27 Responses to “Mile High Mess”

  1. Eric Olinger says:

    Nicely done Zach.

  2. Ralphster says:

    Excellent write up Zach. As someone currently holding Moreno as an RB4 I’ve been targeting Montee early and often.

  3. SJ says:

    How McGahee and Moreno perform in the preseason will determine which of the two stays or goes before the season starts, but its no guarantee that M.Ball doesnt beat them out at the clear #1 in that time anyway. At this point were just trowing darts as to who will be the starting rb come week 1. Could be either of the three.

    However, I dont think DEN is overly cautious enough to worry about saving the difference of $1M, and having that be the deciding factor. It will come down to play. But figuring that out will only be something we’re privy to much later on when McGahee and Moreno are actually on the field.

  4. duffmanohno says:

    Nice article.

    I think that because it’s John Fox at head coach, my gut is telling me to run from this situation. Although it may just be the water in Carolina, I blame Fox for setting up the Stewart/Williams mess that the Panthers have and suspect that the same thing could be happening in Denver. Also, has there been a time when Fox actually started and played a rookie?

    • SJ says:

      I think thats everyones underlying concern, and really the only reason Moreno/McGahee have any value at all at this point. We all know what Fox did with young/rookie RBs in Carolina (and to an extent last year in DEN with Hillman).

      Its possible Elway and Manning will pressure him to skirt that trend if they really are behind Ball after preseason.

      Quite frankly, to be continued is all we know…
      (well that and that Hillman has lost significant value since this time last year)

  5. SJ says:

    Honestly everyone should just be targeting Ball. Hes going to be a beast in that offense for many years to come, and waiting a week (or five) until hes installed as the starter is just something that seems par for the course

  6. Darkaine says:

    Denver seems pretty set in their thinking of having Ball start right out of the gate but I guess anything can change. Good write up though, I took Ball 5th in my rookie draft although patterson was still on the board. The other ones you mentioned were all gone and I needed RB help more than taking a chance on him.

  7. Kyle says:

    This article is pretty short-sighted and lacks a lot of the right kind of investigation to make these determinations one way or the other.

    Hillman added 20 lbs of muscle this season and has been lighting up OTAs and has received a lot of praise from the DEN coaching staff and reporters alike.

    Ball, on the other hand, was described as “slow” and appeared to “lack the dynamism of a lead RB in the NFL.”

    We all know Ball sucks. He does. In fact, even in college it was obvious he was a product of the huge line that he played behind.

    On top of it all, John Fox dislikes throwing rookie RBs into the fire right away.

    I’d be surprised if Ball finds any real playing time this fall or beats out Hillman in the long-term – Ball’s just not very good.

    • Eric says:

      I’m sensing some anti-Ball bias here. He might not be AP, Doug Martin, etc, but he far from sucks.

      Freshman year: 98 att/391 yds/4 ypc/4 TD
      Soph: 163/996/6.1/18
      Junior: 307/1923/6.3/33
      Senior: 356/1830/5.1/22

      So did this large offensive line just carry him for 1800 yards 2 years in a row. It’s the O-Line’s job to open a hole at the line of scrimmage. Ball seems to have a knack for taking that hole and getting at least 5 yards on average.

      I realize the competition level is different in NFL, but you’re dislike for Ball is based purely on personal bias.

      • Eric says:

        Also the argument of “he’s a product of his O-Line” is absurd.

        Every running back needs blockers. By that same comment Trent Richardson is/was overrated. Look at Chris Johnson…he’s a good runner and even he needs an O-Line to help open holes.

        Discounting/disliking a player for playing with other talented players is bogus.

    • smcguiga says:

      Kyle….did ball date your sister or something? Wow hating on him big time….I am sorry to have to be the one to tell you this but Hillman will never be a bell cow back I don’t care if he added 50 lbs of muscle(I highly doubt he added 20 unless he is juiced out of his mind). Ball will be man this year and near future….sorry your arguments don’t hold a drop of water…..

    • zachbahner says:

      Kyle, thanks for reading the article. I’m sorry you think I didn’t do adequate research for this piece, but I did put a lot of time into it. I can agree with you when you say that it’s difficult to make these kinds of determinations this early, but the reality is that many leagues require these decisions to be made early with rookie drafts and roster limitations.

      While Hillman may have put on 20 pounds of muscle this off season, I would have a difficult time calling that 20 pounds all muscle. Adding bulk and muscle are two different things. However, I will concede that 20 pounds, whether muscle or not, will add to Hillman’s power.

      It seems that you have probably watched at least some Ball on tape, but I’ll have to vehemently disagree with your evaluation of him. He isn’t the type that will be an All Pro, but he does not suck. Regardless of his skill or lack there of, I would not recommend drafting a player based on his rookie time. That’s not what dynasty is about.

