What's Going to Happen in the Chicago Backfield?

The Footballguys staff offers thoughts on how the Chicago backfield will shake out

Going into the 2018 season, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen appeared to be nice complementary players. Howard's thunder could rumble on the ground while Cohen's lightning would flash as a receiver. The results weren't bad, but the Bears obviously didn't care to continue with that tandem and let Howard leave in the offseason.

In Howard's place, Chicago brought in veteran Mike Davis and drafted rookie David Montgomery to fill out the backfield with Cohen. How will this trio of backs split the workload? Is the pie big enough in Chicago? Does your preferred target here depend heavily on your league's scoring system?

Andy Hicks

Mike Davis will be the steady veteran presence if and until David Montgomery is ready. Tarik Cohen’s role essentially will remain unchanged from last year. The biggest variant with Cohen will be touchdowns. He will essentially have 80-100 carries, with 50-80 receptions. He is probably a safe bottom end RB2 in PPR leagues. The more interesting battle will be between Mike Davis and the rookie. Davis will be in his fifth year and had his best year to date in 2018 with Seattle. He is a solid back, but his playing time will purely be dependant on where David Montogomery is at this year. Some rookies never get it, others need time and some are able to start immediately. Training camp and preseason will be vital for assessing playing time once the season starts. Right now according to ADP it is presumed that Montgomery gets the job sooner, rather than later. That makes Davis incredible value, but the ADP of both these players could fluctuate wildly in July and August. Both Davis and Montgomery are not as valuable in PPR leagues but should get a boost in touchdown leagues.

Phil Alexander

Andy has the right read on Cohen, who can be penciled in as a high-ceiling/low-floor RB2 in PPR formats. Even with Cohen accounting for 99 carries, 89 targets, and eight touchdowns last season, Howard still managed 250 carries and nine touchdowns of his own, so there is plenty of meat on the bone for two fantasy relevant running backs in Chicago.

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