Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy called running back Ty Montgomery a “full threat” this summer. He was drafted by the Packers in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft and switched to RB in the middle of the 2016 season.
I have been championing Montgomery a lot this summer as the lead RB in one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses. How does this game affect the rest of season outlook for him? That, in essence, is what Connecting the Dots is all about.
Montgomery handled 67.8 percent of the rushing attempts in Week 1. He had 19 rushing attempts and four receptions for a total of 23 touches, which were a new career high. Only six other RBs produced more fantasy points than Montgomery in PPR formats in Week 1.
Montgomery’s usage was very encouraging considering the Packers ranked 29th in rushing attempts last season with 374, despite having the fourth-most red zone opportunities (174).
Aaron Rodgers has not historically used his RBs much in the passing game since he became the starter in 2008, especially compared to other elite QBs.
Montgomery had four targets and four receptions, which are in line with these averages, but it is encouraging to see an effort to get him involved so early in the season. Over this same time frame, the Packers have operated as an RB by committee, never giving one RB more than 56 percent of the touches. Will this mindset change for Montgomery in 2017?
SNAPS PLAYED MATTER
Montgomery played 90 percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps and touched the football, or was targeted, on 31 percent of them. He was also very effective in pass protection.
Here’s a look at the snaps played by the other RBs who finished with more fantasy points in PPR formats.
|Player||Pos||Team||Gms||Snaps||Snap Pct||Util Pct|
The more Montgomery is on the field, the more opportunities he has to produce. He was very effective against a difficult opponent.
THE SEAHAWKS WERE A GREAT LITMUS TEST
The Seahawks defense is one of the formidable units in the NFL, consistently ranking near the top of points per drive (PPD).
This unit ranked ninth Weighted Defense-adjusted Value Over Average last season, according to Football Outsiders. Imagine what Montgomery could do against the Atlanta Falcons defense in Week 2.
MONTGOMERY IS BUILT TO CARRY THE LOAD
The Packers asked Montgomery to slim down to 215 pounds after his 2015 Combine weigh-in of 221 pounds. He has bulked back up to 223 pounds and is actually bigger than both of the middle-round RBs selected in the 2017 NFL Draft – Jamaal Williams (212) and Aaron Jones (208). Given their skill sets, it appears the rookies were drafted to add RB depth. Montgomery is equipped to better handle the physicality of the RB position and play more snaps, especially on third down.
Sports Injury Predictor’s algorithm has classified Montgomery as a medium injury risk, with a 36 percent chance of injury in 2017. He is more durable than you might think.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM MONTGOMERY?
Ty Montgomery played all but eight snaps in the Packers game last week, easily making him a weekly must-play https://t.co/3xVoMuTbKv— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 13, 2017
Montgomery can be viewed as a high-end RB2 with RB1 upside. He is one of the rare workhorses in the NFL, and that is a valuable asset in fantasy football. Montgomery is on pace to meet or exceed our staff projections.
Montgomery is a must start against a Falcons defense that gave up 118 rushing yards to Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
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