The Denver Broncos drafted running back Royce Freeman with the expectation he had a future as their go-to option in the backfield. But through the early part of the season, it’s been another rookie in Phillip Lindsay who’s thrived to this point. In turn, he’s become a player fantasy football owners have to consider starting each week.
Lindsay has rushed for 436 yards on 75 carries while catching 15 passes for 119 yards and three combined touchdowns. Although he’s been the team’s best back thus far, his Week 8 outlook is even more interesting considering Freeman has been ruled out for a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s a big spot for Lindsay and could result in him seeing a huge workload.
Let’s take a look at whether Lindsay is a clear-cut must-start this week against the Chiefs by breaking down the situation.
Key Stats and Phillip Lindsay’s Fantasy Outlook
I’ll break down the matchup along with numbers that jump out for Lindsay and the Broncos in Week 8. 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)
- Lindsay (59 percent) out-snapped Freeman and Devontae Booker (31 and 10 percent) in Week 7, but on the season narrowly leads Freeman 36.8 percent to 34.7 percent, per Football Outsiders
- Lindsay has 12 or more rushing attempts in five of seven games and double-digit touches in six of seven games
The numbers for opposing backs against the Chiefs bode well for both Lindsay and even Booker. The real concern here could be if the Broncos fall behind early and wind up having to air it out often. If that’s the case, it could negatively impact Lindsay’s workload, but if not, the 24-year-old could see 18-20 touches.
Should You Start or Sit Phillip Lindsay?
The matchup is too appealing to pass up here, and we can’t just assume the game will be a blowout. Regardless of how you look at it, Lindsay is a RB2 in all formats this week. His workload is safe on the ground and he’s topped 60 rushing yards in three of the past four games with Freeman sharing time with him.
Expect Lindsay to have a huge role against the Chiefs, especially considering that the Broncos will almost certainly do their best to control the clock. If Denver wants to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field, the best way to do it is to run with their young back and continue to do so throughout the game. I’d start Lindsay in any league with 10 teams or more in Week 8.