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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 04: David Montgomery #32 of the Chicago Bears runs with the football in the fourth quarter against Khari Willis #37 of the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field on October 04, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Fantasy Football

Is David Montgomery a starting fantasy RB against the Buccaneers?

Heading into their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chicago Bears need everyone firing on all cylinders. One of the players they need the most is running back David Montgomery. Not only does he give balance to the team, but it also helps take some of the pressure off Nick Foles. Fantasy football managers need him to step up this week after a disappointing Week 4 performance. However, is Montgomery someone that can be trusted in fantasy on short rest and against a tough defense?

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Even without Tarik Cohen in the lineup, Montgomery had a forgettable Week 4

After RB Tarik Cohen tore his ACL in their Week 3 win against the Atlanta Falcons, we hoped that this would lead to Montgomery breaking out as he took on the full workload. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. Montgomery ran 10 times for 27 yards and caught three of his six targets for 30 yards. This was his worst rushing performance of the season but a decent margin. However, I can’t put all the blame on Montgomery as the game didn’t allow for the team to get the ground game moving.

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The Bears set season lows with 62 plays and 27:32 time of possession in their 19-11 loss to the Colts on Sunday. The running backs got just 13 carries; 10 for Montgomery and three for Cordarrelle Patterson. The Colts have a stifling defense, so it is unsurprising to see a team struggle against them. If there is anything we can take from this is the usage that Montgomery saw, even if not always productive. 

Montgomery played by far his season-high at 85.5% of the offensive snaps, leaving just 18% for Patterson and 2% for Ryan Nall. Even considering the diminished opportunities in the running game, Montgomery getting 77% of the running back carries is a significant jump from the 60% he had the first three games. Last season, Montgomery got 72%.

There is no reason that Montgomery should see anything less than 18 touches per game. From a pure volume standpoint, even if he can be halfway efficient, he should be a stable RB2 moving forward in fantasy. 

The Buccaneers are another difficult matchup for Montgomery 

Things won’t get much easier for Montgomery this week as he faces a tough Buccaneers run defense. Tampa Bay has allowed the second-fewest rushing yards to running backs through the first four weeks of the season. Only the Steelers have allowed fewer yards than the Buccaneers. 

Montgomery will be a low-end fantasy RB2 this week based on volume, not efficiency. I don’t love the play because of his limited ceiling, but you could find worse options. Things will get better after this week as the Bears face off against the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams in the next two weeks. 

Want more fantasy football analysis and news?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.

Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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