C.J. Anderson on the Decline and Other Week 4 Fantasy Observations

A popular fantasy pick entering the season, Anderson is averaging 2.7 yards per carry and has yet to score through four games

Just like that, the fantasy football season is a quarter of the way over. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were still working on preseason content, talking up the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and more. And now, four weeks have been played and we have a much better idea of our teams, in both real life and fantasy.

 

Related: Week 4 NFL Fantasy All-Dud Team

 

This is the time of year that you should assess your team, find your strengths and weaknesses and try to trade to improve your team. Or, if you're lucky enough to be 4-0, sit back, relax and hope no one on your team gets injured. While you're relaxing, let's take a look back at some questions from Week 4.

 

What is the Chargers' offense going to look like in Week 5?

Philip Rivers looked great in Week 4, throwing for 358 yards and three touchdowns. He's connected with Keenan Allen as his top receiver this season, and he's been able to spread the ball around. However, things get interesting in Week 5.

 

For starters, Antonio Gates comes back from suspension, and will take over the No. 1 tight end role from Ladarius Green. In Week 4, two of Rivers' touchdowns went to tight ends. Will that just be Gates moving forward or will Green have a role? Based on the way Green has played, he should still have a role.

 

In the three games he's played, Green caught 14 out of 18 targets for 174 yards and two touchdowns. It is likely that the Chargers will employ some two-tight end sets, especially with all of the other injuries they have with their pass catchers.

 

In Week 4, Stevie Johnson left the game early with a hamstring injury. Malcom Floyd suffered a concussion. At this point, the only healthy receivers on the Chargers' depth chart are Allen and Donterelle Inman. In Week 5, the Chargers face the Steelers, and not only will Allen and Inman have a role, but also look for Danny Woodhead, Gates and Green to also play a big part in the offense. Melvin Gordon hasn't had the breakout game that we were all hoping for. While that still may happen, look for San Diego to continue to air out the ball and the pass catchers to still have fantasy value.

 

What will Pittsburgh's offense look like in Week 5?

After Ben Roethlisberger went down in Week 3, the biggest question was how would Michael Vick fare running the Steelers offense? Well, 124 yards and a touchdown is the answer to that question.

 

However, Vick did play on Thursday night without the benefit of much preparation time, and he did add 33 yards on the ground. In Week 5, the Steelers get wide receiver Martavis Bryant back, which should help Vick. He will continue to mostly manage the game, but will have bursts of what we remember Vick could do.

 

He had a pass that Antonio Brown should have caught in the end zone, which would have changed the way we viewed Vick's Week 4 performance. With a long week of practice and a matchup against a beatable San Diego defense, Vick should put up better numbers in Week 5.

Brown's fantasy owners may be nervous after Week 4, but trust that the Steelers - and Vick - know that he's the best player on the team. They will find a way to get him the ball. Le'Veon Bell will continue to be a clear-cut RB1 as the Steelers lean on him to move the ball forward both on the ground and on passing downs. Time will tell if Vick can find a way to get Bryant the ball, but fantasy owners of Steelers players should not be concerned. Yet.

Is C.J. Anderson's time as a starting running back over?

We can make all the excuses we want ("if you discount Hillman's 72-yard touchdown run…"), but the reality is Anderson has not been able to put it together this season. Sure, he was dealing with injuries, but at the end of the day, the Broncos have to look at who is moving the ball? Who is giving them a better chance to win?

 

This one is tough because Anderson was a first-round draft pick for many fantasy owners. He was promising as we thought he'd pick up where he left off at the end of last season. Couple that with Peyton Manning not throwing it as much and Denver focusing on running the ball, and it looked like Anderson would be great.

 

Until the season started. Through four games, Anderson has 117 rushing yards, seven receptions, 57 receiving yards and no touchdowns. Week 4 was, sadly, his best game of the season.

 

Ronnie Hillman has 191 rushing yards, two touchdowns, two receptions and eight receiving yards through the same span. Hillman has looked like the better back, although it's not like he's running away with the starting job.

 

The Broncos are likely going to use both backs in the near future, but don't be surprised if Hillman gets more opportunities than Anderson. Even though the matchup against Oakland in Week 5 is tempting, it may be time to keep Anderson on your bench. Hillman owners can start him as a RB2 in Week 5 and hope that the Broncos stick with the guy that has actually gotten the ball in the end zone the past two weeks.

 

Other burning questions:

 

Is Jameis Winston really this bad?

 

Is Ted Ginn Jr. really that good?

 

What happened to Tyrod Taylor?

 

Are kickers losing their value (or gaining it, a la Cairo Santos)?

 

Did you drop Andre Johnson yet?

 

Who would have thought that the next player after LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 to score three rushing touchdowns in back-to-back games would be Devonta Freeman?

 

Is Freeman killing the fantasy value of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones?

 

Did Alex Smith really throw for 358 yards (and the Chiefs still lost)?

 

How terrible is the 49ers' offense?

 

Will Todd Gurley be a fantasy difference-maker this year?

 

Did you start your tight end against Oakland?

 

Does Sam Bradford hate fantasy owners of his receivers?

 

Are the Dolphins going to be better now that Joe Philbin is gone?

 

Who cursed the Dallas Cowboys this season?

 

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

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