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D3TR01T

Denver's RB1 = Fantasy RB1

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Saw this post on another forum and it really caught my attention. I knew McGahee was putting up some numbers at the start of the year and then Moreno was considered to be one of the WW players of the year, but I don't think I realized just how good Denvers RB1 was for fantasy production and that has seemed to go unnoticed to a certain extent. Yea you have Moreno, McGahee, and Hillman so there there is risk involved, but the reward looks like it could be very rewarding and easy to cover your bases. I'll just copy paste what this poster had to say:

"I noticed something I think has really flown under the radar..... Denver's RB1 is.. or at least was over the past 18 weeks.. a top 5 fantasy running back.

If you look at the numbers, they break down like this:

-Willis McGahee over the first half of the season was RB #7 overall right behind CJ Spiller/LeSean McCoy and just ahead of Frank Gore/Doug Martin/Marshawn Lynch/Ridley/Morris/Jamaal Charles (actually passes Trent Richardson's 16.11 PPG with 16.85 to takeover the RB6 spot if you account for Denver's week 7 bye)

-Once Knowshon takes over as the starter, he is the #4 overall RB the remainder of the season producing 18.48 PPG finishing behind only Adrian Peterson/Lynch/Rice, and just ahead of Alfred Morris, Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Trent Richardson, Darren Sproles, Martin, etc.

-Moreno/McGahee's combined Points Per Game Average (not adding their total points together, just taking McGahee's first half averages and Moreno's averages from when he was announced the starter) ends up being the #5 overall PPG for RBs, just behind Arian Foster/Ray Rice, and just ahead of Marshawn Lynch, Trent Richardson, CJ Spiller, Jamaal Charles, Alfred Morris.. etc

So even though Denver's RB1 produced fantasy numbers that put them in the same class as Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Trent Richardson, CJ Spiller, Doug Martin LeSean McCoy and other great-but-way-too-damn-expensive-to-trade-for Running Backs... neither of them is being viewed as more than a low end RB2 or a player taking up roster space. I think there are a few reasons for this - 1) They aren't the flavor of the week.. all the attention/hype is surrounding players like Kaepernick/Crabtree/Russell Wilson, and 2) everybody is concerned with making their roster look pretty on paper by going after the David Wilsons and Lamar Millers because they're young with a "chance" at "maybe" being of use to a starting lineup if this/this/and that happen because they have "talent," or even trying to outsmart the rest of their league by playing the Free Agency Roulette wheel by going after Bush, Ivory, Mendenhall and other players you probably wont feel confident with in your starting lineup. This is the time of the year people are more concerned with making their roster look pretty on paper than having a roster that's going to score the most points and have a crack at winning.

I can see why the two wouldn't be worth a ton on their own (although Moreno has been going as early as the 4th round in recent start ups.) McGahee is old coming off an injury, there is a chance he might be released.. Moreno has had trouble staying healthy, and there is a chance McGahee is kept moving Moreno back to back up duties. Hillman is also hanging around, but I just can't see him being more than a COP. Both players have risk involved.. but what if you just acquire them both and then plug whoever ends up starting for Denver into your starting lineup? They would be easy to acquire, especially McGahee, but if the teams RB1 comes anywhere even remotely close to matching this seasons numbers you're left with an RB1 and his handcuff at RB3-6 prices. Or even better, they release McGahee and you're still left with Denver's RB1 plus McGahee if he lands in say.. idk, just spitballing here - GB/ATL. Low risk, very high reward that's been proven and comes with an insurance policy.

So in a nutshell... Denvers RB1 is a very, very good one to have on a fantasy team. It's the perfect storm - Peyton Manning and one of the best offenses/return games in the league scoring a ton of points early (second highest points scored in the league), and then one of the best young defenses in the league not allowing points to be scored and getting the ball back (4th best in points allowed). Those two combined with the fact that Denver will do their best to protect Peyton means their teams starting RB is going to be getting the ball, a ton, without ever being the focal point of the opposing defense. That situation creates a fantasy goldmine."

I have seen Moreno go anywhere from the 3rd-6th round in start up and mock drafts, or traded for rookie picks as early as 1.02, but I have to agree with most of the above. For the amount you would likely spend to stash these players on your roster or just add the missing piece, it could be very well worth it. Similar to how Arian Foster, Doug Martin, and Alfred Morris aren't elite talents along the lines of Adrian Peterson or Frank Gore but are elite for fantasy - Moreno/McGahee are also just very good at what their team needs them to do and the "elite situation" they're in produces elite fantasy RB1 numbers. :popcorn:

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I agree. The issue is figuring out who will get the rock.

