Rankin has yet to make a Test appearance for England, but he did impress in the one-day series against Australia earlier this month, and Anderson has insisted that their rivals will be fearful of the tall paceman.
The 31-year-old told the Daily Telegraph: "Australia got a good taste of it by facing Boyd. He looked a real handful at times and that will worry them.
"Even if he doesn't start the series, we have got that sort of player in the squad to use when we need to. It is good to have that depth."
The first Test in Australia begins in Brisbane on November 21.