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What to do with Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman in Week 12 fantasy football

Denver opted to hand Lindsay the heavier workload for the first time this season and it looks like Freeman could be relegated strictly to receiving duties. We take a look at the Broncos backfield’s value in Week 12.

NFL: NOV 17 Broncos at Vikings

Denver’s backfield was a mess until it wasn’t. Some around the Broncos are saying that Phillip Lindsay will take on the heavier workload from this point until the end of the season. To be honest, that’s the path Denver should walk. During the first nine weeks of the season, the timeshare between Lindsay and Royce Freeman has been pretty balanced, almost 50/50, slightly favoring Freeman every week except the first one. The problem with that usage is that Lindsay has constantly out-performed Freeman. In that span, Lindsay logged 584 yards and five touchdowns on 118 carries and added an extra 168 yards on 27 receptions. Freeman went to the bye week having played the same amount of games, with 374 yards and two TDs on 93 carries, and 181 yards through the air on 27 receptions.

While the numbers are close in the passing side of the game, Lindsay is averaging almost a full yard per carry more than Freeman even with larger usage, let alone talking about their scoring. It looks like Denver came to their senses after their Week 10 bye and decided to hand Lindsay the reigns to the backfield finally. He more than doubled Freeman’s snaps, and although the game script didn’t favor any of the rushers, Lindsay had 16 carries for 67 yards while Freeman sat at eight for 31. This trend should stay, and the distance is expected to grow bigger between the two tailbacks, with Lindsay used as a do-it-all back with Freeman limited to receiving duties with a little bit of rushing sprinkled in.

Fantasy Football Analysis, Denver Broncos RBs Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman

The Bills defense has been good against the pass but ranks only 21st in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs on average. Buffalo has surrendered more than 130 yards from scrimmage or a touchdown in their four last games, something that bodes well for Denver’s chances this weekend. The Eagles hung three scores on them in Week 8, and even while the Dolphins could only rush for 16 yards on 11 carries last weekend, they still were able to score a touchdown on the ground.

Considering how the usage of these two rushers flipped this past weekend entirely and moved from 50/50 to 75/25 in favor of Lindsay, combined with the voices calling for a bigger workload for Lindsay, it’s all about him this week. I won’t consider Freeman, no matter the matchup. As far as Lindsay goes, Buffalo isn’t anything otherworldly at stopping the run, and the Broncos feature a true-freshman at the quarterback position, so expect some large backfield use. Start Lindsay as your RB2 at the very least, as he has a high upside this weekend and could end in the 15-to-20 points clip easily.

Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Lindsay.
Sit Freeman.