Time to Panic Over C.J. Anderson?

After the phrase “workhorse” and “bell cow” kept floating out of Denver, many Fantasy players took the bait and drafted C.J. Anderson as a first-round pick in their 2015 Fantasy Football Drafts. I was one of those players.

Originally, I had actually not even targeted Anderson for several reasons, which you can read in my “The Risk in Drafting C.J. Anderson” article. I slowly started to warm up to him (you can find out why here), however, and he made his way on to one of my rosters.

I was able to bench Anderson because I only need to start two running backs.
Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 8.15.15 AM

I realize a lot of other players don’t have that option, so what can you do if you need to heavily rely on Anderson moving forward? Should you trade him? Should you outright dump him if he doesn’t start producing better results?

Let’s take a look at a similar situation last season which had Fantasy Football players panicking.

Eddie Lacy’s 2014 Fantasy Football Performances

Lacy generally finished the season as the sixth or seventh highest-scoring back in most formats, but it didn’t always look like he would crack the top 10 because of his early performances.

The 25-year old back finished with an average of just 40.25 rushing yards per game in his first four games of the season, and some players were able to buy his stock for pennies on the dollar. Lacy ended up finishing with an average of 71.18 yards-per-game by the end of the season, so why did he face such an early slump?

A lot of the issues had to deal with the defenses he faced to start the season.
Week 1: Seattle Seahawks
Week 2: New York Jets
Week 3: Detroit Lions

When the Green Bay Packers faced the Seahawks and the Lions the offense only scored a total of 16 and seven points respectively. More importantly, Seattle finished the year allowing the eighth-fewest points to running backs, the Jets allowed the fourth-fewest points and the Lions allowed the ninth-fewest Fantasy points. Right off the back, Lacy had to face three defenses in a row that ranked in the top 10 for fewest points allowed to a running back. Our own Jon Kelly knew that Lacy was going to struggle early on even before the 2014 season started and used it as a buying opportunity to acquire Lacy for a cheap price tag when things were looking down.

How does this relate to Anderson?

C.J. Anderson’s Tough Schedule

Week 1: Baltimore Ravens
Week 2: Kansas City Chiefs
Week 3: Detroit Lions

Last season, Baltimore allowed the fewest points to Fantasy Football running backs. The Chiefs allowed the third fewest, and the Lions as you know allowed the ninth. You can’t back on defenses performing the same each season, but these are still menacing run-stopping units as evidenced by the early performances.

Moving forward, things should get better just like it did for Lacy.

Anderson will face off against the Vikings(allowed eighth-most Fantasy points to running backs in 2014) in Week 4 and this defense was gashed in Week 1 by Carlos Hyde for 168 yards. In Week 5, he has a great matchup against the Oakland Raiders (most Fantasy points allowed to running backs in 2014). While Jeremy Hill didn’t rack up a ton of rushing yards, he was able to two drive in two touchdowns in Week 1.

As an Anderson owner, hopefully you have at least one other running back you can start in his place during his tough schedule. It also doesn’t help that he’s a little banged up, so a longer rest period should give him plenty of time to recover. If you aren’t an Anderson owner, try to make a trade for him now. Utilize a bench player who you aren’t going to start and can give away easily. If your opponent only looks at Fantasy points, Dion Lewis comes to mind as a quick trade.

It’s been a rough two weeks for Anderson owners, but don’t jump ship just yet. Things should start to even out once he gets past these first three brutal weeks.

Notice: This weekend, deposit $5 on DraftKings by 9/20/15 and my referrals will receive a free ticket into Millionaire Maker. $2,000,000 prize for first place. 

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Categories: 2015 Fantasy Football

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