Willis McGahee Out, Montee Ball's 2013 Fantasy Football Stock Soars

By Jim Heath
Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
Ron Chenoy-USATODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have parted ways with running back Willis McGahee. The release of a running back was an obvious move the Broncos had to make in light of their second round selection of Montee Ball, the only question was who and when.

Now that the who and when have been removed from the equation what can we expect from the Broncos backfield, and how does that impact you as you prepare for your Fantasy Football drafts in 2013?

One thing you should know up front is that any plans you may have had in waiting on drafting Ball as a value pick in this year’s draft left the building Thursday morning with the McGahee release. If you are drafting in dynasty leagues, you’ll need to mortgage the farm to get him.

Before the news Thursday of McGahee’s release, Ball was already going far too early in most mock drafts I had participated in. Now that McGahee is officially gone, the former Wisconsin Badger’s Fantasy Football stock just shot through the roof.

So, now you find yourself in a bit of a quandary. On one hand, Ball could certainly post Alfred Morris or Doug Martin-type numbers in Denver. On the other hand, it’s the word “could” in that last statement that is concerning knowing what you’ll have to invest to draft Ball.

Here’s what you need to know before making your decision. One, finding a dependable workhorse running back in today’s pass-happy NFL is a tough thing to do. Ball has the workhorse possibility. And two, if the Broncos had faith in Knowshon Moreno being their guy, they wouldn’t have used a second round pick to draft Ball.

One more thing to consider; everything in Denver boils down to one thing this season, Peyton Manning’s health. Without him the Broncos fall from Super Bowl favorites to simply another team in a weak division. Ball has to be a key component in Manning’s protection on the field. If Ball can prove that he’s capable of protecting Manning’s backside, sky’s the limit.

So, if you’re up to drafting a rookie running back that has never carried the rock in the NFL and you’re willing to spend big time to do so, you’re intestinal fortitude just might be rewarded tremendously in 2013.

Jim Heath is a Fantasy Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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