The Detroit Lions turned over the top of their running back room this offseason, and it's fair to expect David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs to be an upgrade over Jamaal Williams and D'Andre Swift. In fantasy football terms, their roles were fruitful last year and are well lined up to be again this year.
Gibbs is the upside fantasy pick of the two Lions' backs, with particular potential in PPR scoring. Montgomery's value is more grounded, but there's a case he's the better draft value of the two. In any case, there's room for both to produce. If a draft goes a certain way, getting both isn't out of the question.
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is dabbling in the fantasy football space in a partnership with Yahoo! Sports. In recent episode of "Ekeler's Edge", Ekeler and co-host Matt Harmon responded to "Ask Austin" mailbag submissions of bold predictions for 2023.
A very bold fantasy prediction for the Detroit Lions running back duo
Someone wrote in with a prediction that both Montgomery and Gibbs will finish at top-15 backs in fantasy. Ekeler said he will shave his eyebrows if it happens.
Harmon outlined what he feels it would take for Montgomery and Gibbs to reach that top-15 mark. For Montgomery, obviously, it's replicating (or closely replicating) Williams' heavy goal line role from last year. For Gibbs, it's along the lines of 90 receptions.
Two top-15 fantasy backs on the same team is very rare. But it has happened before, and the last time was pretty recent.
As Yahoo! Fantasy noted, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were both top-10 backs in 2020 while sharing work in the Cleveland Browns' backfield. The 2017 New Orleans Saints, with a backfield duo Lions' head coach Dan Campbell has compared Montgomery and Gibbs to since he was there as an assistant, had Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara as top-10 fantasy backs in PPR scoring too.
Back in 2013, the Lions had a running back duo who both finished as top-15 fantasy backs in PPR scoring--Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. Will they have one again in 2023? It's very unlikely, based solely on history and how rare it has been, but it's hardly impossible.