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I think people are aware Knowshon closed out the year nicely. I am not sure he can hold up to a full season of that rate of carries. Hillman still seems like he has lot more upside. If DEN let's McGahee go, they'll get another 'big' back I would suspect. It's a good thought for sure. I got Knowshon in a shallow dynasty mid-2012, but also took a flyer and obtained Chris Ivory and Jon Dwyer. Of these guys, I'd give Knowshon the nod as having a better chance to be a productive starter in 2013. Barring a late training camp injury, I don't think any of them will get a clear starting job though.

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good value in Denver RB

This. I think that's the point. Whoever ends up being Denver's RB1 has a good chance, and track record of being a Fantasy RB1. A very good one at that.There's always a chance they bring someone else in, but I don't see that happening. They have two backs capable of carrying the load and doing what the team needs their RB to do on the roster already in Moreno/McGahee, and a quality change of pace option in Hillman (and past offseason sleeper favorite Mario Fannin on the practice squad). If anything, the Darrelle Revis rumors come true making their defense even better, and they do upgrade their O-Line, making the offense even better. All of that bodes well for their starting RB.

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Just wait for Coach Otis' take on the situation so you know which one to avoid.

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Combined numbers for Denver's starting RB last year over 16 games (really 15.5 since it doesn't account for the rest of the game after Mcgahee went out in week 11):1241 rush yards, 376 rec yards, 8 TD

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The info that the OP submits has value, but its misleading IMO. There very well may be value at the RB position for the Broncos, but I have serious doubts whether or not that player will have McGahee or Moreno on his back when scoring all those points. I am supposed to believe that what happened in 2012 is going to somehow come close to repeating in 2013 with the same cast of characters? Willis McGahee is a very talented back. He's starter material all the way. 4.4 yards per carry last season proves that. Problem is he is an old man at 32 playing a young man's position. Take a look at the league history of productive fantasy backs at age 32. Its not good. Knowshon Moreno has starter abilities as a pass protector, but is seriously lacking in big play ability, and has below average abilities once given the ball as a RB. 3.8 yards per carry against a litany of the softest run defenses in the league proves that. He started the season as the #4 RB on the roster, and was only given carries once McGahee got hurt. He's also had major issues staying healthy when given carries. One also has to take into account the Broncos drafting Ronnie HIllman in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft.So if you were the Broncos brass, and looking out for all things Broncos, how would you approach the 2013 season? You've got a 37 year old QB with a couple years left of his prime. Would you go into the 2013 season thinking that the McGahee/Moreno combo will get you a Superbowl win? Unless I had a whole lot of belief in Hillman, I would certainly look to upgrade the position via the draft or FA.

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I like those stats but I view this very much as a cash out while things are rosey situation. I would not be buying in expecting that production, Hillman is still the guy to own but I wouldn't pay what will be an inflated price.

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The info that the OP submits has value, but its misleading IMO. There very well may be value at the RB position for the Broncos, but I have serious doubts whether or not that player will have McGahee or Moreno on his back when scoring all those points.

I am supposed to believe that what happened in 2012 is going to somehow come close to repeating in 2013 with the same cast of characters? Willis McGahee is a very talented back. He's starter material all the way. 4.4 yards per carry last season proves that. Problem is he is an old man at 32 playing a young man's position. Take a look at the league history of productive fantasy backs at age 32. Its not good.

Knowshon Moreno has starter abilities as a pass protector, but is seriously lacking in big play ability, and has below average abilities once given the ball as a RB. 3.8 yards per carry against a litany of the softest run defenses in the league proves that. He started the season as the #4 RB on the roster, and was only given carries once McGahee got hurt. He's also had major issues staying healthy when given carries.

One also has to take into account the Broncos drafting Ronnie HIllman in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft.

So if you were the Broncos brass, and looking out for all things Broncos, how would you approach the 2013 season? You've got a 37 year old QB with a couple years left of his prime. Would you go into the 2013 season thinking that the McGahee/Moreno combo will get you a Superbowl win? Unless I had a whole lot of belief in Hillman, I would certainly look to upgrade the position via the draft or FA.

The running game wasn't the problem this year, as all three RBs produced at high levels when given the opportunity. What you don't want to do is bring in an inexperienced back that will get your 37 year old QB killed. I'm not sure Denver is going to address the RB position, I think they will focus on upgrading their secondary.

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So if you were the Broncos brass, and looking out for all things Broncos, how would you approach the 2013 season?

unless they can get Steven Jackson at a cap-friendly, short-term contract, I don't expect the backfield to have a huge shakeup. I think the ideal situation with the current crop=Moreno as the primary ballcarrier, McGahee as the short yardage back (if he's not a cap cut), Hillman as COP.If McGahee is cut, I'd expect a mid-level short-yardage back. Denver only has ~$18mm in cap space as of now & hasn't addressed Ryan Clady (expect ~$10mm in salary this year whether he's extended long term or franchised) and a few other key in house FAs (Miller, Thomas, Decker, Beadles and others will be due extensions in the next year or 2). RB isn't a position of need like DT, MLB, and overall depth in the secondary, LB positions, and OL positions. As a fan, I'd be fine with a committee approach with the guys they currently have.

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Sadly, these days almost all of the RB "gold mine" situations end up in RBBC's. Great post though, if DEN looks to even have a clear cut workhorse on 2 downs plus GL carries then ill definitely be buying. One thing to worry about is that they faced a cupcake schedule this year, although I haven't seen their scheduled opponents for next year yet.

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This could be a good situation for Survivor/Best Ball leagues.

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Any chance Ronnie Hillman could emerge from this mess. Many thought he would step in last season but it was Moreno that got the nod. With another year under his belt, any chance Fox goes against his history and plays the younger guy? He seems to organize his depth chart by age at running back.

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Any chance Ronnie Hillman could emerge from this mess. Many thought he would step in last season but it was Moreno that got the nod. With another year under his belt, any chance Fox goes against his history and plays the younger guy? He seems to organize his depth chart by age at running back.

Denver's been kicking the tires on a lot of RBs this offseason (SJax, Mendenhall, Bradshaw). That tells me two things. First, they aren't impressed with Knowshon Moreno (not that they should be- he averaged below 4 ypc despite facing nickle defenses on something crazy like 80% of his runs). Second, they don't view Hillman as a workhorse. That's not to say they don't like Hillman, it's just to say I don't think they want to give him 18 carries a game. I'm sure Hillman could prove us all wrong (KC's coaches never viewed Charles as a potential workhorse until he proved them wrong), but my read on the situation is that Denver's brass likes him more in a CoP role, which isn't exactly a good path to fantasy dominance.

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Any chance Ronnie Hillman could emerge from this mess. Many thought he would step in last season but it was Moreno that got the nod. With another year under his belt, any chance Fox goes against his history and plays the younger guy? He seems to organize his depth chart by age at running back.

Hillman sure was the shark move last season per our FBG Bronco insider.

:sarcasm:

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Yeah he was. I bought in.....and lost my dynasty championship to the team that had Moreno. I had McGahee and Hillman. For how intelligent Cecil and Matt sound, the NFL is just too unpredictable to get a handle on sometimes. I am cutting way back on my podcast listening this year. It is mostly just noise. They are guessing just like we are.

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Redraft I'll probably be buying Denver RBs this year. Dynasty not so much.

Whichever guy is the most reliable as a blocker and keeping up with Peyton's audibles will be on the field the most.

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Yeah he was. I bought in.....and lost my dynasty championship to the team that had Moreno. I had McGahee and Hillman. For how intelligent Cecil and Matt sound, the NFL is just too unpredictable to get a handle on sometimes. I am cutting way back on my podcast listening this year. It is mostly just noise. They are guessing just like we are.

Let's be fair. It wasn't just Cecil and Matt. It was most people who were listening to the way Elway was talking him up post-draft.

Here's ESPN's Bill Williamson asking Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. last June:

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post/_/id/45210/who-has-the-best-backup-rb-in-division

I asked Williamson if he thinks Hillman can actually take over for McGahee this year and his answer was yes.

“I do,” Williamson said. “Hillman might not be a 300-carry type of guy in Year 1, but he doesn’t have to be. Also, Hillman is a better fit in the Colts/Manning stretch running game than McGahee.”

And here's beat writer Mike Klis of the Denver Post in his mailbag answer to a questioner in May:

http://www.denverpost.com/broncosmailbag/ci_20622421/broncos-mailbag-after-denver-drafted-need-john-fox

Can we expect anything from Mario Fannin this year or any year? He looks the type John Fox likes, could he be our second back?

--Bryan S., Colorado Springs

The top two backs are Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman. Fanin will compete with Lance Ball and Knowshon Moreno for the No. 3 back.

And I could find others if so inclined. The assumption that Hillman was to be #2 and Moreno further down and possibly cut was pretty pervasive at the time, so let's not go blaming FBG for keeping up with and passing along the best guesses of the time by those closest to the situation.

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Yeah he was. I bought in.....and lost my dynasty championship to the team that had Moreno. I had McGahee and Hillman. For how intelligent Cecil and Matt sound, the NFL is just too unpredictable to get a handle on sometimes. I am cutting way back on my podcast listening this year. It is mostly just noise. They are guessing just like we are.

Let's be fair. It wasn't just Cecil and Matt. It was most people who were listening to the way Elway was talking him up post-draft.

Here's ESPN's Bill Williamson asking Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. last June:

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post/_/id/45210/who-has-the-best-backup-rb-in-division

>I asked Williamson if he thinks Hillman can actually take over for McGahee this year and his answer was yes.

“I do,” Williamson said. “Hillman might not be a 300-carry type of guy in Year 1, but he doesn’t have to be. Also, Hillman is a better fit in the Colts/Manning stretch running game than McGahee.”

