It hasn't been a good first couple of weeks for Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson. After being crowned as the Broncos bell-cow running back in the offseason, he's only managed to produce 56 rushing yards on 24 carries.
As the puported tip-of-the-spear in head coach Gary Kubiak's vaunted rushing offense, Anderson's 2.3 yards per carry average has been underwhelming, to say the least.
It hasn't helped that he's been banged up and playing behind one of the NFL's worst offensive lines. Even still, it wasn't too long ago he talked about how it would be an insult not to produce in Kubiak's zone blocking scheme—a system replete with a history of 1,000-yard rushers.
If you listened to Episode 3 of our 'In the Huddle' podcast, you know that Anderson is frustrated. As much as he's frustrated with himself, he knows the impetus of his struggle stems from the O-line.
If you drafted Anderson in your fantasy football league, you likely did it with your first round pick. Thus far, he's been unable to provide a return on that fantasy investment. However, let's remind ourselves—it is 'fantasy'.
Anderson's job is to tote the rock for the Denver Broncos, not help Joe Blow in Witchita, Kansas win his fantasy league. The hue and cry from fantasy owners has reached critical mass and Anderson is tired of hearing it.
"You can sit me for 17 weeks. It would not bother me one bit. I don't care," said Anderson, offering free lineup advice to fantasy owners. "I saw something on ESPN: 'Is C.J. Anderson a fantasy bust?' I wish I could call ESPN and say: 'Tell them to drop me. ... Every owner can drop me.' "
C.J. Anderson will hit his stride—eventually. But it's unlikely to happen until the big boys up front on the Broncos O-line get more time together. Their communication errors and lack of physicality have held back Anderson and the Broncos rushing attack.
As Doc Bear said today—give them time. This unit is young and they've only been together a short time. And if Anderson is sick of hearing it, you'd better believe the Broncos O-line is, too.
Pride is on the line.
But let us not forget what C.J. Anderson is capabale of. There's no way to measure or quantify heart.
Animated images via NFL Game Pass.
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