The Denver Broncos backfield is as complicated as ever entering 2019 causing fantasy owners to wonder whether to prioritize Phillip Lindsay or Royce Freeman this season. The Broncos also added Theo Riddick whose real strength is his ability to do damage in the passing game.
Lindsay was the more productive back in 2018 and beat out Freeman for touches as an undrafted rookie. There has been a growing buzz surrounding Freeman this offseason causing many to wonder if we are headed for a 50/50 split in Denver. Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported that the Broncos are hoping to establish a “true split-touch situation.”
“#Broncos are feeling really good about RB Royce Freeman right now. To the point that they are hoping to finally establish the true split-touch situation that they envisioned between Freeman and Phillip Lindsay last season. They feel like that plan is fully on track for 2019,” Robinson tweeted.
Things are even more complicated with the addition of Riddick likely meaning three backs are going to be involved. Let’s take a look at each player’s ADP (average draft position) courtesy of Fantasy Pros to see if you should try to snag a Broncos running back in your fantasy draft.
Phillip Lindsay Has a Current ADP of 41
With talks of a potential RBBC (Running Back by Committee), selecting Lindsay at his current ADP of 41 scares me. Lindsay is the 21st running back going off the board. Chris Carson (ADP of 48) and Mark Ingram (ADP of 46) are two running backs being selected after Lindsay that I would prefer over the Broncos rusher in redraft leagues.
Royce Freeman Could Be Worth the Gamble With an ADP of 97
Freeman offers a much better bargain with an ADP of 97 as the RB38 off the board. Freeman has the higher draft capital which as we saw last season does not guarantee he will win the job. However, it is reasonable to think Freeman will have every opportunity to get at least equal touches with Freeman this season if he can perform well in the preseason.
There are plenty of reasons to doubt Freeman heading into the season, but he is worth a flyer at No. 97. The signing of Riddick concerns me given it makes an already crowded backfield even more full. The Broncos coaching staff referenced the Falcons rushing attack when they had both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman as the goal for their top two backs.
“Rich Scangarello said RBs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman remind him of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman in Atlanta with how they complement each other,” The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala tweeted.
Overall, I am not prioritizing any of the Broncos running backs until there is a clear path to sizable carries for one of the rushers. Lindsay’s current ADP is too rich for a player who may not even win the starting job. If I had to draft one Broncos running back, it would be Freeman, but it is important to monitor the preseason to see how both perform. Fantasy owners in PPR leagues also would be wise to look at taking a late-round flyer on Riddick.