The quickest way to fall behind in a fantasy football league is to become complacent and rely on the team you drafted, neglecting the all-important waiver wire. As managers make numerous waiver claims for Week 4, hoping to strengthen their roster, should Chicago Bears RB Khalil Herbert be a priority addition off the waiver wire at the Giants?
Khalil Herbert shines following an injury to David Montgomery
Football has progressed so much since its inception. It’s changed dramatically in the last decade, with the lines between pro and college-style offenses being blurred more and more each year. That is all except for one, single spot on the map where apparently passing the ball is like turning down your fourth helping of Polish sausages at the tailgate or a ritual shot of Malört. It’s just something you never do.
Given how run-heavy the Bears are offensively (72%), it’s no wonder the top waiver wire priority for Week 4 is arguably a running back. Thrust into action following an injury to David Montgomery, second-year RB Khalil Herbert put the offense on his back Sunday, rushing 20 times against the Texans for 157 yards with two touchdowns, ending the week as the RB1 in PPR formats with 30.9 PPR points.
To add some context to this feat, Herbert now sits No. 1 in rushing yards over expectation per carry at 2.71 (minimum 25 carries). Additionally, only two running backs sit above the +2 RYOE threshold: Herbert and D’Andre Swift.
This is not a one-off occurrence either. Herbert flourished in a similar role last season. Between Weeks 5 and 8 of last year, Herbert recorded 78 carries, 344 yards, and 22 opportunities a game. During this four-game stretch, Herbert rushed for 95 yards or more twice, with every game above 70 rushing yards. He also brought some PPR upside by averaging 3.4 PPR per game via the air, placing him as the RB18.
Monitor the status of David Montgomery
The jury is out on how long Montgomery will be out or if he will miss time at all. Montgomery left midway through the first quarter with injuries to his right knee and ankle but is “good” according to coach Matt Eberflus on Monday.
“He’s going to be day-to-day, so that’s a positive,” Eberflus said. “We’ll see where he is tomorrow and re-evaluate it from there. It’s a positive, for sure.”
The Bears announced Montgomery was doubtful to return but never ruled him out. However, they did make the important designation that he sustained two separate injuries. When asked, Eberflus chose not to elaborate.
“It’s lower leg right now, so we’ll just look at it,” he said. “There’s a couple things going on there, but we’ll look at it.”
Herbert is the top waiver wire priority for Week 4
Alexander Mattison will be right up there in priority, but with the likelihood Dalvin Cook can play with a harness, I lead towards the value of Herbert. Additionally, it’s a larger chuck of the offensive philosophy. The Bears are committed to the run, whereas the Vikings are moving away from that under Kevin O’Connell.
On Sunday, the Bears finished with 281 rushing yards, their most in a game since 1984. Through three games this season, Chicago is averaging 187 yards rushing per game. This is who they are.
Herbert was an under-the-radar target for me in drafts this year as we knew the talent was there, and there had been rumors of the team looking to get him involved even more. Chicago can ease Mongtomery back, as Herbert won’t miss a beat.
Truth be told, he should be valued the same as Montgomery from an upside standpoint. And in Week 4, assuming Montgomery is absent, Herbert is not only a starter, but he could be a top-12 player when it’s all done and dusted.
The Giants are hemorrhaging yards to running backs this year. They’re 20th in points allowed (23.6 PPR), and despite facing the 11th-most carries, have allowed the third-most yards per game on the ground (126.3) and are 31st in yards per carry (5.57). They gave up 82 to Derrick Henry, 102 to Christian McCaffrey, and 178 combined to Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
I would spend whatever amount of FAAB required to ensure Herbert is on your starting roster in Week 4. He adds upside and depth to your roster and likely becomes incorporated into the offense more, assuming the Bears continue to run the rock at a laughably high rate. In deeper leagues, I would also take a look at Trestan Ebner, a rookie from Baylor who shined in the preseason and should act as the No. 2 this week.