The Backfield in Denver is about as confusing as the backfield in New England.
Both teams are currently splitting time shares between three running backs. This extended running back by committee is extremely hard for fantasy owners to decide who to put one them in their starting line-up.
Denver is no longer a run first team, now that Peyton has all the weapons he needs in the passing attack. The run game is used as a way to either protect Manning as he throws or to check out of pass plays to gouge the defense in sporadic run plays.
Each running back in Denver has their issues, which means neither one of them can be trusted to be the main back.
Knowshon Moreno is a solid runner between the tackles and can get outside with moderate speed. He’s the best of the bunch, but once Denver builds a big lead, the coaching staff is going to give the younger backs plenty of minutes to help them develop.
Ronnie Hillman is a speed back that is great when the Broncos need a change-of-pace, but at 5’9″ and 195 pounds, he’s not built to take the punishment of an every down back.
Montee Ball seemed like the back of the future in Denver, but with fumbles in consecutive games and trouble picking up blitz, he needs plenty of practice before he has any real fantasy value.
Fantasy owners should look at the snap counts in order to choose which running back in Denver they should start on Sundays. Moreno has 34 carries on the season while Ball has 31 and Hillman 14. The three-headed monster carried the ball 32 times resulting in 166 yards against the hapless Raiders defense. The three of them seem to be getting the job done and fantasy owners should expect the trend in Denver to continue.
Moreno is the back to own until he gets injured or one of the younger players can really step up and gain Manning’s trust.