The Duel

Would You Rather: Own Phillip Lindsay or Royce Freeman for Rest of Fantasy Football Season

Dan Israeli
Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos
Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
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Prior to the Denver Broncos' Week 11 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, in which they blew a 20-0 halftime lead, it was reported that Phillip Lindsay was going to be the featured back on offense. Lindsay did pace the team in carries, rushing 16 times for 67 yards (4.2 yards per carry), while backfield mate Royce Freeman had eight carries for 31 yards (3.9 yards per carry).

While the production on the ground was not significant, the disparity in rush attempts was, as Lindsay has out-carried Freeman in every single game this season. Lindsay has also been more efficient with his carries and has five touchdowns to Freeman's three on the year.

The one advantage Freeman has had is a slight one, as he has one more catch than Lindsay (28 to 27) and 27 more receiving yards. Neither back has been very productive in the passing game, as they are both on pace for less than 400 receiving yards in 2019. Even this edge seemed to be going Lindsay's way last week, as he had two targets to Freeman's one.

A one-game shift in snap share might not always be a huge signal of things to come, but considering this came immediately following the coach's comments that Lindsay would play more, it's hard to ignore the effect this could have on the fantasy football value in the backfield.

Lindsay may not be producing the way he did as a rookie, but an increase in work as a true lead back should give his value a big boost down the stretch, while it limits Freeman's appeal in a big way, making him a fringe matchup-based FLEX play if the trend continues.

In our Week 12 PPR fantasy football rankings, Lindsay sits at RB16 while Freeman is unranked.


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