SMITTY: No so fast. A big reason we were so high on Montee Ball this past off-season was due to this offense and how potent it is. Granted, I also like Montee’s skill set, which the jury is still out on, but the point is that this offense can produce solid RB numbers if the runner is in the line-up consistently and healthy… While CJ Anderson was third on the depth chart weeks back, he is a dynamic runner and a perfect fit in these offense. Anyone can be sold-off at the right price in fantasy football, but don’t think for a second that this kid can’t produce what would equate to at least second-round value moving forward. He could produce even higher than that, or lower, but that’s (second-round) a safe range to pin his value around, and any offer would need to be clear above that 2nd-round value to warrant consideration. Anything can happen in fantasy football, especially down the stretch, but start Anderson every week until further notice, and don’t sell at fair market value thinking the ride will end soon. Ride-out the waive, my friends (unless the deal is ridiculous)! Get ready for bounce-back efforts out of Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders (and hopefully Julius Thomas plays) in Week 14 at home against the Bills.
SMITTY: Emmanuel Sanders will head into Week 12 as very questionable, as he will have to pass concussion protocols in order to hit the field in Week 12. Julius Thomas suffered an ankle sprain early in Week 11, and did not return. It’s concerning that he was so quickly ruled out from returning in the game, but early reports suggest he avoided a high-ankle sprain. Still, we need to hear more before we can start hoping for his return. Montee Ball obviously wasn’t over his groin injury, injuring himself early in Week 11. With Ronnie Hillman very questionable for both Week 12 and 13, CJ Anderson could be locked into a fantasy RB2-type value for the next couple weeks, but stay tuned for more on all these Broncos players. Be sure to sign up for Smart Alerts if you haven’t already signed up!
SMITTY: Mike Klis, from DenverPost.com, said this: “Ball is going to play. I’m not sure if he starts. But he’s going to play. Personally, I’d start Anderson. I think he’s the Broncos’ best running back. It’s easy to make that claim this week but even when he was getting one or two carries a game it seemed like he was slashing for 5 yards or so.” Keep in mind that this is just his opinion, but his opinion should be considered for sure. That said, Montee Ball had a ton of buzz heading into Week 10, and even though he sat out the week as a precaution, he shouldn’t be written off. CJ Anderson is the better start this week, clearly, but Ball will get enough carries to make noise in this predicted “hot hand approach” that Denver will likely utilize – for now. Juwan Thompson is also in the picture. Make sure neither Ball or Anderson are on waivers, as they should be owned in all leagues right now. Looking for Week 11 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: This went from ‘at least’ 1-2 weeks to ‘at least’ 2-3 in just a few days, but hold onto these timetables with caution (in both directions). Who will start Week 11, CJ Anderson or Montee Ball (groin)? Well, I think it’s safe, for now, to consider Anderson the starter, as he just had a pretty stellar Week 10 outing (13 carries for 90 yards, and 4 receptions for 73 yards and 1TD). All that said, Ball has dropped weight, as we reported yesterday, and there was a lot of buzz about him heading into Week 10, which he apparently sat out in order to get even more healthy. Stay tuned, folks, something tells us there will be some more ‘rumors’ flying around news wires as we near Week 11 kickoff. Looking for Week 11 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Ronnie Hillman will miss at least two weeks with a foot sprain, which means that either CJ Anderson or Montee Ball (groin) will start Week 11. Will it be a sharing situation at best, or will one take over the primary duties? The answer to that question could be very much up in the air all the way into Week 11 kickoff. CJ Anderson had a monster Week 11 (rushing the ball 13 times for 90 yards, while pulling in 4 receptions for 73 yards and 1TD), so he is the ‘hot hand’ for sure in this situation. However, Ball has dropped weight and has received all kinds of buzz heading into Week 10 (where he ended up sitting as a precaution). We will try and keep you posted as the news unfolds on this one, but both Anderson and Ball must be owned in all formats, as the runner that gets the nod in Week 11 could produce very strong numbers. Looking for Week 11 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: He is finally back at practice after his nasty groin injury, but clearly Ronnie Hillman has a firm grip on the starting running back job in Denver — for now. Things change quickly in this league, so be sure Ball isn’t available on waivers in your league. For now, it’s Hillman’s job to lose. Looking for Week 10 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Peyton Manning exploded as expected in Week 8 on Thursday night, throwing for 286 yards, 3TDs and 0INTs; All 3TDs were to Emmanuel Sanders, who pulled in 120 yards on 9 receptions. Demaryius Thomas pulled in 8 passes for 105 yards, while Ronnie Hillman ran for 109 yards and pulled in 3 passes for 29 yards (which will very likely now have Montee Ball walking into a RBBC upon his return to the field). Julius Thomas pulled in just 2-of-6 targets for 26 yards. Philip Rivers threw for 252, 3TDs and 2INTS, with 9 receptions for 73 yards and one of those scores going to Keenan Allen. Antonio Gates pulled in 5 balls for 54 yards and 2TDs, while Branden Oliver ran just 13 times for 36 yards (and pulled in 7 passes for 27 yards). So, what’s the major takeaway from this game? Buy-low on both Julius Thomas and Branden Oliver… Thomas has been in a major slump as of late, but the bottom line is that he has 9TDs through Week 8. Buy-low! And, as for Oliver, the dude pulled in 7 receptions and the Chargers were getting killed… he is clearly getting work, so he is a great player to try and acquire from an owner in a panic. Buy-low, though, so that there is little risk! Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Inactive for tonight’s Thursday night battle between the Broncos and Chargers include: Ryan Mathews, Ronnie Brown, Montee Ball, Kapri Bibbs. Cody Latimer is active for the Broncos.
