With Montee Ball as the prime running back of the Denver Broncos this season, it stands to reason that fantasy GMs are not looking elsewhere in Denver’s backfield. But maybe they should at least take a look at C.J. Anderson, who I expect to be a savior for some fantasy squads down the home stretch.
Before I get too high on the prospect of Anderson, mind you, I’m not suggesting that you draft him. He might be worth a 16th round selection, and I wouldn’t mind that. But I’m advising that you keep him on your radar so that you can snag him in free agency or off of free agency during the season. Like I said, Ball is the starter and he’s primed to get a lot of carries; Anderson provides little value at the moment. However, I expect his talents to grab the attention of the coaches, increasing his touches as the season progresses.
Look at Ball’s game log from last season. They started him out with about 10 carries per game. He wasn’t very effective, so John Fox and his staff leaned back off the gas with him to let him develop more. They slowly increased his carries, and by season’s end giving him 12 carries wasn’t a problem. I’d expect the Broncos have learned from that experience and treat Anderson in similar fashion as he only saw seven carries last season, so he’s essentially still a rookie.
Seven carries isn’t much to read into. To make any judgment on what his average will be is ludicrous, but it’s hard to say that his 5.4 yards per carry isn’t impressive. And he’s only seen one reception (in the playoffs) for 14 yards, which is nothing to project anything from. But looking at his college stats, it isn’t out of line to say that he couldn’t be a back who averages five yards a carry, especially if he’ll only be receiving all of 120 carries this season.
With that in mind, Anderson should be in the general area of 80 fantasy points much like Ball last season. That’s not much to warrant a draft selection, but those points will be spread out. Likely scoring 50 points in the latter half of the season, Anderson is a player you should have on your roster at that point.