Ronnie Hillman: Broncos RB Is a Smart Waiver Pickup for Fantasy Owners This Week

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2012

Nov 11, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA  Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman (21) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Panthers 36-14. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE
Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

There will come a time when the Denver Broncos backfield will be Ronnie Hillman's to monopolize. I don't know if that time is next week, but as a fantasy owner I plan on adding him in case it is.

At the time of this writing, Willis McGahee left the game between the Broncos and San Diego Chargers with a knee injury and was questionable to return for the second half. From John Clayton of ESPN:

Broncos announced Willis McGahee has a knee injury and his return is questionable.

— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) November 18, 2012

What isn't questionable is that McGahee is 31 with a lot of wear and tear on his legs. At some point, it's not crazy to think the injuries will start piling up for the veteran running back.

But Hillman has also showed a lot of burst and agility when he gets touches on this Broncos offense. Before Sunday, he had at least seven fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues in two of the past three games. And that was in a limited role.

Imagine what he could do with a full array of touches. Imagine his big-play ability coming out of the backfield for Peyton Manning dinks and dunks. 

Hillman came into this season with a lot of hopes resting on his shoulders, as many in Denver were hoping he could step in and make a big impact immediately. That didn't happen, of course, and McGahee played well enough to hold down the starting job. 

If McGahee does miss time, do you really think Lance Ball will be the primary back? I don't.

Ball didn't so much as have a carry in the two weeks heading into Sunday's game against the Chargers. He's become the forgotten man...the sequel. In Denver, Knowshon Moreno is the original forgotten man.

Hillman has excellent value in keeper leagues, especially if McGahee does miss time down the stretch and Hillman tears it up. 

Now, remember one thing—Hillman is a speculative add at best. We probably won't know if McGahee will play or not until later in the week unless he returns on Sunday night. Ball will steal some carries even if McGahee is out.

But there is upside here. You would be wise to take a chance on it.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets predict crazy things like Baylor upsets. Seriously.

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