Montee Ball to undergo surgery

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

 

Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball is expected to undergo an appendectomy Monday. Word out of Broncos camp is that Ball should be ready for week 1. This is a potentially a huge blow considering Ball was 6th in ADP among running backs, coming off the board as a late first or early second round pick. If Ball can return by week 1, I presume he will be the feature back, but there is no guarantee how many touches he will get.

I was not a big Montee Ball guy coming into the 2014 season. This is another cause for concern in my book. While the Broncos do not expect him to miss time in the regular season, he will miss key reps in training camp and preseason games. Normally i wouldn’t be as concerned but Ball is entering his second season in the league and those reps are important. Ball needs to show he can be utilized in pass protection, especially on third down. Ball was supplanted by Knowshon Moreno last season due to issues in pass protection. He also had fumbling issues that caused concern for the coaching staff and Peyton Manning.

There will be fantasy value to be had in Denver’s backfield, but the latest news may mean its more of a time share. Currently another second year back, CJ Anderson, has a golden opportunity to earn carries. If he can impress in practice and preseason games, he will earn at least a share of the carries in Denver. Peyton Manning will utilize the uptempo, fast paced offense that typically keeps one guy on the field for most if not all of a drive.

Going into drafts I will avoid Montee Ball, especially considering where he is going. I will however be targeting CJ Anderson later in drafts, hoping to find a steal. I was able to take Knowshon Moreno last year in the same situation and it paid off quite nicely. I would monitor news coming out of Broncos camp to see how recovery is going and if he is back to full participation.

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