And here's beat writer Mike Klis of the Denver Post in his mailbag answer to a questioner in May:

http://www.denverpost.com/broncosmailbag/ci_20622421/broncos-mailbag-after-denver-drafted-need-john-fox

Can we expect anything from Mario Fannin this year or any year? He looks the type John Fox likes, could he be our second back?

--Bryan S., Colorado Springs

The top two backs are Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman. Fanin will compete with Lance Ball and Knowshon Moreno for the No. 3 back.

And I could find others if so inclined. The assumption that Hillman was to be #2 and Moreno further down and possibly cut was pretty pervasive at the time, so let's not go blaming FBG for keeping up with and passing along the best guesses of the time by those closest to the situation.

True, but Cecil does bill himself as a Broncos insider. He had no clue what was really happening in Dove Valley despite driving his butt out there and talking with people and watching all the practices. And I like Cecil and have listened to the audible for years. But that shine really came off. I think there is a lot of confirmation bias prevalent and he sees what he wants to see.

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Yeah he was. I bought in.....and lost my dynasty championship to the team that had Moreno. I had McGahee and Hillman. For how intelligent Cecil and Matt sound, the NFL is just too unpredictable to get a handle on sometimes. I am cutting way back on my podcast listening this year. It is mostly just noise. They are guessing just like we are.

Let's be fair. It wasn't just Cecil and Matt. It was most people who were listening to the way Elway was talking him up post-draft.

Here's ESPN's Bill Williamson asking Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. last June:

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post/_/id/45210/who-has-the-best-backup-rb-in-division

>>I asked Williamson if he thinks Hillman can actually take over for McGahee this year and his answer was yes.

“I do,” Williamson said. “Hillman might not be a 300-carry type of guy in Year 1, but he doesn’t have to be. Also, Hillman is a better fit in the Colts/Manning stretch running game than McGahee.”

lockquote>

And here's beat writer Mike Klis of the Denver Post in his mailbag answer to a questioner in May:

http://www.denverpost.com/broncosmailbag/ci_20622421/broncos-mailbag-after-denver-drafted-need-john-fox

>Can we expect anything from Mario Fannin this year or any year? He looks the type John Fox likes, could he be our second back?

--Bryan S., Colorado Springs

The top two backs are Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman. Fanin will compete with Lance Ball and Knowshon Moreno for the No. 3 back.

And I could find others if so inclined. The assumption that Hillman was to be #2 and Moreno further down and possibly cut was pretty pervasive at the time, so let's not go blaming FBG for keeping up with and passing along the best guesses of the time by those closest to the situation.

True, but Cecil does bill himself as a Broncos insider. He had no clue what was really happening in Dove Valley despite driving his butt out there and talking with people and watching all the practices. And I like Cecil and have listened to the audible for years. But that shine really came off. I think there is a lot of confirmation bias prevalent and he sees what he wants to see.

People are still making excuses for that epic fail?

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Moreno is the guy if healthy. They are only looking at rbs in case he can't stay healthy, which he can't seem to do.

He's a perfect fit for manning blocks well catches well and had a knack for getting tougher yards on 3rd down last year.

Everyone always looking for the next flavor but if healthy Moreno will get more then 50% of the snaps.

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Moreno is the guy if healthy. They are only looking at rbs in case he can't stay healthy, which he can't seem to do.He's a perfect fit for manning blocks well catches well and had a knack for getting tougher yards on 3rd down last year.Everyone always looking for the next flavor but if healthy Moreno will get more then 50% of the snaps.

I agree. Everyone wants to pile on or ignore Moreno for various reasons and I'm not saying there aren't valid reasons for having skepticism but the reality of it all has already shown he is ideal for Manning and plays that Addai role to perfection AND he was a certain RB1 last year down the stretch once he started every game. Unless Denver spends a pretty significant pick on a RB, I think we have to be looking at McGahee possibly being cut, Moreno being the primary there, Hillman being the COP, and there will be others on the roster. The one scenario I see that could turn that on it's ear at this point is when DWIL gets cut, the Broncos grab him. That would certainly change everything. Sans that, however, it might be boring to most but it is effective so I see the Broncos sticking with that Moreno/Hillman/Ball, etc group and Moreno is the best of the bunch for what they need done.

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Moreno is the guy if healthy. They are only looking at rbs in case he can't stay healthy, which he can't seem to do.He's a perfect fit for manning blocks well catches well and had a knack for getting tougher yards on 3rd down last year.Everyone always looking for the next flavor but if healthy Moreno will get more then 50% of the snaps.

