The Denver Broncos backfield featuring Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay has been one of the most confusing situations for fantasy owners to manage. Denver is firmly committed to a Running Back by Committee approach which makes it difficult to know whether Freeman or Lindsay will get the majority of carries on a week-to-week basis.
The one thing Lindsay has going for him is his activity in the passing game. Freeman is almost solely being utilized as a traditional running back and has been a disappointment so far this season. If I can help it, I am leaving Freeman on my bench for Week 7.
You may be in a situation with bye weeks that forces you to start Freeman. While I don’t recommend putting him in your lineup if you can help it, there is some reason for optimism as the Broncos take on the Cardinals. Arizona is giving up 151 rushing yards per game, the second most in the NFL.
For example, I am not starting him in traditional formats, but I do have Freeman in my lineup in a deep super-flex league where you start multiple offensive players each week.
Sit Royce Freeman Where You Can For Week 7
At this point, Freeman has become touchdown dependent to have a good fantasy week, which is a bad sign. Freeman had nine carries for 22 yards averaging just 2.4 yards per carry last week against the Rams. Freeman has had single-digit carries in four of his six games this season.
After Week 4, Broncos coach Vance Joseph said Freeman needed to get more work, and days later Freeman had just five carries. Since Joeseph’s comments, Freeman has had a total of 14 carries over the last two weeks.
“Royce the last two week is hitting his stride,” Joseph said per Mile High Report. “He is playing at a high level. To watch him last night, obviously we’re blocking well up front, but he turned nothing into something. That’s Royce. That’s what he was in college. I’m looking forward to getting him more touches. He played about 16 or 17 plays last night, but he needs more opportunities because he is playing good football.”
To summarize, I feel much more bullish on Lindsay than Freeman for Week 7. If I am able to, Freeman is a sit until the Broncos prove they are willing to give him more work. If you are desperate, you can leave Freeman in your lineup hoping that a plus matchup allows him to have a good fantasy outing and find the end zone.
Freeman was a standout running back at Oregon, and I am optimistic about the trajectory of his career. Freeman rushed for 1,475 yards and 16 touchdowns his senior season with the Ducks. Freeman’s best season came in 2015 when he rushed for 1,836 yards and 17 touchdowns. Freeman has the talent to be a long-term fantasy player, but he needs the Broncos to give him carries to reach his full potential.