Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The competition to start at running back for the Denver Broncos has had more twists and turns than an M. Night Shyamalan movie.
You know, back when those were still good.
When Montee Ball was drafted in the second round in April, the prevailing school of thought was that he would ascend to the lead role sooner as opposed to later.
However, Ball has struggled with blitz pickups, and given that head coach John Fox has never been known to start rookies, the thought of the head coach bucking that trend and getting Peyton Manning blasted in the process wasn't likely.
That is, until second-year pro Ronnie Hillman did his best to fumble the lead job away.
Hillman has now lost fumbles in each of the past two games, and while Fox told Kevin Patra of NFL.com that "I have not lost confidence in him whatsoever," Hillman's grip on the starting job is doing about as well as his grip on a football.
Knowshon Moreno's presence only muddies the waters further. He doesn't have Ball's power or Hillman's explosiveness, but Moreno can hang onto the ball and pick up the blitz. That's enough for Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post, who thinks that Moreno should be the Week 1 starter for the Broncos.
The uncertainty in the backfield makes drafting any Denver back as a fantasy RB3 a risky bet. We're all but certainly headed for a committee in which the lead dog could switch several times over the course of the season.
With Ball the best bet for early-down and goal-line work the rookie has the highest fantasy value of the trio, followed by Hillman and Moreno.
For now, anyway.
Verdict: All three backs have some value, but Ball has the most.