Tony Jones or Ty Montgomery: Could you start either Saints’ player on Thursday Night Football?

Should fantasy managers consider starting Tony Jones or Ty Montgomery on Thanksgiving with question marks surrounding Mark Ingram?

With the New Orleans Saints potentially set to be short-handed at RB, should fantasy managers risk starting either Tony Jones or Ty Montgomery in Week 12? Let’s take a look at the latest news from the Saints’ injury report, and whether Jones or Montgomery could offer fantasy value this week.

Update 11/25/2021: Mark Ingram is officially inactive for the Saints’ Week 12 Thanksgiving game with the Bills

Tony Jones or Ty Montgomery could be a sneaky fantasy option in Week 12

If fantasy managers are desperate at either RB or WR in Week 12, then there is the chance Jones or Montgomery could provide value. The Saints have already ruled out RB Alvin Kamara (knee) for their Thanksgiving game, and Mark Ingram (knee) is questionable heading into the game.

Ingram was designated as a non-participant on the Tuesday practice report but returned in a limited fashion on Wednesday. However, as Katherine Terrell of The Athletic reported that Ingram simply went through the stretching portion and left. It was tough to know what that meant for Ingram’s availability today and how limited he could be.

With Ingram inactive, one or both of Jones and Montgomery could see significant touches. With Jones on the IR in Week 10, Montgomery had 1 rush attempt and 1 target early in the first quarter. He appeared to be the primary backup in that game to Ingram, both carrying the ball and in the passing game.

Last week, with Montgomery absent, it was Jones who had 3 carries, while Dwayne Washington had 1 target in relief of Ingram. Who exactly will be the main back if Ingram is out is tough to judge.

Should you start either Montgomery or Jones this week against the Bills?

Trusting either Jones or Montgomery for fantasy in Week 12 is a different proposition now that Ingram is inactive. Had Ingram been active, then the three of them would have been splitting touches, making all of them hard to trust. Ingram being active would have made it almost impossible to trust either Montgomery or Jones for fantasy this week.

However, with Ingram inactive, fantasy managers may want to gamble on either Jones or Montgomery in Week 12. Jones had 11 carries for 50 yards and 1 reception for 3 yards in Week 1 against the Packers. However, his opportunities have been limited since then.

Montgomery’s numbers have been underwhelming this season, but he could provide the pass-catching option out of the backfield this week. His upside is limited, even with Ingram inactive, but in a deep format, he could be an intriguing start if fantasy managers are desperate this week.

Neither Jones nor Montgomery are exciting this week. Both are limited options as they are not expected to be a bell cow or do-it-all type back like Ingram has been in Kamara’s absence. In shallow formats, starting either is a huge risk unless your team has been decimated by injuries. However, in those deeper formats, one or both might just be able to give you a pleasant end to your Thanksgiving celebrations if Ingram is absent.

The Bills have been a tough matchup for opposing backs this season

Only five defense have been a tougher matchup for RBs in terms of fantasy points than the Bills. Buffalo had allowed an average of 21.38 fantasy points per game to the RB position. They have allowed an average of just 81.6 rushing yards per game to the position and just 0.8 touchdowns per game. Last week, Jonathan Taylor had 185 rushing yards and 4 of those 8 touchdowns.

In the receiving game, opposing backs are averaging 5 receptions per game for 34.2 receiving yards against the Bills. Opposing backs have at least managed to find the end zone twice against the Bills in the receiving game. All of this demonstrates there is the potential for Jones or Montgomery to have success against the Bills, but the ceiling is capped, especially if they are splitting touches.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.