Montee Ball's rookie season got off to a rough start with a nasty case of fumblitis that limited his playing time for the first half of the year. But as he gained a better handle on the ball and life in the NFL, Ball became a bigger part of the Broncos' offense. This season, his role will expand much more as Denver is depending on him to be their lead back following the departure of Knowshon Moreno. No one knows how the 23-year-old will perform under such high demands, but the Broncos' future Hall of Fame quarterback has faith in him.
Via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com, Peyton Manning said Wednesday that he believes "Montee Ball is ready" to be a starting running back.
The belief is nice; now Ball has to back it up by continuing to run hard, protecting the football, and improving as a blocker. If he can live up to expectations, Ball is going to at least be a top-12 fantasy back. He should easily score double-digit touchdowns, and the Broncos' passing game won't often allow more than seven defenders to line up in the box to stop the running game. Ball doesn't have a lot of talent as a receiver, but that's OK. He should find plenty of room to run all season long.