Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fantasy Football '13: Watch for Broncos' Ball

If you're looking for a sleeper running back for your fantasy football leagues this fall, we've found your man.
(See Ball's highlights on YouTube)

The Denver Broncos entered the 2013 NFL draft after ranking fourth overall in total offense (397.9 yards per game) and second overall in points scored (481) in 2012.  The rich got richer on draft day, when the team landed Wisconsin running back Montee Ball in the second round (58th overall).

While in college, Ball scored 83 career touchdowns, smashing many NCAA records along the way.

Now in Denver, Ball will see wide running lanes with defenses preparing to defend quarterback Peyton Manning and his top three targets—Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker.  Last season, Manning ranked sixth in the league with 4,659 passing yards and third with 37 touchdowns.

With two Pro Bowl receivers in Thomas and Welker and a young rising star in Decker, Manning is poised for another big year in 2013.  And now he will be supported by a promising running back, a scenario comparable to Terrell Davis' role in John Elway's success in the late 1990s.

But entering an already potent offensive attack isn't the only positive for Ball.

On Sunday, the Broncos brought back Alex Gibbs as an offensive line consultant, according to a Denver Post report.  Per the 'Post, Gibbs served as the team's offensive line coach from 1995-2003.

During Gibbs' tenure in Denver, the Broncos produced multiple 1,000-yard rushers, including Davis, thanks in large part to Gibb's famed zone blocking scheme.  The addition of Gibbs only increases Ball's potential as a rookie.

When your fantasy draft rolls around, keep an eye on Ball in the mid-to-late rounds. Chances are, you won't regret it.