Most expected veteran C.J. Anderson to provide RB2 production from the running back position for the Denver Broncos last season. Others had hoped that then rookie Devontae Booker would pick up steam in his first season.
None of this happened.
Anderson suffered a meniscus injury and was forced out for the season after just seven games. In the game he did play, Anderson put up 437 yards while averaging a career-low 4.0 yards per rush.
For his part, Booker failed to take the starting role and run with it when Anderson went down. The 2016 fourth-round pick gained 637 rushing yards, but averaged a pedestrian 3.7 yards per rush while struggling in pass protection. This forced Denver to employ veteran Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions castoff Justin Forest as well as the recently traded Kapri Bibbs.
Needless to say, Denver's running back situation didn't help what proved to be a disastrous quarterback situation with Trevor Siemian and then rookie Paxton Lynch sharing time under center.
Denver did realize it needed running back help in free agency, adding former Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowler Jamaal Charles to the mix.
The problem with Charles is injuries. He tore his ACL back in 2015, playing five games that season. The 30-year-old running back then only played in three games last season after suffering setback after setback on the injured knee. This forced Charles to sign a team-friendly contract with Denver that guaranteed zero cash. In fact, Charles is no longer a lock to make the final 53-man roster.
Now heading into the 2017 season, the expectation here is that Denver will employ a running back by committee approach. Which is pretty much the death knell for the fantasy football world.
If Charles can prove himself to be healthy, he should earn the starting gig. But he's being held out until training camp as a precaution. With Anderson coming off injury himself and Booker failing to show much as a rookie, there's surely some major concerns here.
From a fantasy perspective, that's only magnified by the presence of rookie undrafted free agent De'Angelo Henderson, who is apparently turning heads during the offseason.
This is definitely something to keep an eye on. But as of right now, we'd wash our hands of the Broncos' running back situation completely. At least, until a more concrete understanding of how the depth chart will play out.