Lions running back David Montgomery is a sneaky-good fantasy start vs. Chiefs in Week 1

With all the hype around Jahmyr Gibbs, don't forget about Lions running back David Montgomery in your Week 1 fantasy football lineups.

Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Upon his signing with the Detroit Lions in March, it was easy to be all-in on David Montgomery's fantasy prospects for this year. Then the Lions drafted Jahmyr Gibbs 12th overall, and killed that buzz unless you could pivot to seeing Montgomery as a value pick in fantasy drafts.

With Week 1 upon us, Gibbs is still the headliner as fantasy owners lock in their season-opening lineups. Those who drafted Montgomery did so in the middle rounds, and probably have him as their RB3 and hardly a weekly lineup lock .

Ben Raven of MLive is among those of us who are in on Montgomery as a fantasy asset this year. In his Week 1 Lions' fantasy column, he has Montgomery as a sleeper against the Chiefs and he offered what he warned to be a hot take.

"Montgomery is going to flirt with weekly RB1 territory this year, for those looking for a fantasy hot take from around these parts."

Ben Raven, MLive

Fantasy Football Week 1: David Montgomery is a sneaky fantasy start vs. Chiefs

In a broad sense, based on last year's numbers, the Chiefs are not an easy matchup for the Lions' running backs overall and Gibbs has the easiest path to production since they were generous to backs in the passing game. But Kansas City will be without star defensive tackle Chris Jones due to his holdout, leaving a big void in a defense that lacks playmakers overall.

The Lions will be looking to balance wanting to run the ball and keep Patrick Mahomes off the field with keeping their aggressiveness up against the Chiefs. Montgomery will get plenty of work as the lead back, and he'll have the primary role around the goal line.

The Chiefs had the NFL's second-worst red zone defense last year, allowing a touchdown on 67.3 percent of opponents' trips inside the 20-yard line--and that was with Jones on the field. When the Lions get into the prime scoring area, Montgomery is literally a good bet to score on Thursday night.

Montgomery is widely projected for double-digit fantasy points in Week 1. That makes him a viable flex option for his fantasy owners in any scoring format, with the upside potential to be matchup-titling play to start the season. There's a case for putting him in your lineup in a RB spot, to maintain maximum flexibility for maneuvering with your flex spot heading into Sunday's slate of games.

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