As you rigorously prepare and research leading into each season and week of DFS, different factors are always going to change the landscape. “Next Man Up” is a series that examines players who are now being propelled into a starting role (thus creating a larger opportunity for that player), whether it be via injury, suspension or simply a change to the depth chart.
Here’s what we know for sure — C.J. Anderson will be sidelined “indefinitely” after undergoing meniscus surgery on Thursday.
It was a wild wave of news regarding Anderson Thursday morning. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport surfaced a report that stated Anderson told people close to him his knee injury would cost him the rest of his season. NBC Denver called Anderson’s injury “significant,” but mentioned there’s “hope” he can return for the postseason.
In a strange twist, Anderson himself (not a shabby source) fired right back at Rapoport, calling those reports “false.” However, he then deleted all of his tweets and pledged to stay off social media regarding the injury news. Later, it became known that C.J. Anderson has a torn meniscus, and he’s likely headed to IR.
The news couldn’t come at a worse time for Anderson, who went down during Monday night’s victory over the Texans. The 27-9 romping also happened to be C.J.’s first 100-yard game of the season — gaining 107 yards on 16 carries, along with a trip to the end zone.
Despite coming off a pair of down games prior to breaking out, Anderson had been a workhorse for Denver, handling double digit carries in each game so far this season. Through seven games, Anderson racked up 437 yards and four touchdowns on the ground (on 110 carries) to go with another 128 yards and a score through the air (on 16 receptions).
Those duties now fall on the shoulders of rookie rusher Devontae Booker — who many believe was already outplaying Anderson in recent weeks.
Next Man Up: Devontae Booker
Through Denver’s first seven games, Booker was actually averaging 4.8 YPC (to Anderson’s 4.0 YPC) despite taking less than half the amount of carries. The rookie was doing a good job spelling the starter, showing flash – like his five-carry, 46-yard performance in Week 6.
However, with Anderson going down in Week 7, Booker managed his best work to date despite a season-best effort from his counterpart. Booker carried 17 times for 83 yards and his first career touchdown. With C.J. out of the picture, I expect more efforts like this one from Booker in the near future, and perhaps even some better ones with San Diego, Oakland and New Orleans coming up next on the schedule.
Although fellow rookie Kapri Bibbs (five touches for 27 yards this season) figures to be in the mix, the best news for Booker is that Denver’s coaching staff has already made mention to the fact that they don’t mind putting a heavy workload squarely on him.
Booker’s efforts in his final two seasons at Utah would backup the assumption that he doesn’t mind/is capable of being run into the ground — he had 640 freaking touches for a combined 3,395 yards from scrimmage and 23 touchdowns.
Watch out fantasy land … here comes Devontae Booker.
For questions or comments hit me up on Twitter @julianedlow
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.