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Player To Avoid: CJ Anderson?

smitty staff

One player we caution fantasy football owners about this year… CJ Anderson. Why? View this video.

Written Explanation: I feel that fantasy football owners should be careful where they draft Broncos RB CJ Anderson this fantasy football season. His ADP (Average Draft Position) is in the 1.09 to 2.01 range, so he now has first-round value, and to us, that seems a bit high, or at least a touch risky. Why? Well, considering players like Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr and more are sitting at that draft slot range, we think that fantasy football owners would be much better off grabbing a safer player like one of the players just mentioned.

CJ Anderson is good, and that Denver offense could certainly produce a top 10RB this year, but it’s not shocking when a running back comes out of nowhere one year, like CJ Anderson did last year in 2014, and busts that next year, or at least fails to meet expectations. Plus, Ronnie Hillman has looked fantastic so far this preseason, and there is talk that he could get more carries this fantasy football season than many expect. Will Hillman beat out CJ Anderson? No, we aren’t saying that, and again, we are NOT suggesting that CJ Anderson will for sure bust in 2015. That said, the risk isn’t quite built into his going Average Draft Position (ADP), therefore, fantasy owners are much, much better off snagging a secure top 5 fantasy WR at that 1.08-2.01 draft slot range, and there are plenty of them available!

Smitty’s 2015 Redraft Rankings; Smitty’s 2015 Dynasty Rankings.

smitty staff

Hey STARTERS Nation:

Of course, we have our Draft Analyzer here at STARTERS, which cranks out custom cheat sheets using an industry-leading predictive algorithm. However, I also provide my personal redraft and dynasty rankings outside of the Analyzer rankings, just to give all you fantasy fanatics another list to look at. Use them all, you can never get enough info to mix together! Below are both the updated dynasty and redraft links!

NOTE: Due to endless requests for it, I have added a tiering system to both sets of rankings!

Redraft Rankings Dynasty Rankings

NEWS: CJ Anderson a sell-high after rushing for 168 yards in Week 13?

SMITTY: No so fast. A big reason we were so high on Montee Ball this past off-season was due to this offense and how potent it is. Granted, I also like Montee’s skill set, which the jury is still out on, but the point is that this offense can produce solid RB numbers if the runner is in the line-up consistently and healthy… While CJ Anderson was third on the depth chart weeks back, he is a dynamic runner and a perfect fit in these offense. Anyone can be sold-off at the right price in fantasy football, but don’t think for a second that this kid can’t produce what would equate to at least second-round value moving forward. He could produce even higher than that, or lower, but that’s (second-round) a safe range to pin his value around, and any offer would need to be clear above that 2nd-round value to warrant consideration. Anything can happen in fantasy football, especially down the stretch, but start Anderson every week until further notice, and don’t sell at fair market value thinking the ride will end soon. Ride-out the waive, my friends (unless the deal is ridiculous)! Get ready for bounce-back efforts out of Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders (and hopefully Julius Thomas plays) in Week 14 at home against the Bills.

NEWS: Emmanuel Sanders (concussion), Julius Thomas (ankle) and Montee Ball (groin) all questionable for Week 12?

SMITTY: Emmanuel Sanders will head into Week 12 as very questionable, as he will have to pass concussion protocols in order to hit the field in Week 12. Julius Thomas suffered an ankle sprain early in Week 11, and did not return. It’s concerning that he was so quickly ruled out from returning in the game, but early reports suggest he avoided a high-ankle sprain. Still, we need to hear more before we can start hoping for his return. Montee Ball obviously wasn’t over his groin injury, injuring himself early in Week 11. With Ronnie Hillman very questionable for both Week 12 and 13, CJ Anderson could be locked into a fantasy RB2-type value for the next couple weeks, but stay tuned for more on all these Broncos players. Be sure to sign up for Smart Alerts if you haven’t already signed up!

NEWS: CJ Anderson the best DEN running back according to The Denver Post?

SMITTY: Mike Klis, from, said this: “Ball is going to play. I’m not sure if he starts. But he’s going to play. Personally, I’d start Anderson. I think he’s the Broncos’ best running back. It’s easy to make that claim this week but even when he was getting one or two carries a game it seemed like he was slashing for 5 yards or so.” Keep in mind that this is just his opinion, but his opinion should be considered for sure. That said, Montee Ball had a ton of buzz heading into Week 10, and even though he sat out the week as a precaution, he shouldn’t be written off. CJ Anderson is the better start this week, clearly, but Ball will get enough carries to make noise in this predicted “hot hand approach” that Denver will likely utilize – for now. Juwan Thompson is also in the picture. Make sure neither Ball or Anderson are on waivers, as they should be owned in all leagues right now. Looking for Week 11 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Ronnie Hillman expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks now?

