Fantasy owners who bought into David Montomery as a legit draft steal watched it pay off early this season. So the collective concern among those fantasy managers when he was slow to get up after a reception in Week 6 against the Buccaneers was surely palpable.
Montgomery suffered a rib injury, and as rib injuries go it being a cartilage issue is better than having ribs cracked, broken, etc. But he is headed for some missed time, and it feels likely it'll be two games with the Lions' bye coming in Week 9.
So Montgomery's fantasy owners are left to pivot. Look waiver wire columns or listen to fantasy podcasts early this week, and you'll see a lot of potentially viable running back options to grab off the waiver wire heading into Week 7. The nature of the position keeps running backs who are on a Week 7 bye in play to add this week.
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Craig Reynolds among top adds for Week 7
After Montgomery left the game against Tampa Bay, and of course with Jahmyr Gibbs (hamstring) out, Craig Reynolds stepped in as the Lions' lead running back. He didn't do much in the ground (10 carries for 15 yards), but he did have a 28-yard reception among his two catches.
It was the 2021 season, so take it for what' it's worth. But Reynolds stepped into a big role, and he had games with 99, 117 and 51 total yards from Week 14-16. He finished as RB20, RB16 and RB37 in those weeks respectively (0.5-pint PPR).
Gibbs may return in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens. If so, he'd be in line to take the lead back role and we saw what that looked like when Montgomery was out in Week 3 (17 carries for 80 yards). But Reynolds' competition that day for what was left of the work, Zonovan Knight, is likely out for the season with a shoulder injury. And it's fair to question what Gibbs' workload would look like in his first game back after a soft tissue injury.
It's not a great matchup against Baltimore, who have the 10th-ranked run defense in the NFL and are middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to running backs. But the Ravens have been a little bit lenient to the position lately, as three running backs have topped 60 total yards against them over their last two games. Derrick Henry and Tajae Spears were spurred by big plays in Week 6, but Reynolds showed some of the same juice on his 28-yard catch last week.
If Montgomery and Gibbs are both out, Reynolds has volume appeal as a low-end RB2 or a flex in Week 7. Even if Gibbs plays, the prospect of double-digit touches and/or a good share of goal line work would keep Reynolds in the flex conversation during a six-team bye week.
Week 8 brings a better matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, and Reynolds will have a role as long as Montgomery remains out. So there's some potential multi-week utility here.
Reynolds is of course widely available as waivers for Week 7 get going (6.6 percent owned in ESPN leagues; 2 percent rostered in Yahoo! leagues). But he is lined up to be one of the most-added players for the week, and he'll be work checking back in on after waivers process in case he was not picked up.