The Tale of Two Running Backs: A David Montgomery Story

by Joseph Marshall

May I have your attention, please?

May I have your attention, please?

Will the real David Montgomery please stand up?

Okay, I’ll stop now, but seriously, who is this guy? Is he the “Frankenstein of running backs”, as he was once whimsically compared to Zeke, Saquon, and LeVeon Bell, during his tenure at Iowa State? Coming out of college, Montgomery held the number 2 average draft position (ADP) in rookie drafts, behind only Josh Jacobs, per (fantasyfootballcalculator.com).

Or is he the uninspiring, plodding, slow to hit the hole, 3 yards and a pile of field turf player we watched run through quick sand for the first year and a half of his career? “Franken-running back” was definitely missing the needed spark to make him look alive on the field over the course of his young career, averaging a Rashaan Salaam-esque 3.6 yards per carry through his first 25 contests. RIP Rashaan. I don’t intentionally mean to drag the late former college great, but the similarities on the field had Bears fans wondering if “Ooops they did it again”. (I’m going to run this gen z 90’s revival into the ground as much as humanly possible until it’s not on trend because the “boomers” think it’s cool). 

Enter the well thought out play calling of Bill Lazor and a rejuvenated David Montgomery, fresh off a bye week and the first missed game in his career, and now we have another question. As he finished RB4 on the season in PPR formats, behind heavy hitters Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, and Derrick Henry, is David Montegomery a top 5 dynasty running back?

Let’s just dissect that last sentence a bit. Only 3 RB’s outscored Montgomery. One of these men ran for 2,000 yards. Another tallied 21 touchdowns and flirted with the elusive feat of achieving 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. And the “other” back to outscore him: Dalvin Cook, who had 1,900 total yards on the season and chipped in with 17 TD’s!

So this is a no brainer, right? We have a highly touted prospect out of college, one whom fantasy managers spent heavy draft capital on, playing up to, nay, exceeding the highest of expectations set for him. David Montgomery to the moon, amirite? 

Wrong! Montgomery currently resides uncomfortably at dynasty RB20 according to Fantasypros, behind both Josh Jacobs and Miles Sanders from his same draft class (2019). Don’t worry, it gets better worse. He also sits behind soon to be 27-year-old free agent Aaron Jones, and 5th year pro, Joe Mixon, who the fantasy community clings to hope will “break out” like that old pair of jeans that used to fit just right, but now your ass is too fat, and deep down you know there is absolutely zero chance they fit again, unless Elon Musk invents a time machine. 

In closing, we still don’t know if David Montgomery is Cedric Benson or Matt Forte, but I do know this: He is being majorly undervalued for his age, production, and workload.

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