The Denver Broncos selected Wisconsin running back Montee Ball with the 58th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Fantasy analysis: The Broncos can no longer be certain that they can count on Willis McGahee, who turns 32 in October and is coming off a seriously sprained knee. Knowshon Moreno may not be in the team's long-term plans, either, especially given his limited upside the franchise's seeming pairing of Ball with 2012 draft choice Ronnie Hillman.
Denver isn't exactly attempting to recreate Thunder and Lightning with that pair. Ball can protect the passer, however, and that's a vital skill in this offense. That alone probably gives him an edge over Hillman for playing time, assuming the two youngsters emerge from training camp atop the Broncos' depth chart. Ball is a well-built, patient, punishing runner, so he's likely to be the leader among backs in touches if he gains a handle on the playbook and meets expectations on the practice field.
Ball is used to operating behind a great O-line, so that shouldn't change, but his production in college may give false impressions about his ability. Nothing comes easily in the NFL, of course, so Ball's fantasy upside is a little limited. Still, he lands in a good situation and may be good enough for a mid-round pick in fantasy leagues, depending on how things shake out this summer.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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