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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Marshawn Lynch going too high, Montee Ball too low

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

It's never too early to do a mock draft. Players conducted 940 drafts the past two weeks on fantasyfootballcalculator.com.

On average, Marshawn Lynch is going No. 7 overall and Montee Ball No. 27 (early third round in 12-team draft). That's too high for Lynch, too low for Ball in standard scoring.

Jamey Eisenberg went in depth on what happens to running backs coming off 400-touch seasons. Lynch got 403 touches in the Seahawks' championship run and has 1,094 touches the past three seasons. Eisenberg pegs Lynch as a late first-rounder you must handcuff with Christine Michael or Robert Turbin, whoever wins the backup job.

As long as the Broncos don't re-sign Knowshon Moreno -- and they've shown no inclination to do so -- Ball will start for the league's No. 1 offense. Moreno took advantage of Peyton Manning's greatness to break out for 1,587 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns. It's fun running against nickel and dime defenses and catching perfectly timed screens.

Ball can do the same thing. He got better at pass protection, cut out his fumbling, and averaged 5.4 yards over his final 73 carries. After scoring four touchdowns in spot duty last season, he's a virtual lock for double-digit scores.

In our recent 12-team mock for the site, Nathan Zegura took Ball 14th overall, one spot behind DeMarco Murray (my pick) and ahead of fellow second-round RBs Doug Martin, Giovani Bernard, Arian Foster, Zac Stacy and Alfred Morris.

Dave Richard calls Ball a mid- to late-2nd rounder. "He's not spectacular, but his opportunity is," Richard said.

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