Update: There was just a report that Broncos running back C.J. Anderson was iffy for tonight, but now it is being reported that he will in fact play. Skip ahead of the stuff about his availability and get our insight on Anderson versus the Chiefs tonight.
Not much of a surprise, but despite being listed as questionable with a toe injury, Broncos RB C.J. Anderson will play tonight, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2015
The Denver Broncos could be under-manned when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. Star running back C.J. Anderson originally said to be “fine” after suffering toe and ankle ailments in a week one win over the Baltimore Ravens, is now “up in the air” for Thursday night’s game.
If Anderson can’t go, a Broncos offense that struggled mightily in the first week of the season could be in serious trouble on the road in a tough matchup. Ronnie Hillman would be thrust into major action, while third string running back Juwan Thompson would also likely have a role. More importantly, the mild downgrade at running back could put the Broncos in a tough spot – one where quarterback Peyton Manning is asked to try to carry the load. Judging by what we saw in week one, that could very well go horribly.
Update: NFL reporting is super shaky sometimes, as we have now heard it two ways in regards to C.J. Anderson’s status. Adam Schefter says he’s a go, though, and it doesn’t get much more locked in than that. The fantasy advice regarding C.J. Anderson below still largely stands: play him in season long leagues but paying for him in DFS may be a bit of a reach.
There is no official word and this feels like a big back and forth thing to drum up hype for this game, but we’re shoving this out there anyway so you have some extra insight on the situation. Here’s the harsh reality: C.J. Anderson was a total bust in week one (29 rushing yards on 12 carries), as was the entire Denver offense. It’s entirely possible that was a gaffe against a very good Ravens defense and all is right with the world after a big night tonight. Of course, Denver is on the road at Arrowhead, where a hungry (and good) Chiefs defense awaits.
Anderson is shaping up as a low-end RB2 for week two, and that might be his best case scenario. If he’s truly questionable for tonight, he’ll either sit out or he’ll be limited. He already lost touches last week on top of not being effective, so there is plenty of reason to be concerned for his immediate fantasy value. For the long-term, it’s probably too early to freak out. Denver still wants Anderson to be their guy and while this oddly has that horrible “Montee Ball-feel” to it, I say hold onto Anderson to test the waters some more. Of course, if you get a really nice trade offer (run it by us in the comments below), it’d be hard not to consider. For now, downgrade Anderson for week two, but if he’s active you have to start him.
I’m probably fading this game altogether in daily fantasy football leagues, but if you’re using TNF players I’d definitely leave Anderson off your roster. He’s not worth the price all banged up with a tough road matchup. On the flip side, Hillman is dirt cheap and would be worth a flier in daily leagues if Anderson sits.