Calling the Denver Broncos a running team is the understatement of the century.
They ran the ball 55 times on Sunday against the Chiefs and threw the ball a grand total of eight times. A lot of people are saying it was a performance that set football back 50 years.
I disagree. I think the Broncos are stumbling onto something that makes them a strong contender in the weak AFC West. Tim Tebow makes defenders hesitate for a spilt-second before pursing the back, and that spilt second is all a guy like Lance Ball needs.
Ball started the year as the third-stringer, but has assumed the role of backup with Knowshon Moreno’s season-ending injury.
With starter Willis McGahee knocked out early against KC, it was Ball that churned out 96 yards on 30 carries.
After barely seeing the field early in the season, Ball now has become a big part of the run-orientated offense. McGahee, despite a broken hand and bad hamstring, is still the starter, but it won’t be long before he gets hurt again.
Ball doesn’t do anything particular well, but he can move the pile, catch passes and block, meaning the Broncos can use him in every offensive situation.
That’s all you can ask for in fantasy. Here are two other backs you may not know now, but certainly will in the coming weeks:
Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers
His production certainly depends on the health of Frank Gore, but considering he missed the entire second half against the Giants on Sunday, maybe that’s a good thing. In Gore’s absence Hunter collected 40 yards on the ground with a touchdown on Sunday.
While the coaching staff expects Gore to be ready for Arizona on Sunday, expect Hunter to pick up at least 10 carries.
Considering they’re playing the lowly Cardinals, expect plenty of running plays. With Gore hobbled, expect plenty of Hunter.
Chris Ogbonnaya, Cleveland Browns
It’s dangerous to ever consider having a Cleveland Brown on your roster, but remember that it’s all about touches in fantasy.
Ogbonnaya toted the rock 19 times on Sunday, getting 90 yards. He isn’t very fast, and doesn’t have any weapons around him, but he is the featured offensive player for the Browns at this point.
That says a lot about the current state of the Browns, but it also means he is a valuable fantasy commodity. Especially with Peyton Hillis' nasty contract dispute destroying his entire season.