Fantasy Football: Will David Montgomery finally break out in Week 8?


Bears coach Matt Nagy promised to run the ball more than seven times Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. He's vowed to create more balance and build an identity on offense that will help his young quarterback build some momentum. Essentially, he's promised to do exactly the opposite of what he's done all season in Week 8.

The biggest beneficiary of a potentially revised gameplan should be rookie running back David Montgomery. This feels like a common theme at this point, wishfully thinking that Montgomery, with all the hype that surrounded him during training camp and the preseason, will finally emerge as one of the NFL's most exciting young running backs. Instead, six games into his first season, the former Iowa State star has just 231 yards (3.3 yards per carry).

Low and behold, Sunday's matchup against the Chargers may just be exactly what Montgomery and the Bears' ground game needs to get on track. They're a bottom-third defense against the run and have two starting defensive linemen -- Brandon Mebane and Justin Jones -- ruled out with injuries.

More touches, combined with a struggling run defense without two of its starters, means Montgomery is a 'start' in fantasy football this week, according to CBS Sports fantasy analyst Jamey Eisenberg.

This feels like a squeaky wheel game for Montgomery after what happened to the Bears in Week 7 against the Saints, and then what coach Matt Nagy said following the game. On Monday, Nagy said in a news conference, "I know we need to run the ball more. I'm not an idiot." This was after Chicago had just seven running plays in a loss to New Orleans at home. Montgomery has been a disappointment so far this season, including the past two games against Oakland and New Orleans when he combined for 13 carries for 31 yards and a touchdown, as well as three catches for 24 yards. He needs more work, and he needs to get into a rhythm. We'll see if that happens this week against the Chargers, who have allowed four touchdowns to running backs in the past three games. I can understand your trepidation to play him this week, but I would stick with him as at least a No. 2 running back in all formats.

Proceed with caution, however. We've been down this road before with Montgomery, most notably in Week 5 against the Raiders when he was projected as a potential RB1 for that game. He finished with 11 carries for 25 yards and a touchdown. Hardly the kind of numbers to support the projection. 

Still, this week feels different. It'll start with the playcalling, and if you're confident Nagy will be true to his word, Montgomery will get his largest workload of the season. An increase in production, and fantasy points, will follow.

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