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David Montgomery Now Favored to Lead Rookie RBs in Touchdowns Over Josh Jacobs

Will David Montgomery be the most productive rookie back this year? Photo from @Bearsbarroom (Twitter)
  • Josh Jacobs was a -130 favorite with this prop but has now dropped down to +100.
  • David Montgomery should be in the range of nine touchdowns, which is the number Jordan Howard posted in the Bears offense in each of the last two seasons.
  • Miles Sanders, Devin Singletary and Damien Harris are nothing more than dart throws.

Although Chicago Bears rookie running back David Montgomery wasn’t drafted until the 73rd pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, he’s expected to have a great season.

In fact, the oddsmakers expect him to lead all rookie running backs in touchdowns. Are they overvaluing him here or is he the best bet with this prop? Let’s take a closer look:

Which 2019 NFL Rookie RB Will Score the Most TDs?

2019 NFL Rookie RB TD Leader Odds at MyBookie*
David Montgomery +100
Josh Jacobs +130
Miles Sanders +200
Devin Singletary +300
Damien Harris +500

*Odds taken 08/30/19 

Montgomery Appears to be Workhorse

One of the reasons Montgomery is expected to lead the rookies in touchdowns is because of his opportunity. Chicago ran the ball the seventh-most times last season (468 attempts) with lead running back Jordan Howard receiving 250 carries.

He finished the year with nine touchdowns, so that gives an idea of what Montgomery can do. However, it’s worth noting that Montgomery is a more complete back than Howard, as he’s a better receiver and more elusive.

Last season, they managed to play from ahead quite frequently as their defense either was among the best in the NFL. However, some feel this team is due for a regression. They have a tougher schedule and still have yet to sign a proven kicker.

Even so, if everything goes wrong for the Bears – they regress, Mitchell Trubisky struggles and they lose more games – Montgomery seems to still have a high floor. The Bears offense was bad two years ago and Howard still rushed for nine touchdowns. We should expect Montgomery to be in that range.

Value With Jacobs?

As the offseason has progressed, we’ve heard plenty of news regarding Montgomery and little about Jacobs. That’s part of why the hype train has been steaming along for Montgomery while Jacobs has slipped a little bit in both fantasy football and NFL futures. Jacobs had been a -130 favorite in this category.

I actually see good value with Jacobs for a couple of reasons. To start, he’s in an offense that should be more explosive than the Bears. The Raiders also have a much worse defense, which should translate to more points and more opportunities for Jacobs to be on the field.

Remember, Montgomery should be the lead dog when it comes to rushing but Tarik Cohen is still a much-used receiving weapon for the Bears. Jacobs has been lauded for his hands this offseason and we know Derek Carr loves his dump-offs. This could work well.

Pass On The Others

There are a few other players in this category like Miles Sanders, Devin Singletary and Damien Harris. However, none of those backs are confirmed starters and all will be rotational players in deep backfields.

Sanders will split with Howard and Darren Sproles, Singletary is behind both LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore on the depth chart and Harris is behind Sony Michel and James White. These guys are nothing more than dart throws at this point.

What’s The Best Bet?

In my view, the best bet here is Jacobs. I’m expecting the Bears to regress, and I think that impacts their game flows a little bit. I also don’t love having Cohen and offseason signing Mike Davis around as they could vulture a few touchdowns.

Jacobs is in a great situation. The Raiders should play in plenty of shootouts and Jacobs is the main man in the backfield. I’m expecting double-digit touchdowns from him while Montgomery will be a close second in the seven-to-nine range.

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