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Khalil Herbert's Bears Fantasy Impact After David Montgomery's Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 30, 2022

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 25: Running back Khalil Herbert #24 of the Chicago Bears runs for a touchdown during the first quarter at Soldier Field on September 25, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Run, don't walk, to the waiver wire in your fantasy league if Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert is available.

Not only is the 24-year-old a top waiver-wire option after the Bears ruled David Montgomery (ankle/knee) out for Sunday against the New York Giants, but he also should be inserted into starting lineups. After all, he more than proved his worth during Chicago's Week 3 victory over the Houston Texans when Montgomery exited.

All Herbert did was put the team on his back and run for 157 yards in two touchdowns in the 23-20 win.

Chicago Bears @ChicagoBears

JUICEEEEEE<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HOUvsCHI?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HOUvsCHI</a> on CBS <a href="https://t.co/PYYJO7lg2m">pic.twitter.com/PYYJO7lg2m</a>

The effort proved critical because Justin Fields and the passing attack struggled throughout the game, which has been something of the norm for the Bears this season.

Herbert was solid last season as a rookie with 433 rushing yards, 96 receiving yards and two touchdowns even though he was behind Montgomery on the depth chart. He was, unsurprisingly, at his best when the starter was sidelined during games against the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He ran for 97 yards and one touchdown against the Packers and 100 yards against the Buccaneers, underscoring his ability to handle a starter's workload.

That was clear again this season in the win over the Texans.

Fantasy production is largely tied to opportunity for running backs, and it is difficult to script a better opportunity for Herbert if Montgomery is out. Not only is the starter not going to take the majority of the carries, but the Bears are also built to rely on the rushing attack.

Fields is yet to prove himself as a passer at the NFL level, although he can make defenses pay with his legs. That opens up the playbook as far as running backs are concerned with read-options and screen passes a major part of the attack.

Enter Herbert, who has the speed to make defenders miss in the open field and showed enough power at the goal line against the Texans to be a factor in short-yardage situations.

It is all an ideal formula from a fantasy perspective, making Herbert a must-add from the waiver wire if he is still available and someone who should garner serious starting consideration.

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