SMITTY: This went from ‘at least’ 1-2 weeks to ‘at least’ 2-3 in just a few days, but hold onto these timetables with caution (in both directions). Who will start Week 11, CJ Anderson or Montee Ball (groin)? Well, I think it’s safe, for now, to consider Anderson the starter, as he just had a pretty stellar Week 10 outing (13 carries for 90 yards, and 4 receptions for 73 yards and 1TD). All that said, Ball has dropped weight, as we reported yesterday, and there was a lot of buzz about him heading into Week 10, which he apparently sat out in order to get even more healthy. Stay tuned, folks, something tells us there will be some more ‘rumors’ flying around news wires as we near Week 11 kickoff. Looking for Week 11 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Montee Ball (groin) expected back in Week 11, but will he start over CJ Anderson?

SMITTY: Ronnie Hillman will miss at least two weeks with a foot sprain, which means that either CJ Anderson or Montee Ball (groin) will start Week 11. Will it be a sharing situation at best, or will one take over the primary duties? The answer to that question could be very much up in the air all the way into Week 11 kickoff. CJ Anderson had a monster Week 11 (rushing the ball 13 times for 90 yards, while pulling in 4 receptions for 73 yards and 1TD), so he is the ‘hot hand’ for sure in this situation. However, Ball has dropped weight and has received all kinds of buzz heading into Week 10 (where he ended up sitting as a precaution). We will try and keep you posted as the news unfolds on this one, but both Anderson and Ball must be owned in all formats, as the runner that gets the nod in Week 11 could produce very strong numbers. Looking for Week 11 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Montee Ball back at practice, but Ronnie Hillman still locked into the starting RB spot?

SMITTY: He is finally back at practice after his nasty groin injury, but clearly Ronnie Hillman has a firm grip on the starting running back job in Denver — for now. Things change quickly in this league, so be sure Ball isn’t available on waivers in your league. For now, it’s Hillman’s job to lose. Looking for Week 10 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Manning tosses 3TDS to E-Sanders on Thursday; Keenan Allen pulls in 9-73-1TD in Week 8.

SMITTY: Peyton Manning exploded as expected in Week 8 on Thursday night, throwing for 286 yards, 3TDs and 0INTs; All 3TDs were to Emmanuel Sanders, who pulled in 120 yards on 9 receptions. Demaryius Thomas pulled in 8 passes for 105 yards, while Ronnie Hillman ran for 109 yards and pulled in 3 passes for 29 yards (which will very likely now have Montee Ball walking into a RBBC upon his return to the field). Julius Thomas pulled in just 2-of-6 targets for 26 yards. Philip Rivers threw for 252, 3TDs and 2INTS, with 9 receptions for 73 yards and one of those scores going to Keenan Allen. Antonio Gates pulled in 5 balls for 54 yards and 2TDs, while Branden Oliver ran just 13 times for 36 yards (and pulled in 7 passes for 27 yards). So, what’s the major takeaway from this game? Buy-low on both Julius Thomas and Branden OliverThomas has been in a major slump as of late, but the bottom line is that he has 9TDs through Week 8. Buy-low! And, as for Oliver, the dude pulled in 7 receptions and the Chargers were getting killed… he is clearly getting work, so he is a great player to try and acquire from an owner in a panic. Buy-low, though, so that there is little risk! Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Manning to explode in Week 8? Inactives for Thursday night include Ryan Mathews, Ronnie Brown, Montee Ball, Kapri Bibbs.

SMITTY: Inactive for tonight’s Thursday night battle between the Broncos and Chargers include: Ryan Mathews, Ronnie Brown, Montee Ball, Kapri Bibbs. Cody Latimer is active for the Broncos.

Look for Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas to have big games in this one, but that is a given. All those Broncos seem unstoppable right now. While it’s likely that the Broncos get out to an early lead and never let go of it, it wouldn’t be extremely surprising to see the Chargers put up a good fight. All it takes is one early turnover for the game to go in any direction… Ronnie Hillman will have yet another chance to impress, but his usage will depend on game flow. Keenan Allen needs to step-up in this one, as those that own the guy in fantasy may have already benched him heading into this Week 8. I still firmly believe in his skill set, there is no denying his routes and abilities, but he isn’t getting the targets he should be, and he has been banged up a bit… Rivers has to focus on him early and often in this one. Branden Oliver should be efficient as long as Denver doesn’t get off to too quick a lead, but Oliver is still relevant if San Diego is passing late in the contest. Antonio Gates is obviously a TE1 play moving forward, and in larger leagues, both Eddie Royal and Malcom Floyd are fine WR3/4s this week. Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?