Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos
|RB - #39||DEN||Active||3 years||22||5'10||190||@MrHillman2U|
2013 Outlook: Sleeper (undervalued)Last updated on Sep-25-2013 by Jeb Gorham
Update (8-28) - Hillman is on top of the depth chart, but in the pre-season he has been working to out-perform Montee Ball, who has been sharing time. Hillman's goal line fumble this past game was brutal, but Ball matched strides with his dropped blocking coverage that led to Peyton Manning getting dropped by the defense. Hillman and Ball will likely go before Moreno in your drafts, but all three should be drafted. I still think Hillman will see primary duty, but Ball could steal some thunder. Moreno is a draft-day gamble who should also see some of this time share.
Hillman also factors into the running mix in Denver. His season last year was marred by hamstring issues, but he did carry the ball well when called upon. Hillman has gained weight and is going to be a solid option for Denver this season to split time with Ball. Only time will tell, but the added weight might even displace a player like Hester in third down and goal line situations. This would mean increased fantasy value for Hillman.
Update: Hillman now appears atop the RB depth chart in Denver. This moves his status from super sleeper to solid/safe. Montee Ball's value may drop given this move.
Montee Ball's rookie season got off to a rough start with a nasty case of fumblitis that limited his playing time for the first half of the year. But as he gained a better handle on the ball and life in the NFL, Ball became a bigger part of the Broncos' offense. This season, his role will expand much more as Denver is depending on him to be their lead back following the departure of Knowshon Moreno. No one knows how the 23-year-old will perform under such high demands, but the Broncos' future Hall of Fame quarterback has faith in him.
Via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com, Peyton Manning said Wednesday that he believes "Montee Ball is ready" to be a starting running back.
The belief is nice; now Ball has to back it up by continuing to run hard, protecting the football, and improving as a blocker. If he can live up to expectations, Ball is going to at least be a top-12 fantasy back. He should easily score double-digit touchdowns, and the Broncos' passing game won't often allow more than seven defenders to line up in the box to stop the running game. Ball doesn't have a lot of talent as a receiver, but that's OK. He should find plenty of room to run all season long.
FFToolbox NFL News & Rumors4/16 - Broncos RB Montee Ball gets vote of confidence from QB Peyton Manning
2013 Mock Draft Results
2013 FFToolbox Staff Mock Draft #1
June 18th, 2013
|8.12||FFToolbox - Jeb Gorham - Monte Ball and Hillman will be dueling it out for the starting gig in Denver. Ball looks good and he went early in this draft. I think Hillman, who has been gaining weight and strength in the offseason, will get more touches than most think this season and he might get third down and goal line work. Hillman was a steal at 8.12 in my opinion.|
2013 FFToolbox Expert Mock Draft #2
July 2nd 2013
|11.06||World Ranked Player #26 - This was a RB depth pick with a potential for more if Ball doesn't pick up offense quick. Hillman will have role regardless.|
2013 FFToolbox Expert Mock Draft #1
June 25th, 2013
|11.05||FFToolbox -Scott - Here's a candidate for most improved player. He's getting 3/4ths of the reps with the starters. There's little doubt that Ball will be the starter at some point this year, probably pretty early on, but Hillman added weight in the off-season conditioning program and represents somebody I can flex every once in a while due to his value catching balls out of the backfield.|
2013 FFToolbox Expert Mock Draft #3
July 9th, 2013
|12.08||TheHuddle - Not super stoked about Hillman but he'll get enough touches to make him worth being my RB5.|
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