his rookie contract.

MORE: Dynasty Rankings 2023 — Top Fantasy Options at Running Back

As for Montgomery, if what the Lions showed us last year, this might be a positive. Playing behind a great offensive line and a team full of young talent, Montgomery is currently the RB23 in PPR formats for dynasty. When it comes to Superflex leagues, where quarterbacks see an increase in value due to positional scarcity, he is the No. 81 overall player.

I wish he would have landed on a team with a wide-open backfield, and we could have seen Swift, Montgomery, and even Herbert rise in value or, at a minimum, hold strong. That didn’t happen. With that said, this move also likely points toward Williams being unlikely to return, and I would keep my eyes on Buffalo or Carolina.

If you have Montgomery, his value hasn’t taken too much of a hit, but the biggest loser is Swift, who is a glorified satellite back. Montgomery has a chance to put together the best string his career could ever see, and if you could acquire that for a discount, given the recent move, I don’t mind the risk.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles