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NFL Q: Where do you rank CJ Anderson (PPR)? Pick 1: Matt Stafford, Matt Ryan, Ryan Tannehill.
A:

On C.J. Anderson:

There's always a level of concern when a running back only has one good season under their belt, or less than that.  Zac Stacy is a good reminder of the dangers.

That being said, reports out of Denver are that Anderson should be the #1 RB, and that the Kubiak system will likely lead to increased play time (as opposed to a dreaded multi-headed beast), and I'm inclined to believe both of those, unlike with Stacy.  

If possible, I would try to delay your league in terms of drafting until we're into preseason a bit (I like to wait until after week 3 of preseason, that's the ideal time, in my opinion), to get more reports and confirmation on the anticipated backfield (not to mention, get phantom preseason injuries out of the way), but right now, I'd say Anderson has to be considered a solid RB1, worth a pick in mid-1st for most leagues, probably around 6 to 8 in terms of RB rankings.

Looking at Kubiak's history, once he knew he had a star in Foster, he fed Foster the ball a ton each year, and if Anderson can play similar to how he played last year, even with Manning still playing, he should find opportunities.  

Not to mention, he's no slouch in the receiving game, with 34 receptions for 324 yards.  That boosts him in PPR nicely; he's not Matt Forte in the reception category, but he's also not Jeremy Hill or Alfred Morris, pure ground pounders.  Hillman and Ball are still poking around the backfield, but I think Anderson should be the #1 and has a great chance to get to 250+ carries.

On Matt, Matt, and Ryan:

I'd probably lean towards Matt Ryan first, as a mid-to-low QB1, depending on your league size.  He's averaged in the high 20s with fairly little variance over the past several years, with his INTs in the middle teens.  His yardage has been fairly stable too.  He's not a "likely mid-30s TD" guy, nor does he make up for lack of TDs with rushing (like Wilson or Newton), but he's just a very solid QB year in year out.

I'd lean Ryan Tannehill next, as a low-QB1, high QB2 option, with some upside.  Tannehill put it together last year in a very nice way, building on his successes from year 2, and with a similar year this year to last, he and Matt Ryan would be very close.  Still, his consistency is less proven, and he hasn't hit the heights that Ryan has in some years (like 2012).  He's got a good bunch of receivers, but at this time, no one stands out like Julio Jones does (though the Landry/Parker/Stills grouping should be potent).  If he's passed over early in your league, he'd be a great QB2 addition, both as injury/bye week fill in, but also potentially as trade bait.

Stafford brings up the rear here, with a high QB2 rating.  He's still got upside, but his 41 TD 2011 is looking more and more like an outlier.  While his turnovers were less in 2014 than 2013, so were his TDs and yardage, and while he should be in good shape for another 4,000+ yard outing, his TD total has to look more suspect, closer to the low-to-mid 20s.  While I think he's got an incredible weapon in Calvin Johnson (who doesn't think that?), it hasn't translated to the QB totals we'd have hoped for, and Stafford's averages look lower than Ryan's, and are suspect next to even Tannehill's.


Answered by: David Lloyd
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