David Montgomery
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

David Montgomery Will Take A Step Back In 2021 Fantasy Football

First off, I would like to thank David Montgomery for winning me my fantasy league last year. After Christian McCaffrey went down, James Robinson and Montgomery led me to the promised land. Montgomery ranked as the RB6, RB1, and RB8 across three weeks of playoffs and finished the year as the #6 running back in the league. That being said, however, Montgomery will not replicate his 2020 season in 2021.

A large part of Montgomery’s production came as a result of Tarik Cohen’s season-ending injury in Week 3. Cohen is a dynamic athlete who is active in the passing game, and Montgomery was forced to carry the rushing load for the Bears after he went down. Montgomery ran for 1070 yards and eight touchdowns and added 54 receptions, 438 yards, and two touchdowns in the passing game. In nine of the 15 games Montgomery played, he amassed double-digit points.

Besides the injury to Cohen, a large part of Montgomery’s success in 2020 also came from the bad quarterback play of the Bears. They started the season with Mitch Trubisky who was benched in favor of Nick Foles before picking up the starting job again at the end of the season. Between Trubisky and Foles, the Bears had some of the worst quarterbacking in 2020, so Montomery was the obvious choice in the offense.

Two things are working against Montgomery in 2021. First, Tarik Cohen’s return and the signing of Damien Williams. With more running backs, Montgomery is going to see fewer snaps and therefore produce less. Not rocket science. The second is the arrival of Justin Fields. Although Matt Nagy said that Andy Dalton is the starter and Montgomery would be semi-productive alongside Dalton, who is not a notably talented quarterback, the Bears got a brand new toy in the draft in Fields and they will want to play with that toy. Fields should start week one because of his dynamic athleticism and cannon for an arm, and the offense will likely not be running the ball as much when he takes over as primary signal-caller.

Finally, Montgomery feasted on bad defenses in the last eight games of the season. Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, Jacksonville, and Green Bay twice were the last six teams the Bears faced in 2020. Those teams had some of the worst defenses in the league, and the Bears will face a lot more top-tier defense in 2021. They play teams like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, LA Rams, Buccaneers, and 49ers, all of whom could have top-ten defenses this upcoming season. Additionally, PFF has the Bears have the 27th ranked offensive line coming into 2021, so their rushing attack will be nowhere near what it was in 2020. In short, stay away from David Montgomery in 2021 fantasy football.

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