Before you jump down my throat, hear me out.
Please and thank you.
I promise this has nothing to do with the fact that he was my waiver wire savior last season. Far from it.
This is the part of the preseason where I write a piece on every player I think you can argue for with the number one pick. That's right, everyone.
That leads me to this...the 2015 fantasy football offseason is quite different than those in the past.
There's no consensus #1 pick right now. Ask one expert and they'll give you one name, ask another and they're still undecided.
CJ Anderson is going to take you on one hell of a journey.
Are you ready?
Man he looked good in 2014
It's true that he doesn't have a great history like some of the names I threw around above.
A closer look at his game tapes and metrics show that he has a powerful case for being the #1 pick.
If he doesn't go #1, well then he could be a bigger value every pick he slides down the board.
So let's take a look at history.
He was an afterthought in weeks 1-9 amassing a whopping 17 carries for 82 yards. My younger brother can do that shit.
Where CJ Anderson has my brother, and so many fantasy football studs beat, is in what he did starting in week 10.
From that point forward he posted 158 fantasy points, which was higher than Bell (149 points), Lacy (137 points), Lynch (134 points), Murray (120 points) and Charles (109 points). I'm not saying he's better than all of those guys...actually maybe I am.
At the very least he kept pace with the fantasy running backs we'd deem "elite" for 2015.
Do I have your attention?
He carries PPR value too guys
CJ Anderson wasn't just a stud in standard leagues (although it was certainly helpful), he also had the most points among fantasy running backs from weeks 10-17 with 188 points in PPR.
Don't give me the excuse that his rushing production covered up his pass game production. He ranked 3rd among PPR running backs on passing plays over the second half of the season (according to ESPN).
Man that's a pretty sweet job.
Did I mention Kubiak has one of the best run-blocking systems?
CJ Anderson finished in second place (so close) in good blocking yards per attempt in 2014. Know who he finished behind?
Know who coached Forsett on offense last year?
Gary Kubiak. He's now the head coach of the Broncos.
I won't lie, I took the following piece from ESPN. Why? Because they explain it in a way I never could.
"This combination could lead to a higher GBYPA mark for Anderson, but just as importantly it could also lead to an increase in Denver's good blocking rate (GBR). The Broncos 34.1 percent mark in this category ranked 25th in the league and was 3.5 percentage points behind Baltimore's 37.6 percent GBR.
A few percentage points might not seem like much of a difference, but if Anderson carries the ball 250-300 times, it could give him anywhere from 9-11 more good blocking attempts. All it would take is one home run on those carries to tally an additional 8-10 points to Anderson's already strong fantasy total."
I'm seeing all positives here people.
They want to keep Peyton Manning at full strength
Did I mention Peyton Manning?
It appears I didn't, so let me clear that up. The Broncos want him healthy. They can do that by running the shit out of the ball.
You know who historically runs the shit out of the ball? Kubiak.
I'm seeing a trend.
The Broncos organization has also continually hammered home the point that getting the rushing game to the next level is extremely important for the organization.
Listen, I don't always buy what coaches and teams say. This is just one of the times that I do.
Add all of these pieces up and I'm seeing a ton of carries available for Denver running backs.
Fantasy football gold people.
But there are other running backs on the team
I knew you were going to argue this. I used this argument earlier this offseason.
Here's the good news, grabbing the alternative options cost you pennies on the dollar as insurance.
Montee Ball claims he'll win back the job. Okay...so go spend $2 in an auction on him or a 12th round pick on him in 12 team PPR leagues.
You want to talk about Ronnie Hillman? The guy is nearly a 14th round pick.
I get the logic that you don't want to have to hedge your bet.
I'm not advising you to because I believe it's Anderson's job short of an injury.
But if you're the safety net kind of fantasy football owner, snag the guy you believe would be next up (cough *Ball* cough).
I won't lie to you
Drafting CJ Anderson with the #1 fantasy pick or anywhere is a risk.
Look at it as an investment. One that could totally make you a fantasy champion.
The gamble isn't one I'd take, but if you were inclined to do so I could understand the argument. Remember, with this series it's all about playing devil's advocate and showing that you could simply argue that the upside guy should be your pick.
Sometimes swinging for the fences results in the grand slam you always dreamed of. Other times it's a swing and a miss.
I'm mixing up sports now. So I guess the question is, how lucky do you feel?
This photo is courtesy and copyrighted by Jeffrey Beall via Wikipedia. This image is being used in accordance with Creative Commons and all rights are reserved by Jeffrey Beall.
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.
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