I agree. Everyone wants to pile on or ignore Moreno for various reasons and I'm not saying there aren't valid reasons for having skepticism but the reality of it all has already shown he is ideal for Manning and plays that Addai role to perfection AND he was a certain RB1 last year down the stretch once he started every game. Unless Denver spends a pretty significant pick on a RB, I think we have to be looking at McGahee possibly being cut, Moreno being the primary there, Hillman being the COP, and there will be others on the roster. The one scenario I see that could turn that on it's ear at this point is when DWIL gets cut, the Broncos grab him. That would certainly change everything. Sans that, however, it might be boring to most but it is effective so I see the Broncos sticking with that Moreno/Hillman/Ball, etc group and Moreno is the best of the bunch for what they need done.

I'm with you on the train of thought that Moreno will be fantasy gold IF they let him play the Addai role, which he is well suited for, but as SSOG pointed out, Denver's been kicking the tires on a lot of FA RBs and there was the rumor that Moreno was going to get cut (made no sense, but it was out there). These are not good signs.

The good news is that they don't have a lot of cap space left and after losing Dumervil they should probably spend it on defense. Also, Fox doesn't tend to trust rookie RBs, so if they do draft a rookie, Moreno will just become even cheaper, but will likely have similar value in 2013 with or without a rookie.

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I'm still on Hillman this season. New OC Adam Gase favors more stretch and outside runs than McCoy did and will be utilizing a more up-tempo offense. I think Hillman is better suited for those kinds of runs and we all know Moreno isn't exactly a picture of health. Granted, Hillman will definitely have to have made strides in his pass blocking to be a feature player, but I'd be willing to take that bet in the 12th round or later which is where I'm sure he'll go.

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I'm still on Hillman this season. New OC Adam Gase favors more stretch and outside runs than McCoy did and will be utilizing a more up-tempo offense. I think Hillman is better suited for those kinds of runs and we all know Moreno isn't exactly a picture of health. Granted, Hillman will definitely have to have made strides in his pass blocking to be a feature player, but I'd be willing to take that bet in the 12th round or later which is where I'm sure he'll go.

I think that is the key, pass protection. They will use whatever back is the best at pass protection with the the way Manning runs the offense calling so many plays at the line.

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I'm still on Hillman this season. New OC Adam Gase favors more stretch and outside runs than McCoy did and will be utilizing a more up-tempo offense. I think Hillman is better suited for those kinds of runs and we all know Moreno isn't exactly a picture of health. Granted, Hillman will definitely have to have made strides in his pass blocking to be a feature player, but I'd be willing to take that bet in the 12th round or later which is where I'm sure he'll go.

I think that is the key, pass protection. They will use whatever back is the best at pass protection with the the way Manning runs the offense calling so many plays at the line.

Couple that with Fox's propensity to lean on his vet RBs, and I'd say Hillman's still a ways away from significant playing time.

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I'm still on Hillman this season. New OC Adam Gase favors more stretch and outside runs than McCoy did and will be utilizing a more up-tempo offense. I think Hillman is better suited for those kinds of runs and we all know Moreno isn't exactly a picture of health. Granted, Hillman will definitely have to have made strides in his pass blocking to be a feature player, but I'd be willing to take that bet in the 12th round or later which is where I'm sure he'll go.

That all sounds logical but let's not kid ourselves; this is Peyton mannings team and its going to be run like he runs his offense. He is cordial and says stuff like he is playing in foxes system or mccoys or whatever, but what did it look like last year? To me, it looked like Peyton's type of offense. To me, Moreno plays that role and this is a short window.

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Let's be fair. It wasn't just Cecil and Matt. It was most people who were listening to the way Elway was talking him up post-draft.

Here's ESPN's Bill Williamson asking Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. last June:

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post/_/id/45210/who-has-the-best-backup-rb-in-division

I asked Williamson if he thinks Hillman can actually take over for McGahee this year and his answer was yes.

“I do,” Williamson said. “Hillman might not be a 300-carry type of guy in Year 1, but he doesn’t have to be. Also, Hillman is a better fit in the Colts/Manning stretch running game than McGahee.”

Of course its easy in retrospect, but the key was the highlighted part. I don't think the Broncos ever thought he was an every down back. He sure didn't look like anything more than a CoP back to me. The media hyped this guy to death and it seems like it was nothing but hype.

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I'm still on Hillman this season. New OC Adam Gase favors more stretch and outside runs than McCoy did and will be utilizing a more up-tempo offense. I think Hillman is better suited for those kinds of runs and we all know Moreno isn't exactly a picture of health. Granted, Hillman will definitely have to have made strides in his pass blocking to be a feature player, but I'd be willing to take that bet in the 12th round or later which is where I'm sure he'll go.

I think that is the key, pass protection. They will use whatever back is the best at pass protection with the the way Manning runs the offense calling so many plays at the line.

Couple that with Fox's propensity to lean on his vet RBs, and I'd say Hillman's still a ways away from significant playing time.

Always good to keep in mind how reluctant Fox has been in his career to use younger backs. I have Moreno in a keeper so I will be watching this closely. I would be most concerned if they brought in another vet.

