"I don’t think there’s a question what coach (Kubiak) wants to do," Broncos running back C.J. Anderson said recently. "All you have to do is look out there and see a fullback running around ... I mean, we even drafted one. [Kubiak] wants to run the ball."
The team that lined up in a two-back set all of 25 times in the 2015 regular season -- the Broncos had eight regular-season games when they didn't use the personnel grouping for a single snap -- has designs on a little something different this time around. Kubiak is intent on pumping up the Broncos' run game, and executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway is on board. The offseason on offense has included signing two tackles -- Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson -- in free agency, matching an $18 million offer sheet from the Miami Dolphins to Anderson, and using a sixth-round pick to select Janovich.
The key part of the plan is Anderson. When the Broncos chose to match the Dolphins' offer this offseason, the decision came with a message it was time for Anderson to show he wants to be the franchise back. Anderson has held up his end of the bargain, showing up in better condition for an offseason program than at any point in his career.
Anderson kept his weight down -- he said was between "218 and 220" pounds throughout the offseason program -- and intended to spend much of the break "working out, making sure my body is right."
"C.J. is ready to be an every-down guy," Kubiak said as the offseason program drew to a close. "Just watching him, I think his condition level is the best that I’ve seen it since I’ve been here. You all watch him practice. He’s had a really good offseason."
Anderson wasn’t fully healthy heading into the season and struggled at the onset, averaging just 2.69 YPC on 11.4 rushing attempts through the first six weeks of the season. He turned it around in a big way after the Week 7 bye, however, racking up an average of 64.5 yards on 11.6 carries (5.57 YPC) and 0.58 TD over his final 12 games, including the playoffs. Those are mid-level RB1 numbers in standard formats and low-end RB1 numbers in PPR. Moreover, the Broncos committed to Anderson down the stretch, feeding him 15.6 carries over the final five games. In that span, he averaged 13.7 fantasy points in standard (and 15.9 FP in PPR). Those averages would have been good enough to finish #3 in both formats. Even though he finished strong, playoff numbers don’t count for fantasy, so the fact remains that Anderson burned his owners in 2015. As a result, his ADP is likely to remain a bit depressed heading into 2016 fantasy drafts.