Look for Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas to have big games in this one, but that is a given. All those Broncos seem unstoppable right now. While it’s likely that the Broncos get out to an early lead and never let go of it, it wouldn’t be extremely surprising to see the Chargers put up a good fight. All it takes is one early turnover for the game to go in any direction… Ronnie Hillman will have yet another chance to impress, but his usage will depend on game flow. Keenan Allen needs to step-up in this one, as those that own the guy in fantasy may have already benched him heading into this Week 8. I still firmly believe in his skill set, there is no denying his routes and abilities, but he isn’t getting the targets he should be, and he has been banged up a bit… Rivers has to focus on him early and often in this one. Branden Oliver should be efficient as long as Denver doesn’t get off to too quick a lead, but Oliver is still relevant if San Diego is passing late in the contest. Antonio Gates is obviously a TE1 play moving forward, and in larger leagues, both Eddie Royal and Malcom Floyd are fine WR3/4s this week. Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?
Donald Brown left Week 5 with a concussion. Branden Oliver dropped 182 total yards and 2TDs in Week 5, and he now becomes a must-own in all leagues and this week’s top waiver wire grab.
Montee Ball suffered a groin injury in Week 5 and is getting an MRI. He is looking very questionable for the next couple games. Ronnie Hillman is a must grab this week.
Calvin Johnson suffered a setback in Week 5; his week 6 status is in question.
Rashad Jennings left Week 5 with a knee injury and will undergo an MRI. Andre Williams is not likely available in any leagues, but do check. If Jennings is out, Williams could produce fantasy RB2 numbers if getting starter carries.
Jimmy Graham injured his shoulder in Week 5, but early word is that it isn’t serious. Stay tuned.
Reggie Bush left Week 5 with an ankle injury. It is not though to be serious, but stay tuned. Hopefully Joique Bell will be back in the next contest.
Drew Stanton suffered a concussion in Week 5; Carson Palmer could be back next week, so keep tabs on this one. Palmer back would be good for Floyd, Fitz and Ellington.
Zac Stacy exited Week 5 with a calf injury. He did not return to the game, so there is concern here. Benny Cunningham is a must-grab if for some reason he is available. It’s not likely, though, but check waivers.
SMITTY: What an explosion for those Broncos players, everyone but Montee Ball (groin), who now could be out a while. This makes Ronnie Hillman a must-grab if available in your league, and also keep in mind that Juwan Thompson could get some run at running back should Ball miss a chunk of time. Congrats to those who bought Demaryius Thomas last week… he was on our buy-low list(s) since Week 1, and the time for buying low is now over (after he dropped 200+ receiving and 2TDs in Week 5). In fairness, Ball has made it on our buy-low list, but it’s react and adapt in this sport, so stay all over add/drops and buy-low on players like Demaryius (pre-bounceing back) where you can to make up for losses/busts. While Ball’s recent play, and now this injury, is a huge letdown, he still could play well down the stretch, so selling on pennies on the dollar is not an option. Stash him, let him heal, then wait and see. Peyton Manning tossed 479 passing yards, 4TDs and 2INTs in Week 5 against the Cards, and Julius Thomas, the No. 1 fantasy TE right now, was his usual ‘phenomenal self’ pulling in 2TD passes out of Manning’s 4TDs. Need some quick trade ideas? Get on our forums and get some help!