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Moreno is the guy if healthy. They are only looking at rbs in case he can't stay healthy, which he can't seem to do.He's a perfect fit for manning blocks well catches well and had a knack for getting tougher yards on 3rd down last year.Everyone always looking for the next flavor but if healthy Moreno will get more then 50% of the snaps.

I agree. Everyone wants to pile on or ignore Moreno for various reasons and I'm not saying there aren't valid reasons for having skepticism but the reality of it all has already shown he is ideal for Manning and plays that Addai role to perfection AND he was a certain RB1 last year down the stretch once he started every game. Unless Denver spends a pretty significant pick on a RB, I think we have to be looking at McGahee possibly being cut, Moreno being the primary there, Hillman being the COP, and there will be others on the roster. The one scenario I see that could turn that on it's ear at this point is when DWIL gets cut, the Broncos grab him. That would certainly change everything. Sans that, however, it might be boring to most but it is effective so I see the Broncos sticking with that Moreno/Hillman/Ball, etc group and Moreno is the best of the bunch for what they need done.
I wouldn't say Moreno plays it to perfection. Remember, until McGahee got hurt, Moreno couldn't even get activated on game days. The coaches saw him every week in practice and still wouldn't call on him until they absolutely had to. When they did, he performed fantastically down the stretch... for his fantasy owners. For the Broncos, not as much. Moreno was 2nd in the league in success rate... but McGahee was first. He did his job and took what was there, but nothing more. The reason they excelled is because no backs in the league faced nickle defenses on a higher percentage of their snaps. Both were pretty replaceable, and the problem with being eminently replaceable is that you get easily replaced (a la Joe Addai). Moreno competently fills what the Broncos are looking for out of an RB. McGahee does it even more competently, but he's also old. Hillman has the highest upside and the advantage of being hand-picked, but he also has the furthest to go to get where he needs to be. Denver could also explore cheap options in the draft or free agency. It's possible Moreno emerges from the huge scrum of mediocrity and ekes out a Joseph Addai season purely by being the mediocre back who actually gets on the field, but my reading of the tea leaves tells me Denver's really not impressed with anyone on the roster.

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I wouldn't say Moreno plays it to perfection. Remember, until McGahee got hurt, Moreno couldn't even get activated on game days. The coaches saw him every week in practice and still wouldn't call on him until they absolutely had to. When they did, he performed fantastically down the stretch... for his fantasy owners. For the Broncos, not as much. Moreno was 2nd in the league in success rate... but McGahee was first. He did his job and took what was there, but nothing more. The reason they excelled is because no backs in the league faced nickle defenses on a higher percentage of their snaps. Both were pretty replaceable, and the problem with being eminently replaceable is that you get easily replaced (a la Joe Addai).Moreno competently fills what the Broncos are looking for out of an RB. McGahee does it even more competently, but he's also old. Hillman has the highest upside and the advantage of being hand-picked, but he also has the furthest to go to get where he needs to be. Denver could also explore cheap options in the draft or free agency. It's possible Moreno emerges from the huge scrum of mediocrity and ekes out a Joseph Addai season purely by being the mediocre back who actually gets on the field, but my reading of the tea leaves tells me Denver's really not impressed with anyone on the roster.

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I don't see many FA RBs that "fills what the Broncos are looking for out of an RB" better than Moreno/McGahee (Bradshaw, maybe?). I also don't see the Broncos using a high pick on a RB (especially with the loss of Dumervil), and I don't know that any later RBs will offer an improvement over Moreno/McGahee. Furthermore, the Broncos seem to be gunning for the SB, NOW. None of the FAs they signed were long-term deals, and obviously P Manning's shelf life is limited. That being said, I think Moreno/McGahee (whoever 'wins" the job) will be a valuable FF RB.

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With Peyton under center, won't they keep seeing the nickle, though?

I think it is too soon to write off McGahee, but on the other hand it took an injury to DeShaun Foster to get Fox to use DeAngelo, so maybe we are already at that point in Denver...

If I were to guess at end year FP for the Denver backs I would rank them McGahee, Moreno, Hillman - but there is lots of OTAs, minicamps and TC left to change that order

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I wouldn't say Moreno plays it to perfection. Remember, until McGahee got hurt, Moreno couldn't even get activated on game days. The coaches saw him every week in practice and still wouldn't call on him until they absolutely had to. When they did, he performed fantastically down the stretch... for his fantasy owners. For the Broncos, not as much. Moreno was 2nd in the league in success rate... but McGahee was first. He did his job and took what was there, but nothing more. The reason they excelled is because no backs in the league faced nickle defenses on a higher percentage of their snaps. Both were pretty replaceable, and the problem with being eminently replaceable is that you get easily replaced (a la Joe Addai).Moreno competently fills what the Broncos are looking for out of an RB. McGahee does it even more competently, but he's also old. Hillman has the highest upside and the advantage of being hand-picked, but he also has the furthest to go to get where he needs to be. Denver could also explore cheap options in the draft or free agency. It's possible Moreno emerges from the huge scrum of mediocrity and ekes out a Joseph Addai season purely by being the mediocre back who actually gets on the field, but my reading of the tea leaves tells me Denver's really not impressed with anyone on the roster.

