C.J. Anderson
C.J. Anderson
28-Year-Old Running BackRB
Detroit Lions
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Roller coaster doesn't begin to describe Anderson's odyssey through the NFL in 2018. He nearly got traded to the Dolphins in March, then got cut by the Broncos in April. He wound up in Carolina, seemingly poised to fill a significant role as the thunder to Christian McCaffrey's lightning, but instead, CJA barely saw the field as McCaffrey proved he could handle a bell-cow workload. Anderson got waived again, spent a few weeks in Oakland before the Raiders sent him packing too, and then finally wound up on the Rams as insurance for Todd Gurley's balky knee. At that point, Anderson exploded for 299 rushing yards and two TDs in the season's final two weeks before running all over the Cowboys in the playoffs. The veteran is a pure power runner at 5-8, 225, gaining extra yards after contact as much through stubbornness as strength, and his late-season heroics earned him another chance (this time with the Lions) when it looked like his career might be done last Thanksgiving. Coach Matt Patricia's preference for a backfield committee should ensure a steady assignment for Anderson behind Kerryon Johnson, but it would take another injury to push the 28-year-old into a lead role. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Lions in April of 2019.
Two carries in preseason loss
RBDetroit Lions
August 17, 2019
Anderson rushed twice for six yards during Saturday's preseason loss to the Texans.
Anderson served as the clear No. 2 back behind Kerryon Johnson, but there doesn't seem to be anyone else around to give Anderson competition for the job. He could see more involvement during the third preseason game Friday against Buffalo.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do C.J. Anderson's 2018 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Broken Tackle %
Positive Run %
% Yds After Contact
Avg Yds After Contact
Rushing TD %
Touches Per Game
% Snaps w/Touch
Air Yards Per Game
Air Yards Per Snap
% Team Air Yards
% Team Targets
Avg Depth of Target
-0.7 Yds
Catch Rate
Drop Rate
Avg Yds After Catch
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Detroit LionsLions 2018 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where C.J. Anderson lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2018 C.J. Anderson Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do C.J. Anderson's measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
5' 8"
225 lbs
40-Yard Dash
4.60 sec
Shuttle Time
4.12 sec
Cone Drill
7.15 sec
Vertical Jump
32.0 in
Broad Jump
119 in
Bench Press
17 reps
Hand Length
9.00 in
Arm Length
30.00 in
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring C.J. Anderson
2019 Football Draft Kit: Players on the Move
15 days ago
The NFL offseason was hotter than ever as a number of big-name players, including Le'Veon Bell, changed teams. Logan Larson analyzes the most significant moves.
2019 Los Angeles Rams
2019 Los Angeles Rams
22 days ago
22 days ago
Neil Parker inspects how the Rams have fared in the wake of a disappointing Super Bowl loss, with Todd Gurley's health hanging over it all.
2019 Cincinnati Bengals
22 days ago
Jeff Erickson investigates the changing of the guard from Marvin Lewis to Zac Taylor in Cincinnati. However, A.J. Green's health is again a question mark.
SXM Highlights: Kerryon Johnson Has 70 Catch Upside
23 days ago
Joe and Mario explain why they believe Kerryon Johnson is being undervalued in early drafts.
2019 Detroit Lions
2019 Detroit Lions
27 days ago
27 days ago
Logan Larson looks at the Lions as they prepare for Year 2 under the guidance of coach Matt Patricia.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Anderson's reward for turning a career-high 245 carries into his first 1,000-yard season in 2017 was to be an offseason cap casualty for the Broncos, but such is life in the NFL. The 27-year-old landed on his feet quickly, signing with the Panthers as their early-down replacement for Jonathan Stewart alongside Christian McCaffrey. A stocky power back at 5-8, 224, Anderson ranked in the league's top 10 last season for both carries and evaded tackles, mostly avoiding the nagging injuries that often have accompanied his bulldog running style. He may not see the same workload in Carolina as the team tries to get the most out of McCaffrey, but given the difficulty Anderson's had staying healthy in the past, that could be for the best. Assuming he doesn't completely flop in a new offensive scheme, the sixth-year back should play a significant part in Norv Turner's weekly game plans.
