Ok maybe not our “sleeves” since it is summer, but you get the point.
The problem that many fantasy owners are faced with is the shear fact that both running backs are stars in the making, and both just happen to play in a very dynamic high-powered offense.
In short there’s so much potential for both individuals it’s really difficult as on owner to decide which player is the better choice.
Whether you’re competing in a Standard league, PPR or a Modified league each back is expected to contribute heavily.
So then, just who is the better choice? Which player is gonna wind up being a better “bang for your buck”?
Let’s try and figure this one out, you might be surprised in the end.
Montee Ball, Denver Broncos:
Montee Ball is as dynamic as they come for a 22 year old rookie. He can run north-south, east-west, has a ton of speed and power and is a pretty nifty pass-catcher as well.While playing for Wisconsin he scored a NCAA record 83 all-purpose touchdowns, and is pretty much the lead-back in Denver’s up-tempo offense with the release of Willis McGahee.
The main concern with Montee Ball is the amount of wear already on his tires, but to be honest, with so many other offensive options, the concern almost seems moot.
Montee Ball has been floating between the second and fifth round (ADP) and is currently holding at 3.10 which isn’t a bad price to pay for him, but keep in mind, owners may pull the trigger earlier in a real-time draft if they too believe Ball is bound for fantasy greatness.
You can expect Montee Ball to run more than catch, but he’ll still be fully integrated within the offense.
2013 Predictions: 225 carries for 1,012 yards and 9 TDs
20 receptions for 218 yards and 2 TDs
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers:
For starters, let’s get that nagging foot issue out of the way—there is no problem!
Eddie Lacy is yet another dynamic running back who is expected to produce heavily and often in regard to fantasy football.
On Tuesday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy nearly “guaranteed” (to reporters) a vastly improved ground assault saying the Packers’ running game will "be better; I promise you. You can write that down."
This is huge, not only for the Green Bay Packers, but similarly for fantasy owners.
The Packers have been pining for a quality ground game for several years, and while the presence of one may cut into some of the fantasy production from the receivers, fantasy owners now have another viable RB to consider at draft time.
Eddie Lacy is no slouch with the rock either.
Despite being limited to just seven games in his senior year, Lacy still rushed for 1,046 yards and 17 TDs; the year before that Lacy earned LSWA 5A All-State honors rushing for 1,800 yards and 26 TDs.
Lacy is a true three-down back. He can run with power, and elude with speed as well as catch and block—the perfect package.
Eddie Lacy has floated back and forth between a 3rd round pick and a 7th round pick, so there is some heavy deviation.
Lacy currently sits at 5.06, which again, isn’t a bad price to pay for a RB with so much upside.
Lacy is going to be worked often, and I suspect he’ll play a slightly bigger role in the passing game than his counterpart Montee Ball.
2013 Predictions: 200 carries for 989 yards and 7 TDs
25 receptions for 220 yards and 3 TDs
The Final Verdict:
As you can tell both players are very close in overall talent, upside and projections which is why this decision is so tough.
Or is it?
If we assume that Montee Ball trends towards the high side of his draft deviation ( a 3rd round pick) and Lacy trends towards the low point of his draft deviation (7th round) one could argue that the savvy owner could wind up with both running backs.
And why not?
The sky’s the limit for both rookies, and by the time either player comes around, you will already own at least one quality veteran back, or at least I hope so.
In my latest draft, I was able to score Washington’s Alfred Morris (rnd 1), Denver’s Montee Ball (rnd 4) and Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy (rnd 8) without sacrificing another position, and the beauty here is each player has a different bye week—not to mention holding three top backs affords quite a bit of leverage should you need it.
To “settle” the question though is easy: both players are at the moment equal.
Both will be ran often, both will be integrated in their team’s passing game, and both players have enough talent, upside and potential to be a top back in fantasy football.
See? Done and done.
But if I were you, I would still try and land both of them!