It’s rare that a team can support two Top 24 running backs. We’ve seen it a handful of times throughout the past couple of seasons and, in terms of 2019, the offenses that can do it (Green Bay, New England, San Francisco) tend to sit at the top of the league in categories like points per game and red zone possessions. I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Denver does not appear, on the surface, to be one of those teams. The Broncos are averaging an anemic 15.6 points per contest through eight weeks — a mark that is superior to only the likes of the Dolphins, the Jets, the Bengals and the Redskins. You know, organizations that have produced basically little to no fantasy value so far this season. Will Denver’s attack be any more potent with Brandon Allen making his first career NFL start this weekend against Cleveland? Let’s just say I’m underwhelmed by the prospect.
Still, on paper, this is a good matchup for both Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. The Browns have surrendered a jaw-dropping 174.7 rushing yards per game across the past three weeks, while, for the season, they’ve conceded 4.63 adjusted line yards per carry. They straight up can’t stop the run. Teams appear to know this, too. Cleveland is one of six squads inducing an average of over 30 opponent rushing attempts per contest, something that I would assume continues in Week 9 with the Broncos’ options behind center. On the list of how things go wrong for Lindsay an Freeman owners this weekend, volume is toward the bottom.
Fantasy Football Analysis, Denver Broncos RBs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman
I’m cautiously optimistic with both RBs heading into Sunday’s slate. Freeman might be aligning himself as the better DFS play — as he’s out-snapped Lindsay in each of Denver’s past four games and has eight red zone carries to his name — but both will see the field a considerable amount and each should touch the ball at least 15 times. The Broncos have directed an insane 28% of passes toward their backfield so far in 2019. The reason for that is two-fold. Firstly, they roster two very skilled running backs. Secondly, there’s very few other enticing pieces in this offense. Even with the ugly implied point total, I see both Lindsay and Freeman as a low-end RB2.
Start Lindsay. Start Freeman.