Before the 2017 regular season began, I was as high on Ty Montgomery’s first full season as a running back as anyone. You can check back to my article here, where I say not to worry about him even after some preseason injury scares. I was so confident, I made sure I drafted him in as many leagues as possible (four out of five to be exact).
My assumptions that Montgomery would be a fantasy star were spot on to start the season, but with seven weeks in the books, he has just about hit rock bottom due to injuries and the rise of yet another rookie running back, Aaron Jones. The Packers need to lean on a running back with the loss of Aaron Rodgers and Jones has looked like the running back to carry the burden. While it pains me to say it, I believe it may soon be time to wave goodbye to what could’ve and very well should’ve been a quality fantasy running back.
Montgomery started the fantasy season shot out of a cannon and established himself as a dominant RB1 in both standard and PPR leagues after two weeks of play. He wasn’t amounting a ton of yards but was consistently finding his way into the end zone as a runner and as a receiver. In week one against the Seattle Seahawks, he touched the ball 23 times and totaled 93 yards and a touchdown. Then, in a week two loss to Atlanta, he accounted for another 16 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
In two weeks of fantasy football, Montgomery was making every fantasy owner who took him look like a genius and boy I sure felt like one. I was patting myself on the back while he averaged 19.15 fantasy points per game, 24.15 in PPR. I wasn’t bothered by a sub-par performance in week three against the Bengals, but then Green Bay played the Bears in Week 4 and Montgomery left the game with a rib injury.
Uh-oh, this won’t be good for a couple weeks, but once he’s back I’ll be fine. What can a couple of rookie running backs do for the Pack? Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones relieved Montgomery but Jones was the back that stood out tallying 13 carries, 49 yards, and a touchdown.
I wasn’t worried about a couple rookies stealing snaps from Montgomery once he was healthy until I saw Jones’s performance against the Cowboys in week five. He exploded for 125 yards rushing yards and a touchdown on only 19 carries. He looked like a pure runner which set him apart from Montgomery in my mind. Where Montgomery struggled to pick up chunks of yardage, Jones looked natural.
Jones rebounded after a poor performance in Week 5 against the Vikings by decimating the Saints for 131 yards on the ground on 17 attempts including a 46-yard score, the longest for the Packers this season. With Aaron Rodgers likely done for the year, Jones looks like the clear bell-cow running back from this point on.
In the three games Aaron Jones has started, he’s carried the ball 49 times for 297 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Aaron Jones currently ranks third in the NFL in rush yards per attempt and has averaged 14.47 fantasy points over the last three games. In that same span, Montgomery has TOTALLED only 7.4 points.
Aaron Jones is a must-own fantasy player right now in all formats. While he doesn’t have the ability to pad his stats in PPR formats, his upside on the ground with Aaron Rodgers injured is sky-high. He’s a solid RB2 in all leagues and if he keeps making plays for the Green Bay offense, Montgomery’s fantasy value will be obsolete. His value is probably worth nothing as I’m writing this, but I want to keep on hoping for just one more week.
Any comments, questions, or concerns? Are you wondering why a Chicago Bears fan is enamored with Packers players? Hey, they’re good at fantasy football (and real football). Come talk with me on twitter @DJFezler_TFR.