Khalil Herbert’s fantasy outlook, ADP, and projection for 2022

What is Khalil Herbert's fantasy outlook and projection for 2022, and should you look to draft him at his current ADP?

In 2021, Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert had a nice run as an RB2 filling in for an injured David Montgomery. With a new coaching staff in town, is there a chance Herbert sees an increased role this year? What is Herbert’s fantasy football outlook for the 2022 season, and should fantasy managers target him at his ADP in fantasy football drafts?

Khalil Herbert’s fantasy outlook for 2022

Elijah Mitchell wasn’t the only sixth-round rookie running back to make an impact last season. It’s exceedingly rare for sixth-round picks at any position to matter at any point in their careers, let alone two RBs in their first professional seasons.

Herbert opened the season buried behind David Montgomery and Damien Williams on the Bears’ depth chart. By sheer force of will, Herbert played his way ahead of Williams and emerged as the Bears’ lead back for three of the four games Montgomery missed. Herbert operated as not just the primary back but a three-down workhorse in Weeks 6-8 of last season.

During those weeks, he averaged 15.4 PPR fantasy points per game, including two RB1 finishes. Although he immediately went back to being irrelevant upon Montgomery’s return, Herbert established himself as one of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy football.

How the Bears’ depth chart impacts Khalil Herbert’s fantasy projection for the season

The Bears let Williams walk in free agency, and there’s now zero debate as to whom the Bears’ RB2 is heading into the 2022 season. Chicago did sign Darrynton Evans, but he’ll operate as their RB4 behind rookie sixth-rounder Trestan Ebner, leaving Herbert as the clear backup behind Montgomery.

The good news is if Montgomery gets hurt, Herbert will have fantasy value. As a result, he will likely be drafted in most standard-sized 12-team leagues. The bad news is Herbert is probably a lesser Alexander Mattison. As long as the starter is healthy, he likely won’t have any standalone fantasy value.

There is a sliver of hope that a new coaching staff uses Herbert and Montgomery in more of a tandem. There have been reports during training camp of Herbert being more involved, but there are a lot of reports throughout training camp. It is difficult to parse through the nonsense and find the real. Even if this ends up being 65-35, Herbert is unlikely to have standalone value.

The Bears’ offense may struggle

Last season, the Bears were 29th in the NFL in touchdowns per game. Unfortunately, they didn’t do much to potentially improve that this season. Justin Fields is another year more experienced, but this offense needs to be able to move the ball through the air to help its running backs get into a position to score touchdowns. A wide receiver corps of Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle, and Equanimeous St. Brown isn’t going to cut it.

Herbert proved last season he can still be productive even on a bad offense. However, it’s less than ideal. Fantasy managers can and should certainly draft Herbert as an RB4/5 with RB2 upside in the event of a Montgomery injury. But if Montgomery stays healthy through the first few weeks of the season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Herbert dropped in a majority of leagues.

Herbert’s ADP for 2022

Herbert’s ADP is around RB55. Whenever I’ve done mocks, he always gets drafted, but that’s just not the case in the majority of mocks across the fantasy universe, as evidenced by his overall ADP being outside the top 200.

Consider Herbert lumped in with a bunch of other high upside handcuffs. We know he’s capable of producing like an RB2 as the lead back. He just needs to get there.

Even if Herbert has an increased role, he’s not going to be someone you trust in fantasy lineups while Montgomery is healthy. But given his upside, he’s still someone I’m okay targeting at his ADP.

Herbert is ranked as our consensus RB52, so we are slightly higher than his ADP. I have him up at RB45, so I’m throwing more darts at Herbert than most.


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