Todd Gurley leap
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Here are the running back rankings for Super Bowl LIII.
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1. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams – Should be healthier than he’s been in a while. Big factor in this one.
2. James White, New England Patriots – Has a tendency to come up in big games.
3. Sony Michel, New England Patriots – Could easily be the top choice in this one if the Pats can establish the run.
4. C.J. Anderson, Los Angeles Rams – Not likely to get the carries he needs to get rolling.
5. Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots – You never know, it could be Burkhead with a couple of TDs to be a factor.
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C.J. Anderson orange uniform
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One of the players receiving the most buzz lately is Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker. He totaled 59 yards on Sunday and 53 yards last night. Meanwhile starter C.J. Anderson managed 62 yards and 71 yards respectively. Anderson has been produced more yards, but Booker has been more effective. Booker averaged 6.3 yards per carry and 6.6 yards per touch over that stretch. Meanwhile, Anderson averaged 3.7 yards per carry and 4.8 yards per touch. Is it time for C.J. Anderson owners to panic?
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Not just yet.
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The main issue for the Broncos has been their quarterback play of late. Paxton Lynch sported a 81.0 passer rating against the Falcons on Sunday. He completed 23 or 35 yards for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Lynch dinked and dunked his way to 6.4 yards per attempt.
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Things took a turn for the worst on the Thursday Night Game when Trevor Siemian returned. He completed 30 of 50 passes with a touchdown. Even though he was interception-free, he managed just a 77.9 passer rating and a lowly 4.6 yards per attempt.
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They don’t need John Elway or Peyton Manning performances from Siemian, but the Broncos do need him to stretch the field some to get the running game going. Not only will Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders benefit, but it should allow both Anderson and Booker to be effective backs.
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As I mentioned in a preseason piece on Anderson, Anderson started off slow last year before finishing strong. Over the last 11 games last year he averaged 6.4 yards per carry. When it counted the most Anderson was at his best, averaging 18 carries and three receptions en route to 91 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game during the Broncos Super Bowl run.
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Let’s not forget how effective Anderson was in the first two weeks when he averaged 116 total yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game.
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In this “what have you done for me lately” society you may be able to take advantage of his recent struggles and the Booker buzz to get Anderson at a discounted rate. In the meantime, if Booker is available in your league, go ahead and stash him.
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Also check out:

C.J. Anderson
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The Denver Broncos will begin their Super Bowl defense with Trevor Siemian under center barring a major development. At some point in the season the Paxton Lynch era could begin. Given the lack of experience in the game’s most important position, coupled with a stout defense, the Broncos should have a heavy run-oriented attack in 2016.
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Anderson is once again in line for a heavy load for the Broncos. The good news, is owners could be a little skittish because last year was supposed to be his monster year. That never really materialized.
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Anderson ran for 720 yards and five touchdowns last year. He did, however, manage to run for 4.7 yards per carry for the second straight season. C.J. added 25 receptions for 183 yards. Anderson never received more than 15 carries last year. I’m not worried that he cannot handle a heavy workload though.
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In 2014 Anderson averaged 27.3 carries over a four-game stretch and 23.3 over the final six games to close out the season. During that six-game stretch he averaged 129.8 total yards and 1.5 total touchdowns per game. Hence the high expectations heading into 2015.
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Anderson’s first six games in 2015 was a total opposite of his 2014 finish. He averaged 46.7 total yards without reaching paydirt. Anderson averaged a mere 2.7 yards per crack. In his next 11 games he increased his production to 56.6 total yards per game while scoring all five of his touchdowns. C.J. averaged 6.4 yards per carry during that stretch.
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Denver ramped up his usage during the playoffs as he averaged 18 carries and three receptions en route to 91 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game during the Broncos’ Super Bowl run.
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Given the current state of the Broncos’ offense, look for them to lean heavily on Anderson early. If he can stay healthy, he certainly has the ability to crack the top 10 or even a little higher. I recently updated my RB rankings to move him to RB13.


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