Panthers Sign C.J. Anderson
Michael Nazarek - 5/7/2018
Weeks after the Denver Broncos released him, free-agent RB C.J. Anderson has finally found a new home. He signed a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers today. Yes, this is the same team that Anderson ripped for 90 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown back in Super Bowl 50 as a Bronco. Anderson will replace departed RB Jonathan Stewart as a sturdy back to log the carries between the tackles. While he has his injury issues, Anderson is probably more likely to stay healthy than Stewart, and he's also four years younger at 27, while Stewart is 31.
Look for Anderson to be a complimentary back to second-year RB Christian McCaffrey, whom broke out with 80 catches for 651 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie season with the Panthers. In other words, McCaffrey is still the fantasy back to own in this backfield, especially for owners who play in PPR leagues. That said, Anderson could improve upon the 680 rushing yards that Stewart produced last year, but the six scores could be tough to come by with both QB Cam Newton and McCaffrey having great noses for the goal in the red zone. Still, Anderson deserves a look as a decent #3/#4 fantasy RB later this summer in 10-12 team leagues.
As for the Broncos, they will move on with RB Devontae Booker likely to start, while rookie RB Royce Freeman looks to make his mark. Booker must improve upon his career average of 3.6 yards per carry, though, if he's to hold the starting job. As for Freeman, he rushed for more than 5,600 yards at Oregon and scored 60 career TDs. He is a physical specimen, standing at 6' weighing 229 lbs. While he is physical, GM John Elway says he views Freeman as a potential faster version of Anderson. If he can prove that to be true and stay healthy, then don't be shocked if he beats out Booker for the starting job later this summer. All eyes should be on this battle come preseason.
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