Over the past few years Colts running backs have been easily ignored by fantasy owners. With a new era starting in 2012, that may no longer be the case. Donald Brown is set to open the season as the leader of the pack, with a lot of focus on Delone Carter as the potential understudy. However, what about rookie Vick Ballard out of Mississippi State? Drafted in the fifth round, he certainly has started opening some eyes.
In two preseason games he has rushed the ball 16 times for 62 yards while adding one reception for 11 yards.
Listed at 5’10″ and 217 lbs., he proved to have a nose for the end zone in college. Over the past two seasons he rushed for 29 TD, while adding another two catching the ball. At the very least, you would think Ballard could quickly establish himself as a touchdown vulture.
Over his three year career Brown has rushed for just 10 TD on 341 carries. There appears to be potential in this regard.
With Carter out of action, Ballard is also getting a chance to entrench himself as Brown’s understudy and thus far he is giving the indication that he can handle the job. It’s certainly not a stretch to think that the depth chart opens the year as Brown – Ballard – Carter.
With Brown never before distinguishing himself, is it unthinkable that he again fails? With a team clearly in transition, that could mean an opportunity for Ballard.
Of course, there will be pressure on him to learn the blitz pickups as the ultimate goal will be to protect Andrew Luck and watch him develop into a top QB. However, seeing Ballard get an opportunity is looking more and more likely. In deep formats, that immediately makes him worth drafting in the later rounds and seeing if you can cash in.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Ballard could emerge as the Colts’ lead back? Why or why not?
Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings: