The starting running back job for the Denver Broncos was supposed to belong to Devontae Booker. Sure, maybe the expectation was that he would lose it to rookie Royce Freeman at some point during the 2018 season. But before the year even began? Very few expected that to be the case. And yet, here we are … with Phillip Lindsay as the most impressive back on the Broncos roster.
But entering Week 8, the team is down a back as Freeman has been ruled out. The expectation remains that Lindsay will see a heavy workload, but in an interesting matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, there’s an argument to be made that Booker could be an option in fantasy football.
Let’s take a look at the situation and a few stats to see whether Booker’s solid spot is enough to make him a potential fantasy starter for one week.
Key Stats and Devontae Booker’s Fantasy Outlook
Let’s dive into the numbers relating to Booker, the Broncos running back situation and the matchup. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Kansas City Chiefs vs. running backs in 2018: 139 attempts, 709 rushing yards, 49 receptions, 511 receiving yards, nine total touchdowns (No. 2 most fantasy points per game)
- Booker played just 10 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 7 but 33 percent in Week 6, per Football Outsiders
- Booker has more catches (16) than carries (13) this season and has totaled 126 receiving yards
It’s an interesting spot for Booker, and the Chiefs have struggled mightily with pass-catching backs, allowing three receiving touchdowns to them. If the 26-year-old can carve out a role Sunday, he could see quite a bit of work.
Should You Start or Sit Devontae Booker?
If you’re willing to bet on the Chiefs jumping out to a big lead against the Broncos, then Booker may be a great play. In that scenario, Denver would be playing from behind and passing a ton, which could lead to the third-year back seeing quite a few targets. On the season, he’s received 21 looks while playing limited snaps due to Freeman and Lindsay.
I think Booker is purely a point-per-reception play, but a good one at that. If you need a bye-week filler in 14-team leagues or larger, he’s squarely in the mix as an option. I’d even be open to putting him in play as a flex option in 12-team PPR leagues.