The Duel

Phillip Lindsay Fantasy Upside Could Be Capped by Broncos Usage of Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker

Max Staley
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
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Entering the 2018 season, the Royce Freeman hype train was getting out of control. Most fantasy analysts were projecting big things from the Denver Broncos' rookie running back, and it turned out they were right – they just picked the wrong rookie.

It was Phillip Lindsay, not Freeman, who took the fantasy world by storm, racking up 1,278 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns on 227 touches. However, with the Broncos hiring a new head coach in Vic Fangio, Lindsay will apparently once again be competing with Freeman for touches, which could seriously limit his fantasy value.

When Broncos' starting QB Joe Flacco was on the field during the team's third preseason game, it was nearly an even split between Lindsay and Freeman in terms of snaps. Lindsay saw eight, Freeman was on the field for seven and even Devonte Booker got in on the action for four snaps.

Of course, the sample size is small, but this could point to more of a running-back-by-committee approach from the Broncos. This change could seriously impact Lindsay's fantasy value too, as he was on the field for 42.18 percent of Denver's snaps in 2018, compared to 29.42 percent for Booker and 28.68 for Freeman. The disparity would've likely been even greater had Lindsay not missed a game last season.

It's also worth noting that Lindsay's offseason has been plagued by injuries, which means the new coaching staff has seen far more of Freeman and Booker than Lindsay. The Broncos also signed another RB, Theo Riddick, who could further complicate this already-muddled fantasy situation.

Currently going as RB25, according to FantasyPros.com's average draft position (ADP), Lindsay's uncertain workload makes him a potential boom-or-bust pick. Both Freeman (RB38) and Booker (RB90) project as low-risk, high-upside options, though it could be tough to rely on any Broncos' RB if this running-back-by-committee approach sticks when the games begin to count.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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