As you rigorously prepare and research leading into each week of DFS, injuries are always going to change the landscape. “Next Man Up” is a series that examines players who are now being propelled into the starting role (thus creating a larger opportunity for that player), whether it be via injury, or simply a change to the depth chart. 


Ronnie Hillman — RB, Denver Broncos

Who’s been the most disappointing fantasy football player so far in 2015? Injuries aside, it’d be silly not to say C.J. Anderson.

After lighting the DFS community on fire in the second half of the 2014 season, Anderson entered 2015 with a lot of hype. I bought it … you bought it … we all bought it. There was no reason not to.

In fact, the addition of Gary Kubiak led to a lot of us arguing Anderson’s value would be even higher this season. Instead, the entire Denver offense has been a mess. Denver’s defense has actually been its best fantasy player through six games, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anderson has maintained his touches all season despite being severely outplayed by Ronnie Hillman. That’s likely about to change.

Hillman broke out in Week 4, rushing for 103 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. But Anderson kept getting his touches despite boasting a season-high of 43 rushing yards without a trip to the end zone. He out-carried Hillman for another ineffective effort in Week 5.

Week 6 appears to have finally brought us change. The Broncos kept trying their luck with Anderson, giving him a season-high 13 carries for 41 yards. But Hillman proved he’s clearly the superior RB, going off for 111 yards on 20 carries, and corralling a season-high three catches.

Coming off a Week 7 bye, it’d be shocking to see Hillman not be the lead dog in the backfield, forcing Anderson into a backup role he’s familiar with from past seasons. In a year where Peyton Manning has statistically been the worst QB in the league (yup, that’s still sinking in — he’s the only starting QB to throw an INT in every game) the Broncos’ starting RB role is a valuable job.

It’s been ugly so far, but it’s very possible that Ronnie Hillman could turn into this season’s C.J. Anderson. Don’t sleep on him in the second half of this season if he starts to get it going against Green Bay on Sunday Night Football.

Find me on Twitter @julianedlow