The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots finally get a chance to play their Week 5 contest — just a week later. Covid-19 pushed the game back to Week 6, and after some concerns in recent days, the game would appear to be on.
The Broncos made life easier for fantasy football managers on Saturday when they downgraded running back Melvin Gordon from questionable to out. He was dealing with an illness that cost him practice on Friday, and it would appear to have not resolved itself. Head coach Vic Fangio told the media it was not Covid-19, but his absence means we know Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman will be playing and Gordon will be sitting.
Fantasy Football analysis: Broncos RBs Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman
Lindsay hasn’t played since suffering a turf toe injury in Week 1. In that game against the Titans, he rushed seven times for 24 yards and had an 11-yard reception. It was not great, but it was an indication he was getting a decent-sized complementary role.
A year ago, Lindsay was the Broncos starting running back and Royce Freeman served as the primary backup. Lindsay rushed for 1,011 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry, while Freeman rushed for 496 yards on 3.8 yards per carry. There were stretches where Freeman was a near equal to Lindsay, but in the second half of the season, Lindsay was the clear No. 1.
The Broncos rank fifth against opposing running backs in fantasy points per game, and have given up one rushing score and one receiving score. This is not a great matchup, particularly given that the heavily favored Patriots could control the game script.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start Lindsay in 12-team or deeper leagues. Sit Freeman.