While David Montgomery continues to lead the Detroit Lions in rushing (648 yards), there’s no question Jahmyr Gibbs is coming on strong at just the right time.
Together, they form perhaps the No. 1 running back duo in the NFL. Each week, both Montgomery and Gibbs are candidates to start in any fantasy lineup.
But is there one running back that has an advantage over the other for fantasy football managers to consider? Let’s take a look at each player entering Week 13.
Should You Start Jahmyr Gibbs or David Montgomery This Week?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, our Consensus Rankings say that Gibbs is the player to start. His projected 14.5 points include 50 rushing yards, four catches, and 26 receiving yards. That projected stat line slightly outperforms the consensus projections of Montgomery’s 11.9 points.
My ranking for these two running backs aligns with the consensus. Although Montgomery is on a nice touchdown-scoring streak, Gibbs is getting more and more time on the field, and could be on his way to being the Lions’ No. 1 back.
Fantasy Outlook for Gibbs This Week
The choice to go with Gibbs in this spot doesn’t have as much to do with production of late, because the case could be made the Montgomery remains the more productive of the two running backs.
But in the three games since Montgomery returned to action, there has been a significant shift in how much work each player has had over the last three weeks.
Here is a comparison of the two players over the last three weeks:
Offensive Snaps — Gibbs (133), Montgomery (73)
Touches — Gibbs (46), Montgomery (41)
Gibbs did see his streak of four consecutive games with a touchdown come to an end last week. On the other hand, he was able to extend his streak of consecutive games averaging at least four yards a carry to seven in a row.
Whether it’s a decision of making sure Montgomery is healthy and rested down the stretch, or they like what they see in the rookie, Gibbs is clearly getting more opportunities to produce on the field.
And for fantasy football managers, opportunity is what you want from your starters, right?
Fantasy Outlook for Montgomery This Week
Montgomery has rushed for at least 70 yards in all three games since his return from injury. He has also scored a touchdown in each of his last three games.
But when it comes to Montgomery, fantasy football managers are left with only questions.
Why has he carried the ball no more than 15 times in any of the last three games?
Why was he only on the field for 23 offensive snaps in Week 12?
Why has he been on the field for 60 fewer snaps than the rookie Gibbs?
Whatever the answers, the facts are that Gibbs is replacing Montgomery as the main back for the Lions. And from a fantasy standpoint, this must be a strange time when breaking down these two RBs.
The only thing keeping Montgomery relevant, from a fantasy standpoint, are the touchdowns. But how long can fans expect that streak to last?
The PFN Start/Sit Optimizer projects Montgomery to finish with 47 rushing yards and three catches for 24 yards.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!