The Broncos' running game was a mess last season, and Anderson's disappointing numbers were Exhibit A. While his season ended early after a Week 7 knee injury, his 4.0 YPC to that point was by far a career worst, as he was having difficulty finding room behind a makeshift offensive line against defenses that showed zero respect for Denver's passing game. When healthy, the 5-8, 224-pound back has the low center of gravity, pad level and burst to break through arm tackles and stay on his feet after contact, and while Anderson has yet to prove he can hold up as a workhorse in the NFL, he can be effective as the main guy in a committee. The Broncos brought back Mike McCoy to run the offense and spent both draft capital and free agent dollars to improve their O-line, which should help improve the team's rushing attack, but a lot will still depend on Denver finding a QB who can stretch the field. Without any kind of vertical element to the offense, Anderson could once again find himself running into the teeth of too many stacked fronts. The biggest threat to Anderson's value, though, could come from former Chiefs star Jamaal Charles, who's attempting a comeback after playing just eight games over the last two years.
How do the Broncos really feel about Anderson? They keep giving us mixed signals. Denver gave him the minimum tender prior to free agency, though it did match Miami's four-year offer. Nonetheless, the Broncos also re-signed Ronnie Hillman and selected Devontae Booker in the draft. (What there won't be is Peyton Manning to audible and hand off, but maybe that's a good thing.) Anderson's been a late-arriving story in each of the last two seasons — he went ballistic in the second half of 2014 (1,057 total yards, 10 touchdowns) and had an efficiency spike last year (6.3 YPC after Week 8). He was good, not great, in Denver's Super Bowl run (405 total yards, 4.4 YPC). What's missing here is the first two months of 2015, when fantasy owners desperately needed Anderson — a high draft choice — to produce. He stumbled to an 88-315-1 start on the ground (just one score) through eight games, in part because the Broncos' offense was a mess from A to Z (makeshift line; diminished quarterback; erratic receivers; uncertain backfield; etc). Looking forward, there's a solid chance to succeed. Anderson enters the season as the lead back in a Gary Kubiak offense. Say whatever you want about Kubiak, but he generally has strong running games. Anderson's fantasy outlook is probably clearer than it initially seems.
After spending 2012 on the Broncos' practice squad and then seeing little action in 2013 once he recovered from a preseason knee injury, Anderson got just 17 carries through the first eight games last year, and it seemed like he might never get a chance to show what he could do. His fortunes changed dramatically in Week 10, however, as a 51-yard TD reception thrust him into the spotlight and he seized his chance. A short, thick power back, Anderson's game is built around his exceptional burst, balance and vision, allowing him to attack a hole and pick his way through traffic until he gets to the second level. While he doesn't run with tremendous power or speed, his low pad level allows him to grind out plenty of extra yards, and he ranked among the league leaders in missed or broken tackles with 59, which is all the more impressive considering his production all came in essentially half a season. Anderson excels both as a receiver and pass blocker, and his overall skill set should make him a great fit in new coach Gary Kubiak's offense. Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball remain in the picture, but Anderson is finally the clear top back in Denver and seems poised for a big season.
Anderson suffered a preseason knee injury that knocked him out for the first seven weeks of last season and barely saw the field even when healthy. However, he managed to make an impression with his seven regular-season carries and even got three touches in the Super Bowl. With Knowshon Moreno having departed for Miami, Anderson's slated to compete with Montee Ball for No. 1 duties this year in Denver. Ball's the odds-on favorite to come away with that job, but it's worth noting that the Broncos clearly consider the undrafted Anderson to be worthier competition for starter's reps than Ronnie Hillman, who appears pigeonholed into third-down duty.
Will likely spend the season on the practice squad, as there are simply too many running backs ahead of him on the depth chart.
More Fantasy News
Getting reps with first-team offense
RBDetroit Lions
August 8, 2019
Anderson is getting work with the first-team offense during two-minute drills, Chris Burke of the Athletic reports.
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Dropping weight for 2019
RBDetroit Lions
April 2, 2019
Anderson promised he will be in better shape for 2019 with the Lions, Marlowe Atler of The Detroit Free Press reports.
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Lands in Detroit
RBDetroit Lions
April 1, 2019
Anderson signed a one-year contract with the Lions on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
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Expects to find new team
RBFree Agent
March 22, 2019
Anderson suggested Friday on Twitter that he doesn't expect to re-sign with the Rams.
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Shut down by Patriots
RBLos Angeles Rams
February 4, 2019
Anderson had seven carries for 22 yards and two catches for 12 yards on three targets in a 13-3 loss to New England in the Super Bowl.
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