Getting C.J. Anderson back to full health after he suffered a toe and an ankle injury is key, HC Gary Kubiak said. Anderson finished second on the team with 720 yards on 152 carries (4.7-yard average) with five touchdowns in 15 games (five starts). Leading the way was Ronnie Hillman, who started 11 games and ran for 863 rushing yards on 207 carries (4.2 average) with seven touchdowns.
Retaining Anderson will be easier since he's restricted, but keeping Hillman while also trying to keep many of the team's key defensive free agents will be difficult and might prompt the Broncos to look for help through the draft.
"We've got a young man on our practice squad — Kapri Bibbs — who I think fits what we want to do," Kubiak said. "We've got four good young players, and hopefully Ronnie is still part of that. We'll go from there. I thought we got better as the season went along. Keeping C.J. healthy is the key moving forward."
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 depressed heading into 2016 fantasy drafts. But Ronnie Hillman is unlikely to return after a poor finish (while Anderson is a restricted free agent), so the Denver backfield is one to monitor in the offseason. If Anderson returns as the clear RB1, he’s going to be a fantastic value in the 4th round and a solid value in the 3rd.