      Speaking of offensive lines making backs look better or worse, what was your evaluation of Eddie Lacy? He was behind the best line in college football, but many people had him as their #1 back in the draft (I had him 3rd behind Bernard and Franklin).

      Again, thanks for the read and the thoughtful comment. I’ll check back to continue the discussion.

    • SJ says:

      Lol.. the dude set Touchdown records – how does he suck?

      Sounds like a Hillman homer, or a Montee Ball basher

    • Steve says:

      Where are these glowing OTA reports for Hillman? I own him in one league and would love to see how awesome he is doing in shorts. Also please provide your “source” of the Montee Ball description of being “slow” and “lacking the dynamism of a lead RB in the NFL.”….From OTAs. Jesus man.

    • Kyle says:

      Ball possesses no upside. He is a mediocre talent compared to Bell, Michael, Lacy, and even Franklin. Look up his metrics – they are god-awful. He possesses no elite, or even above average physical attribute.

      People keep comparing Le’veon Bell to Daniel Thomas. Bell is a superior athlete compared to Ball.

      Ball is this year’ Daniel Thomas – you heard it here first.

  8. Ariakis says:

    I remember when Spiller had little more than throw in dynasty value. I also remember when Felix Jones bulked up and was hyped as a major sleeper. One of these two is perhaps Hillman.

    Ball has had a ton of carries and is unproven as a pro to stay healthy, be productive, and to have a role in a spread offense and passing game. I want to buy into the hype but is he Dan Thomas or Alfred Morris? Is Hillman therefore Pead or Helu?

    I do think 5th in the rookie draft is right for Ball however in a week class his lack of elite talent met opportunity. Reminds me of Thomas.

    I will aquire Hillman on the cheap and split the difference and target Ball in others I guess until it clarifies.

    • zachbahner says:

      I don’t think he’d be in the top 5 conversation most years. If Lacy and Franklin weren’t going to have to compete for touches, he’d be behind both of them. I think he’d still be a 1st round pick in most years, but the lack of elite talent in this class pushed him up. He and Hillman will be guys that I’ll only want at the right price, but I’ll be fine drafting him #5 in a rookie draft.

  9. SJ says:

    Funny how this article was posted on the same day DEN mandatory OTA’s began, and also the same date McGahee reported for practice, stating he still considers himself the starting RB.

    Nice timing

  10. SD Guy says:

    Goodness guys, how many articles do you have to write about Montee Ball. It’s clear that you guys love the guy, but how about something new like an article about Le’Veon Bell. I would love to read something about this guy.

    • smcguiga says:

      this article was about entire denver backfield actually but I agree Ball has been covered enough….more Bell and Giovani would be nice a nice….how are these guys looking in OTA’s? Bell could surprise IMO

  11. Michael Antebi says:

    Ok I have been playing fantasy football for over twenty years. (yes we used to call our picks into an answering machine and our commissioner used to do the stats by hand from the news paper) I have now been playing in multiple dynasty leagues for over five years. Just to be clear I already had the rest of the Denver backfield. I was not initially excited about the idea of drafting Ball. (I had the #4 and #6 picks in the rookie draft). This was until I watched his tape. Ball makes plays from the running back position. He is not a scat back getting stats in college from some unrealistic offense. He very much looks like Emmitt Smith on tape. He has great vision and looks to have enough speed to be very effective. He has a great jump step and gets downhill in a hurry. He also shows (granted from his college tape) what we always drool over in fantasy football. That is a nose for the end zone. Watching tape of players is the best way for me to try to envision how they will translate to the NFL. A simple google search of a players highlights and you can decide for your self. I am very excited about Ball and it is because I did my own research. DFL is great but you can’t expect them to wipe your ass for you. We are all big boys and many of you need to start using the Big Boy potty. Do your research and make your choice. To DFL you are great at providing us with the information and I love the site. Thanks, Mike

    • smcguiga says:

      Good comparison with Emmit I see same thing actually

    • Zach Bahner says:

      I had the same thoughts about not wanting to draft Ball until I watched his tape. The Draft Breakdown cutups that I watched changed my mind. I could not say it any better than you just did. Thanks for the kind words, Michael!

  12. SJ says:

    DEN just released McGahee today… guess they saw enough on his recovery to make a decision on moving on with Ball, Hillman, Moreno (who hasnt been cleared for practice yet) and L.Ball.

    Probably the same situation as last year just with Montee as the featured runner and Hillman as the COP back. If anything happens to Montee, Moreno would sub in just like last year.

    Great news for M.Ball owners. His path is just about cleared for starting carries.

  13. Big Al says:

    For the record, Montee was my #1 RB coming into the NFL draft since Jan.

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