I have to be honest, I want to like Ty Montgomery, I really do, so I’ve been scouring the internet for hours now for something, anything to buttress my argument. Here’s the thing, everything I’ve looked at keeps screaming JAG (Just A Guy) at me. Montgomery could not be more of a JAG unless his name was actually John Doe. His Playerprofiler comp is Davante Adams , which is less than great. His Sparq-x score of 116.8 falls into the 81st percentile, which when I was in school earned you a low B. Speaking of measurables, the former Stanford Cardinal measures in at 6’0” tall and weighs 221 pounds. Even in college, the best honor he earned was honorable mention at the wide receiver position on the All-PAC 12 team in 2014. Going into his senior year at Stanford, Montgomery was projected to go in the 1st round of the NFL draft but he had a disappointing year and less than stellar Combine performance, which lead to his fall into the 3rd round of the 2015 draft. All that said, opportunity is the lifeblood of fantasy production and Montgomery is about to get a big old heaping pile of opportunity on his plate. Who know’s, perhaps he can become more than a JAG.
Scouting reports, prior to the 2015 draft, indicated that Montgomery didn’t show “natural wide receiver characteristics.” That’s probably less than ideal for a wide receiver. Perhaps Montgomery was just miscast as a lead receiver and might be better suited to play the jack of all trades role, similar to Tavon Austin(except maybe Ty can actually be productive in the role). As the proverbial cherry on top of a mediocre sundae, Montgomery underwent ankle surgery and spent until August 9th on the preseason PUP list. So, he missed all of OTA’s and the first few weeks of pre-season camp. Not the optimal situation when trying to establish or even enhance your role coming off an injury-shortened rookie season. But as fate would have it, it appears that Ty Montgomery is going to be given a big chance starting tonight to change the narrative surrounding him as a player.
One Last Chance
Although it’s difficult to find anything that points to Montgomery being the next great Packers wide receiver, there are a few positive indicators. On a whole, the Packer’s offense has been underwhelming to say the least this season and there’s room for someone to step up and establish themselves as an offensive weapon. Eddie Lacy, James Starks and Davante Adams are all going to miss varying time the remainder of the season(see below).
During the first 6 games of the 2015 season, Montgomery produced 15 receptions for 136 yards and 2 TD’s. He also showed his versatility with 3 rushes and 7 kickoff returns. While watching the games he was able to play in last season, the game never seemed to be too big for him.
The Packers invested a 3rd round pick on him showing that as an organization he’s certainly valued as a prospect. The Packers have also shown an uncanny ability to mine the wide receiver position via the draft going back to the days of Greg Jennings and James Jones up through Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
2016 might not have started out the way Montgomery or Montgomery owners had hoped. Zero points scored weeks 1-5 is actually pretty awful and you can be excused if you already cut bait on Ty and used his roster spot for something actually useful to your fantasy team like a kicker, or backup kicker, maybe a 3rd string tight end. But now is the time to pick him up off waivers or activate him from your Taxi Squad and time to get him into your starting lineup.
One Last Last Best Chance
Eddie Lacy will now undergo season ending surgery on his ankle and be placed on the IR. This follows last weeks surgery for James Starks, which will sideline him for 3-4 weeks and leaves the Packers running back situation in less than ideal circumstances. As of right now the Packers backfield consists of UDFA Don Jackson and the recently acquired(his plane just landed in Green Bay like 15 minutes ago) Kniles Davis. “Shane, what does any of this have to do with Ty Montgomery” you’re probably saying right about now. First of all, I prefer to be called Shameless, secondly I’ll tell you what this has to do with Mr. Montgomery. All these injuries to the Packers running backs, not to mention Davante Adams who is dealing with a concussion, have conspired to give Ty another chance to show his value and versatility to the Packer’s. One giant piece of the puzzle I have neglected to mention is that the Packers happen to have a game to play this very evening against the Chicago Bears and reports indicate that Montgomery is the primary option out of the backfield.
I know! But as I mentioned earlier Montgomery did play a little running back last year for the Packer’s as well as manning the position to when Eddie Lacy needed a spell to rest his injured ankle last week. Ty played extensively in the backfield and picked up 3 carries to go along with 10 receptions. Montgomery converted his 10 receptions and 3 carries, including a fumble, into 18.4 fantasy points. For obvious reasons Montgomery is a receiving threat out of the backfield and should have excellent value in PPR leagues. Prior to his cameo appearances out of the backfield last season and last week Montgomery also played a bit of the running back position while in college. Montgomery often lined up in the backfield when he played at Stanford and carried the ball 23 times his senior season. At 6’0″ 216 lbs. Montgomery could end up being a bruiser out of the backfield. None of this is to say that Montgomery is the next Eddie George or even Eddie Lacy. What I am saying is that this should allow Montgomery to show how valuable he can be to the Packers offense and why he deserves additional snaps. Montgomery can establish himself as a flex play for the remainder of the 2016 season starting tonight against the Bear’s if produces. If Montgomery excels in this role tonight well than the sky is the limit. Well maybe a comparable career to Randall Cobb, but I’ll take that too.
When I initially profiled Ty Montgomery I was less than enthusiastic about his fantasy prospects. Quite frankly weeks 1-5 showed no reason to revisit my thoughts on the matter. But fantasy football is all about adjusting your thinking when situations change. Ty Montgomery’s situation has certainly changed and it’s time to adjust my thought process regarding him. He holds his fate in his hands. Fate has conspired to present him with an supreme opportunity to change his fortunes. Excel with the opportunity given and Montgomery can change his entire career trajectory as well as the fantasy fortunes of anyone who held onto during his mostly unproductive first season and half of his career.
Thank you for reading. You can find me on Twitter @DFF_Shane