2014 Fantasy Football Early Sleeper: Montee Ball

By Bill Pivetz
Ronnie Hillman
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos were the NFL’s best offense throughout the regular season. There were five players who finished with 10 or more touchdowns. The offense broke all sorts of records, but ultimately failed in the Super Bowl.

This offseason, the Broncos will most likely lose one of those five players. Knowshon Moreno is expected to leave the Broncos and test free agency. Moreno saw a resurgence after taking a backseat to Willis McGahee the year before. Moreno rushed for 1,038 yards and scored 10 touchdowns during the regular season.

Moreno is expected to fetch close to $4 million as one of the top free-agent running backs. With Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas entering contract years, it will be tough for the Broncos to sign all three players to long-term contracts.

If Moreno does sign elsewhere, the Broncos will be fine at the running back position with the current players they have. The one running back that should see an increased role will be Montee Ball. Ball was drafted in the second round for the 2013 draft and played well as the backup to Moreno. He rushed for 559 yards and four touchdowns, finished 42nd in fantasy points among running backs.

With the offense that the Broncos have, Ball will have no problem adjusting to a full-time role. The Broncos may also throw in Ronnie Hillman and whoever else they add during the offseason, but Ball is the No.1 guy.

In his limited appearances, Ball showed the skills to be a starting running back. The biggest things he has to work on are his pass blocking and ball security. He fumbled twice in his first 31 carries. If he can improve in those two areas, Ball can be a top-20 rusher by this time next season. Heading into the 2014 season, he should be taken as an RB3 with a lot of upside.

Bill Pivetz is a fantasy sports writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Piv1127.

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