David Montgomery Fantasy Preview: Will Bears RB Breakout in 2020?

Bears RB David Montgomery fantasy outlook preview

Getty RB David Montgomery of the Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery didn’t quite have the breakthrough many fantasy football owners hoped and expected him to have in 2019. Montgomery had 232 carries during his rookie season for 889 yards and six scores. His 3.7 yards-per-carry average was nothing to write home about, and he rushed for over 100 yards in just two games.

The Bears were also one of the worst rushing teams in the league last year, averaging just 91.1 yards a game, so those skeptical of adding Montgomery — or any player on Chicago’s offense to their fantasy squads — have good reason to pause. That said, Montgomery has been putting in some serious work this offseason, and per ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, Bears coach Matt Nagy has made it a primary goal to utilize Montgomery properly this year:

“One of Bears coach Matt Nagy’s stated goals is to have a more efficient and consistent running attack. Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect Montgomery’s rushing attempts and yardage will increase from his rookie season. I’m not sure whether Montgomery will take a giant leap, but Nagy knows that Montgomery wasn’t properly utilized in 2019 … Nagy is determined to fix that.”

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David Montgomery Fantasy Football Outlook & Preview for 2020

Montgomery, unhappy with his output last year, worked diligently to improve himself this offseason. He changed his diet while upping his workout regime, and the early word on his transformation has all been positive. He lost five pounds and cut his body fat by 33 percent, while also working on his footwork.

“I was a lot slower than I know I was capable of moving at,” Montgomery said. “It affected the game. I kind of let myself get in the way of myself as far as what I ate last year. I didn’t really care. I was a rookie. I was just eating whatever, but now it’s definitely a main focal point in my everyday life. It’s just being sure I put the right things in my body so it can carry over to the field.”

His body transformation is one thing, but his chances to get into the end zone are another. Montgomery put a good deal of work in the red zone last year, and this year, that won’t change. He had some serious touches and volume from inside the five-yard line last season, and that should only go up in 2020.

Plus, early word from training camp is that Montgomery is looking faster and formidable this year:

When to Draft David Montgomery in Fantasy Football This Year

FantasyPros currently has Montgomery towards the top of Tier 6, ranked as the 54th overall fantasy player and the 23rd-best running back available. Most early projections have him getting drafted in the fourth or fifth rounds. He’s currently listed behind running backs like David Johnson, Leonard Fournette and Baltimore’s Mark Ingram II. I think Montgomery outperforms those three and more.

He is being ranked between an RB23 and an RB26 in fantasy this season, which is pretty low for a guy who is going to carry a full-time workload this year, while also seeing a likely increase in passing targets. I see him finishing as a top 12 back in PPR leagues.

Nagy and company have done nothing to instill confidence they will prioritize the running game moving forward, yet I still think Montgomery is going to have a breakout year. He’s young, he’s hungry, he has been working like a mad man in the offseason — he’s going to be a force for the Bears this year, and I’m not alone in this thinking.

Final Verdict: Montgomery is going to have his first 1,000 yard rushing season in 2020, and he’s going to up his game on the receiving end, as well. Look for him to tally over 1,400 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. Take him in the the third or fourth rounds, ahead of his projections, and ahead of backs like Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson.

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