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I don't see many FA RBs that "fills what the Broncos are looking for out of an RB" better than Moreno/McGahee (Bradshaw, maybe?). I also don't see the Broncos using a high pick on a RB (especially with the loss of Dumervil), and I don't know that any later RBs will offer an improvement over Moreno/McGahee. Furthermore, the Broncos seem to be gunning for the SB, NOW. None of the FAs they signed were long-term deals, and obviously P Manning's shelf life is limited. That being said, I think Moreno/McGahee (whoever 'wins" the job) will be a valuable FF RB.

I agree that Denver's starting RB will be valuable in fantasy (unless, of course, Hillman nibbles too much around the edges). I'm just saying, at this point, it's hard to replace "Denver's starting RB" with any particular name. McGahee is the best back on the roster, and the coaching staff has repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to him. At the same time, Fred Jackson is the only RB in the league who is older, and Steven Jackson is the only RB in the league with more career carries. Hillman was the hand-picked successor, and a slow start to his rookie year is not damning to his chances of ever figuring things out and playing a big role. At the same time, he's got the longest way to go before he's ready to be the primary back in the offense, and he might never be more than a CoP back. Knowshon Moreno has the advantage of being younger and fresher than McGahee, but more experienced and polished than Hillman. At the same time, he couldn't even see the active roster without injuries ahead of him, and we have years worth of evidence showing us that he's slow and below-average as a runner. Denver could bring in a premium free agent (Ahmad Bradshaw, who the Broncos have already been sniffing around), who would immediately render the lot irrelevant. Denver could draft a premium rookie in the first three rounds, who would immediately render the lot irrelevant. Even barring either of those, if Denver brings in a flawed free agent RB (Beanie, Hillis, Scott?) or a late-round (or undrafted) rookie prospect, the crew already on the roster is so thoroughly underwhelming that even that weak competition presents a serious threat to playing time.

So, I agree with the premise that there's fantasy value to be had in Denver, I just don't think any of the guys currently on the roster are great bets to get it. If I had to go with someone, I'd pick McGahee and hope he could keep himself healthy enough to prevent the mess from devolving into a massive timeshare. Hillman would be my second choice, and of the three backs currently on the roster, Knowshon Moreno would be my last choice.

Also, I think a lot of people see Peyton Manning and assume that Denver's pushing all of its chips into the middle to make a major run over the next 2-3 years. Elway's actually doing the opposite- he's focusing first and foremost on the long-term health of the franchise. That's why he took a backup QB in the 2nd round. That's why he tried to get Dumervil to take a payc cut, and why he didn't bend himself out of shape to get Dumervil back once he'd been cut. It's why he's waiting out Dwight Freeney rather than feeling like he needs another edge rusher to make a run this year and overpaying. As a Broncos fan, it's really exciting to see. If Denver had gone all-in on Manning and busted, that franchise would have been a smoking crater after he retired. Instead, Denver's a team that's just quietly and consistently improving its long-term talent base, and oh yeah, they just happen to have Peyton Manning which makes them an immediate SB contender, as well. Which works out as a point in McGahee and Moreno's favor- Denver could upgrade its RB position, but it's not going to do so just to chase a title this year. It'll only do so if it makes financial sense, if the RB in question is worth more than he'll cost. This increases the chances that Denver decides to say "screw it" and enter camps with the trio they already have (maybe augmented by an UDFA or two).

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I wouldn't say Moreno plays it to perfection. Remember, until McGahee got hurt, Moreno couldn't even get activated on game days. The coaches saw him every week in practice and still wouldn't call on him until they absolutely had to. When they did, he performed fantastically down the stretch... for his fantasy owners. For the Broncos, not as much. Moreno was 2nd in the league in success rate... but McGahee was first. He did his job and took what was there, but nothing more. The reason they excelled is because no backs in the league faced nickle defenses on a higher percentage of their snaps. Both were pretty replaceable, and the problem with being eminently replaceable is that you get easily replaced (a la Joe Addai).Moreno competently fills what the Broncos are looking for out of an RB. McGahee does it even more competently, but he's also old. Hillman has the highest upside and the advantage of being hand-picked, but he also has the furthest to go to get where he needs to be. Denver could also explore cheap options in the draft or free agency. It's possible Moreno emerges from the huge scrum of mediocrity and ekes out a Joseph Addai season purely by being the mediocre back who actually gets on the field, but my reading of the tea leaves tells me Denver's really not impressed with anyone on the roster.

