Indianapolis Colts

Vick Ballard: Fantasy Outlook for Colts RB Replacing Donald Brown

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 30:  Vick Ballard #33 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball while defended by Jeromy Miles #45 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 30, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIOctober 10, 2012

Vick Ballard's time to shine is now. Per Mike Chappel of the Indy Star, Donald Brown will miss two-to-three weeks after knee surgery:

#colts donald brown suffered torn cart. in knee. had surgery. vick ballard gets the start. brown prob out 2-3 weeks.

— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) October 10, 2012

Ballard is a rookie out of Mississippi State that has seen limited action through the first four games of the season. Tallying only 42 yards on 21 carries isn't going to excite many fantasy owners. Nonetheless, there is reason to consider grabbing Ballard from your league's free-agent list.

He's a physical runner that can find success running the ball inside. In this clip that has become famous for reasons Ballard would prefer to forget, NFL draft expert Mike Mayock speaks of Ballard's downhill running ability.

OK, after you're done laughing, picture how a basic north-south runner like Ballard could have success in a pro-style offense. In the preseason, Colts running backs coach David Walker was impressed with Ballard's development.

He said this in a interview on the Colts official website:

Vick's doing a nice job. He's a smart kid. He's a hard worker in terms of his effort in the classroom and understanding the concepts. He's going out there and making plays. So, for being involved in it for, you know, three weeks or whatever it's been, he's done a really nice job of picking things up and impressing his teammate.

Now consider the fact that the Colts are set to face the New York Jets, the team that is currently ranked 31st in the NFL against the run. Over the past two weeks, the Jets' defense is allowing an average of 207 yards per game.

Granted, those games came against solid rushing attacks from the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers, but this is not an exceptionally good run defense. They have allowed over 150 yards rushing in every game but one this season.

Against the Jets, Ballard could have a good day. He also has a tasty matchup with the Cleveland Browns at home in Week 7. For those reasons, he's worth a look as a flex player, or as a replacement for Donald Brown.


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