So says the Denver Post's Mike Klis, who answered a question in his monthly mailbag column about why the Broncos decided to waive Willis McGahee and not Knowshon Moreno . Klis said it was because Moreno is younger, cheaper, more accepting to a reduced role, and because of how he can help out on third downs.
"The Broncos want (Montee) Ball and (Ronnie) Hillman to get most of the carries this year. Moreno is an ideal "third down" back because of his receiving and pass-protecting abilities," Klis wrote.
How often the Broncos want Moreno on the field for third downs could be a major factor in the fantasy values of the two running backs in front of him on the depth chart. I think many are expecting Ball to be the majority runner while Hillman, who is more of a receiver than the rookie, plays in passing situations. But apparently, Moreno is still in the mix for a season-long role. That could mean fewer touches for Hillman on third downs or the dreadful scenario of near-even split between Hillman and Ball with the early-down work. This situation, as with all situations across the league, will gain more clarity during training camp.
Ball was being drafted ridiculously high a couple of months ago -- I saw him go late in the first round in some mocks -- but now he has settled in to a more proper position as a low-end RB2. Hillman is an RB4. Moreno is most likely a late-round stash or undrafted, depending on how deep your league is.