Tracking what’s going on weekly in Denver’s backfield has been a fun exercise so far. At least fun for those who don’t have any share of either Royce Freeman or Phillip Lindsay on their fantasy teams. Although the Broncos are not the only team running a committee, I think this is the most leveled one in terms of the ability of both players and their usage rates. Both Lindsay and Freeman have played a virtual 50/50 percent of snaps, and although Lindsay’s opportunity market share (percentage of targets+rushes in relation to his teammates) is a little higher (32.3 percent) than Freeman’s (25.1 percent), their productions can’t be closer.
Just in Week 3, against Green Bay—and even with Freeman losing a few snaps to injury until he came back—the two running backs finished the game with 41 and 36 snaps each. On his 36, Freeman got 19 touches and logged 73 yards from scrimmage, being outperformed by Lindsay’s 25 touches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. If Denver was waiting for signs from one of them to prove himself as a bell-cow candidate, Lindsay clearly did. The season has been pretty equal to date in terms of who deserves such chance, and with similar production from both players it’s hard to tell if Denver will actually take the final step toward favoring one tailback over the other.
Fantasy Impact: The Broncos host the Jaguars in Week 4, and Jacksonville has been rock-solid against running backs so far this season. Their 18.9 fantasy points per game allowed to RBs rank sixth-best in the league. That includes the second-lowest receiving yards allowed to the position, too, limiting that—widely exploited—part of both Lindsay’s and Freeman’s games. On top of such a hard matchup, the game itself has its O/U total points at just 38, trailing the whole slate. Combine the committee with a tough defense to overcome and an expected low-scoring game and you should favor the “sit” side of things.