Knowshon Moreno: Is Broncos RB a Fantasy Must-Start in Week 13?

Chris TrapassoAnalyst INovember 29, 2012

September 9 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (27) reacts before the start of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Knowshon Moreno has gone from first-round pick, to starter, to backup, to inactive, to surprise replacement, to a guy who received 24 touches and gained 111 total yards in Week 12 for the Denver Broncos.

Quite the up-and-down career path, no? 

When Willis McGahee was put on IR, many believed rookie runner Ronnie Hillman would move into the feature-back role for John Fox's club.

However, against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs a week ago, Moreno led the team in all rushing categories and Hillman was relegated to three touches while Lance Ball didn't get any. 

In Week 13, Denver faces the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a rather intriguing inter-conference clash. 

After his stunningly productive outing, is Moreno a must-start in fantasy this week? 

Let's examine. 

No team allows fewer yards per carry than Greg Schiano's group, which certainly doesn't bode well for a guy like Moreno who hasn't even been active since Week 2. 

But, with Peyton Manning likely dicing through Tampa Bay's worst-ranked pass defense, Moreno's prospects are much better than the statistics would initially imply. 

He may struggle at the outset of the game, as most backs have against the Buccaneers, but the Georgia alum should be in line to get the overwhelming majority of the carries and will play a role in the passing game. 

Remember, last week he had four catches for 26 yards. 

In all likelihood, this game will either be a closely contested shootout or a decisive Broncos victory. Both scenarios make Moreno a good fantasy start. 

Now, he's not a top-tier running back play this week, so he can't be considered a must-start, per say. However, Moreno is a sneaky option, especially if you're a PPR league, and should piece together a fine afternoon even running against a stingy Tampa Bay run defense.