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I don't see many FA RBs that "fills what the Broncos are looking for out of an RB" better than Moreno/McGahee (Bradshaw, maybe?). I also don't see the Broncos using a high pick on a RB (especially with the loss of Dumervil), and I don't know that any later RBs will offer an improvement over Moreno/McGahee. Furthermore, the Broncos seem to be gunning for the SB, NOW. None of the FAs they signed were long-term deals, and obviously P Manning's shelf life is limited. That being said, I think Moreno/McGahee (whoever 'wins" the job) will be a valuable FF RB.
I agree that Denver's starting RB will be valuable in fantasy (unless, of course, Hillman nibbles too much around the edges). I'm just saying, at this point, it's hard to replace "Denver's starting RB" with any particular name. McGahee is the best back on the roster, and the coaching staff has repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to him. At the same time, Fred Jackson is the only RB in the league who is older, and Steven Jackson is the only RB in the league with more career carries. Hillman was the hand-picked successor, and a slow start to his rookie year is not damning to his chances of ever figuring things out and playing a big role. At the same time, he's got the longest way to go before he's ready to be the primary back in the offense, and he might never be more than a CoP back. Knowshon Moreno has the advantage of being younger and fresher than McGahee, but more experienced and polished than Hillman. At the same time, he couldn't even see the active roster without injuries ahead of him, and we have years worth of evidence showing us that he's slow and below-average as a runner. Denver could bring in a premium free agent (Ahmad Bradshaw, who the Broncos have already been sniffing around), who would immediately render the lot irrelevant. Denver could draft a premium rookie in the first three rounds, who would immediately render the lot irrelevant. Even barring either of those, if Denver brings in a flawed free agent RB (Beanie, Hillis, Scott?) or a late-round (or undrafted) rookie prospect, the crew already on the roster is so thoroughly underwhelming that even that weak competition presents a serious threat to playing time. So, I agree with the premise that there's fantasy value to be had in Denver, I just don't think any of the guys currently on the roster are great bets to get it. If I had to go with someone, I'd pick McGahee and hope he could keep himself healthy enough to prevent the mess from devolving into a massive timeshare. Hillman would be my second choice, and of the three backs currently on the roster, Knowshon Moreno would be my last choice. Also, I think a lot of people see Peyton Manning and assume that Denver's pushing all of its chips into the middle to make a major run over the next 2-3 years. Elway's actually doing the opposite- he's focusing first and foremost on the long-term health of the franchise. That's why he took a backup QB in the 2nd round. That's why he tried to get Dumervil to take a payc cut, and why he didn't bend himself out of shape to get Dumervil back once he'd been cut. It's why he's waiting out Dwight Freeney rather than feeling like he needs another edge rusher to make a run this year and overpaying. As a Broncos fan, it's really exciting to see. If Denver had gone all-in on Manning and busted, that franchise would have been a smoking crater after he retired. Instead, Denver's a team that's just quietly and consistently improving its long-term talent base, and oh yeah, they just happen to have Peyton Manning which makes them an immediate SB contender, as well. Which works out as a point in McGahee and Moreno's favor- Denver could upgrade its RB position, but it's not going to do so just to chase a title this year. It'll only do so if it makes financial sense, if the RB in question is worth more than he'll cost. This increases the chances that Denver decides to say "screw it" and enter camps with the trio they already have (maybe augmented by an UDFA or two).
great post SSOG....however, while I agree they have done a nice thing for "building for the future" with Osweiler (sp)...let's not kid ourselves....I can think of $20 million reasons why this team is in win now mode...another $20 or so next year and another $12 million with the signing of Welker....the Welker signing was most definatley a win now signing as they didn't have to have him with Decker and Thomas on board...and it wasn't for the future....the proof will be in the pudding when Thomas and Decker need to get locked up....which IIRC is pretty soon....asking Elvis to take a pay cut wasn't building for the future, bottom line he wasn't worth the $12 mil he was due....it was a bad contract they gave him to begin with...they fell in love with his big sack year, especially after they saw that the way to beat QB's like Brady is to apply pressure....they overpaid....has little to do with building for the future...I believe they will sign Freeney or Abraham....and they will look to sign Dwilly or Bradshaw (eventually) because I do not think they are happy with the RB's and they know that you need to get after the QB's that you will see in the playoffs (Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Flacco, Ben, Eli, etc)....Elvis and Miller laid eggs in that playoff loss to BAL....one coverage sack IIRC.....and an aging Champ was burnt repeatedly and exposed as not a corner you have to fear anymore....so by the time the dust settles in August....I have a feeling this team will look more and more like a "win now" team than it appears right now....

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Still expecting both Moreno (injuries and not very good) and McGahee (age and injuries) to be let go. They keep sniffing around the free agents for a reason. They want to replace their big back. Free agent or a draft pick or both? That's the question in my mind.

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