Vick Ballard, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts
2012 Statistics: 814 rushing yards, 152 receiving yards, 966 total yards and three touchdowns.
As a fifth-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft, Ballard wasn't expected to do a whole heck of a lot as a rookie. This was even more magnified with Donald Brown, a former first-round pick, implemented above Ballard on the depth chart when the season began.
After a slow start (67 total rushing yards in his first five games, Ballard completely took over in the backfield in Indianapolis and didn't look back. He averaged 81.7 total yards in each of his last 11 games, which would have put the young running back on pace for a total of over 1,300 total yards over the course of an entire season.
That would have put him smack dab in the middle of RB2 territory behind the consistent starters that we saw during the regular year.
Ballard put up a minimum of 10 fantasy points in six of those final 11 games, tallying over 90 rushing yards three different times. In total, the Mississippi State product averaged less than four yards per attempt, which isn't a great sign moving forward.
He is more of a type of running back that you only count on when your primary guys go down. Ballard doesn't have the burst or big-play ability to put up sensational fantasy numbers on a consistent basis. As nothing more than bruiser (one-yard and a cloud of dust) type of guy, Ballard is not a sexy fantasy pick.
In addition, he averaged just 3.9 yards per attempt and scored two rushing touchdowns all season as a rookie. We already know that Indianapolis will be relying on Andrew Luck and the passing game as well as Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener at tight end.
With that in mind, unless Indianapolis goes after a young running back early in the 2013 NFL draft, Ballard will be a key hog in its running game next season. Look for FLEX-type production in 2013, and decent play in keeper leagues.
Next Up: Brandon Lloyd, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots