We are still a few months away from the arrival of those autumn winds that signal the beginning of America’s true national pastime. But the NFL’s news machine never stops, and this week was no different. Here are a couple of the stories that should be on fantasy owners’ radar.
Cardinals RB David Johnson may see only 60 percent of the backfield touches
That’s what Cardinals insider Mike Jurecki said he expects from the second-year stud. It may not reflect the team’s thinking, but Jurecki is certainly plugged in when it comes to the Cardinals. Those who are investing a top pick in Johnson during early-season drafts aren’t a fan of that take, but keep this in mind: Johnson’s competition is the injury-prone Andre Ellington and 30-year-old Chris Johnson. In other words, Johnson will probably be forced to handle 20-plus touches in games at some point this season. He took on at least that much work in five games during his rookie year and averaged more than 130 yards from scrimmage. Bruce Arians and Co. aren’t going to let such a good thing go to waste. Johnson is well worth his high price.
Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak says RB C.J. Anderson is “ready to be an every-down back”
Kubiak said that on Thursday while also raving about Anderson’s physical conditioning and desire to compete for his lead role. It sounds great, but we know this already, don’t we? Anderson was a workhorse during the second half of the 2014 season. He was so good then – more than 700 total yards and nine touchdowns in the regular season’s final six games – he was a late-first round pick in many drafts last summer. Then, he busted. Part of his failure had to do with nagging injuries. Part of it had to do with some good games from Ronnie Hillman that pushed Anderson to the back. Part of it indeed had to do with Anderson’s conditioning, which reportedly wasn’t top-notch. However, fantasy owners are still showing a good amount of belief in Anderson. According to Fantasy Football Calculator, he currently has a fourth-round average draft position even though Hillman is still around and rookie Devontae Booker has been added to the mix. Kubiak’s words are reassuring. However, I wouldn’t blame you for shying away from Anderson at his current price point. His track record of success is not a long one, and last year, he negated a lot of the good will he had created. If you are drafting Anderson, hope that he is as determined in September and October as he seems to be in June.