After four years with the Chicago Bears, David Montgomery's fantasy football prospects naturally and automatically improved when he signed with the Detroit Lions in March. Expectations just had to change after Jahmyr Gibbs was drafted, but that only really lined Montgomery up to be a draft bargain.
Drafting Montgomery where you could in a fantasy draft (seventh round?), he was surely only along the lines of RB3/flex option for many fantasy managers who got him. Not a bad place to have a running back in line for goal line work in a good offense.
To the wide-ranging dismay of Gibbs' fantasy owners, Montgomery had 32 carries for 121 yards and three touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night to kick off Week 4. And to the broader dismay of those who drafted Gibbs, Montgomery has 21, 16 and 32 carries in the three games he has played, with a touchdown in each.
The Lions made no secret of how they viewed their backfield duo. Montgomery would be the workhorse in the sense we think of it traditionally, while Gibbs is seen as a position-less weapon. To this point in the season, game scripts and game flow have favored Montgomery seeing a lot of work.
Lions RB David Montgomery is a weekly lineup lock in fantasy football
In Week 4, the Lions face the Carolina Panthers, who entered Week 4 allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs (Yahoo! and ESPN scoring). Week 5 and Week 6 are tougher matchups (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens), before another easy matchup in Week 8 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
It's fair to assume Gibbs will see a larger share of the Lions' backfield touches moving forward, but there stands to be some inconsistency there. There's a case for Montgomery as a fantasy "sell high", since three-touchdown games aren't repeatable, he has five touchdowns in his three games and his ceiling feels low (not to mention volume-based).
But Montgomery also has a stable weekly floor, 10-15 touches might be on the low side, with the prospect of a touchdown on a weekly basis. So be it as a RB2 or a flex spot, with some tilt away from PPR formats, he's going to be hard to not have locked into fantasy lineups until further notice.