CJ Anderson (RB/DEN)
2/16/2015: CJ Anderson is a tough player to rank right now when preparing for 2015. He just is. Sure, he looked fantastic down the stretch in 2014, and Montee Ball clearly blew his chance to run behind that Denver offensive line. Is Ball still in the picture? Sure, but let’s put it this way… Read Spotlight
SMITTY: Injuries and slow-starting killed Montee Ball fantasy owners in 2014, and I admit I was a big believer in Ball entering this year. I still think he has talent, and the situation was ideal in Denver (proven by the success of CJ Anderson), but Ball's road back into any starting line-up will be a long one. CJ Anderson has low-end RB1 upside heading into the final three Weeks of the fantasy season, however, his dynasty value is still quite shaky, so selling high isn't a bad idea in dynasty, especially if your team is no longer in he playoffs. Don't sell-low, that's not what I'm suggesting, but selling high is just smart given you're likely getting a safer future option if you're trading right, or you're upgrading a player into an elite player using Anderson (whom you likely acquired off the waiver wire). As for Week 15, I expect HUGE bounce-back outings out of all those Denver players! Week 15 should be good to those who own Denver players! Check back on the status of Julius Thomas before kickoff, but if things stay on track, he is a top 3-4TE lock heading into Week 15. Looking for Week 15 Power Rankings?
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.
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!
SMITTY: Mike Klis, from DenverPost.com, 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?
Watch/listen to Fantasy Football Starters’ Jeff talk Week 11 on the “Sam Acho Show”, which is always live on AZCentral.com. Jeff (CEO) of Fantasy Football Starters dishes out some Week 11 fantasy football start bench, trade and waiver wire advice.
Watch STARTERS on the Week 11 Sam Acho Show!
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?
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?
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?
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 Oliver… Thomas 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?