It was the league’s 30th ranked rushing attack that dominated during the Sunday night showdown between the Broncos and Packers. Ronnie Hillman picked up 60 yards on 19 attempts and found the end zone twice, but it was C.J Anderson who stole the show. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, fantasy disappointments of the year showed flashes of his dominate rookie self as he torched Green Bay for 101 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Averaging 7.2 YPC, Anderson gave fantasy owners hope that better days are ahead for the sophomore out of Cal-Berkeley. However, what should we make of this backfield conundrum that now sees two running backs playing at a high level?
Who I’m buying
For those of you who wasted a first round pick on C.J Anderson, you got what you deserved for choosing to gamble your first round pick on a rookie running back that played half a season. Granted it was an incredible half a season, but still not a large enough sample size to warrant a top 12 pick. Never the less, I think this marks the game where Anderson overcomes his sophomore slump, which we saw hinder the likes of Eddie Lacy last season. Sometimes all a struggling young running back needs is a breakout game to regain confidence. Gary Kubiak has a lot of faith in this guy, which can be seen in almost double digit carries every week, despite Anderson hovering around 3 YPC, no game over 43 yards on the ground, and no touchdowns. The Broncos refused to lose hope in Anderson and even when they named Hillman the “starter”, it was remained a timeshare between the two backs. Look for Anderson to out carry Hillman this week so long as he continues to play well.
So drop Hillman?
Definitely not. Hillman is a very good running back who holds two 100+ yard games on the year along with 4 touchdowns. Although the Bronocs seem to favor C.J Anderson, if he does not produce Hillman will see his workload increase. If Anderson does build off this performance, I would still be extremely surprise to see Hillman phased out of the offense completely because of his change-of-pace ability. At the end of the day, Anderson has only had one solid outing this year so a lot is still uncertain.
Going forward, each game expect both Hillman and Anderson to receive at least 10 carries apiece, with the majority of carries going to the hot hand. The Bronco’s offensive line looked rejuvenated after a much needed bye week and both Peyton and the running game prospered because of it. The Broncos do not have a particularly tough defensive schedule ahead of them, so if the offensive line can stay healthy and Peyton can play his game, both Hillman and Anderson make for great flex plays with RB2 upside.
So what are you waiting for play RedraftHero now and draft one of these running backs for the upcoming week!
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