Dark Horse Fantasy Option: Knowshon Moreno

By Tristen Challe
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The running back situation for the Denver Broncos entering the NFL’s 2013 season has been quite the race. Denver added Montee Ball out of Wisconsin in the draft hoping he could bring the explosiveness and speed the team is looking for.

Ball is grabbing the attention of fantasy players across the country as he appears to have possibly won the starting job. You may have your eye on Ball, but don’t count out the dark horse running back Knowshon Moreno just yet.

Moreno has been a hit or miss fantasy player for the past few years and many fantasy players have debated whether or not they should use a draft pick on the man entering only his fifth year in the league.

Last season Moreno didn’t gather more than 10 carries until week 12 of the season when he was given the ball 20 times. When his number was finally called upon to take the brunt of the carries, he was able to manage over 100 yards in two out of five 20+ carry games adding two touchdowns. While the numbers may not scream starter worthy, on a team with Peyton Manning at the helm, getting 20 or more carries a game is significant.

Yes, Ball does seem to have the best chance at being the starter going into week one of the season but the coaching staff has indicated that his pass blocking is not quite up to the level they wish to have. Protecting Manning is of the utmost priorities for the Broncos and Moreno is far ahead of Ball in this regard. Moreno is the most reliable pass-blocking back on the team and could get him on the field more than expected, especially if Ball runs into problems.

This season looks the most promising for Moreno as far as fantasy worth is concerned. Willis McGahee is no longer on the team and Ronnie Hillman hasn’t impressed anyone, especially with his ball security issues.

Even if Moreno doesn’t start in the first week, the team could eventually turn to him to take the handoffs from Manning. From what he was able to produce in the latter portion of last season, Moreno proved he has the ability to get the job done for the Broncos.

The best part of Moreno’s fantasy draft worth is that you should be able to grab him on one of the late rounds. He’s owned in about 70 percent of leagues with a fantasy ranking of No. 130.  He could be a terrific insurance policy for your team if you do decide to take Ball.

Tristen Challe is a Fantasy Writer for Rantsports. Follow him on Twitter @TristenChalle or on Google.

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