2013 Fantasy Outlook: Montee Ball
Montee Ball | Denver Broncos | RB
2013 Experience: Rookie
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Fantasy Football Outlook: I’ll get this out of the way right now, I’m a Ronnie Hillman fan. Don’t look to me to give you some hype train that Ball will deliver rookie numbers close to what we saw from Doug Martin or Alfred Morris because I don’t believe that will happen.
Ball does have a chance to be the Broncos three down back in the future but while the coaching staff and GM John Elway talked up Ball after the draft, it’s been Hillman taking most of the first-team reps during OTAs.
Things can change fast during the summer so just because Hillman is working in front of Ball, it doesn’t mean the rookie can pass him by the time training camp comes around.
My problem is, while Hillman has taken heat for his pass protection skills as a rookie, he’s looked better and added muscle this off-season. Ball wasn’t known for being much of a pass blocker himself (unlike Doug Martin who was considered solid coming out of Boise State) and obviously if you can’t pass protect your not going to stay on the field with Peyton Manning.
This will be a very interesting battle to watch as Knowshon Moreno has missed OTAs because he’s recovering from surgery, but will be back for training camp. Willis McGahee failed to report for voluntary OTAs and that’s not a good sign for a veteran that is likely to be released in favor of the young running backs.
No, unless injury befalls Hillman or Ball, it should be the two youngsters that spend most of the time on the field this year. Then again, Coach Fox has a history of not trusting rookie running backs so we will have to monitor Ball carefully during training camp.
It’s hard to say where Ball should go in redraft leagues but for now I find him to be way overvalued as an early 4th round pick in 12-team leagues. There’s just too much uncertainty with Hillman showing improvement and Moreno proving he can play at a respectable level in a three down role.
While it’s possible Ball could be a three down back in the future, I find it highly unlikely he does so as a rookie and probably not for a few years down the road, if Hillman plays well.
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