Week Twelve Analysis: Willis McGahee's knee injury has opened the door for talented third-round rookie Ronnie Hillman. While he'll surely share some work with Lance Ball and Knowshon Moreno, Hillman is infinitely more dynamic than both, and could certainly be a very useful fantasy option this week against Kansas City. Against opposing backs, the Chiefs rank 28th in rushing, 24th in receiving, and they just allowed the plodding BenJarvus Green-Ellis to have his best game of the season. Hillman's biggest knock has been his pass protection, but Denver will undoubtedly sprint to a lead in this one, so the rookie should get plenty of opportunities to stretch his legs.
Week Twelve Add: When the Broncos drafted Ronnie Hillman, I was pretty excited about his prospects of beating out Willis McGahee at some point during the season. But, McGahee has been serviceable, and Hillman has gotten little use. And worse, he's done very little with the time he's gotten. He's topped 3.9 yards per carry in just one game. Now Willis McGahee is out for at least a month, and maybe the rest of the regular season. Hillman becomes a plausible RB2 because of the quality of offense he plays on, and a favorable schedule, including next week's matchup with Kansas City. Hillman is worth a $16 in redraft leagues, and $25 in dynasty leagues because of his opportunity showcase his abilities, and remain the starter heading into next year.
Week Four Add: In a small surprise, the Broncos made Knowshon Moreno inactive last week, and gave Ronnie Hillman his first work of the season. He didn't do much, but the move made it clear that the Broncos recognize what fantasy owners have known for years, Moreno sucks, and almost any carbon based life form would be a fine alternative. Hillman will need to prove that he can pass block before he'll get a lot of playing time, but with Willis McGahee looking moribund as usual, Hillman should get some opportunities to prove that he's got some big play potential. Hillman is worth a $4 bid to stash him.
Week Two Drop: It's been a sizable fall from grace for Ronnie Hillman, as he's dropped from being a fantasy football darling, shortly after being drafted, all the way to this last week: inactive. Originally, we liked Hillman's upside because Willis McGahee is old and boring, Knowshon Moreno sucks, and Hillman was fresh and interesting. But Hillman did nothing in the preseason to distinguish himself, and he doesn't pass block well enough to be trusted to protect Peyton Manning.
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