The Denver Broncos have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and the members of their passing attack are all among the elite players at their position in fantasy football. Unfortunately, that same success has not translated to the run game from a fantasy perspective. Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman form a three man committee that has been impossible to predict thus far this season.
Entering the season, the rookie Ball was expected by most to be the starter and get the vast majority of the carries. After all, the second round pick was a record setting runner in college, and the one missing piece from the Denver offense was a top notch back. However, questions about his ability in pass protection have cost him playing time, and he has already lost two fumbles.
Yesterday was by far Ball’s most successful game as a pro, with 11 carries for 61 yards. However, he lost another fumble, and that could lead to John Fox reducing his playing time. Ball is the best runner of the three, but for fantasy purposes he is currently the most risky.
It appeared Moreno would take over as the workhorse back following his monster performance against the New York Giants. However, Moreno only had 12 carries for 39 yards yesterday, while Hillman had 9 carries for 66 yards and 1 TD. Hillman had barely been used through the first two games, but he had a great game following Moreno’s ineffectiveness and Ball’s turnover.
Going forward, it is going to be very difficult to decipher which back is the best option any given week. Overall, Moreno is the guy to own, as he is still likely to see the most playing time because of his prowess in the passing game as a blocker and receiver. Moreno has been a streaky player throughout his career, and owners are going to have to put up with the occasional bad game, but he should be a solid flex player in long run.
Ball’s talent could win the day eventually if he cures his fumbling issues. He is certainly worth stashing on your bench, and he is a must own in keeper leagues. However, there is no reason to have him in your starting lineup until further notice.
For Hillman, he figures to be little more than a drain on Moreno’s value, playing just enough to take away stats from Moreno but not quite enough to have value himself. He could be a by week fill in for those in deeper leagues, but not much more.
Fantasy owners hate committee situations, but they are stuck with one in Denver until one of these three running backs asserts himself and moves away from the pack.