Broncos RB1 Isn’t Who You Think It Is

August 12, 2020

It has come to my attention that Phillip Lindsay is being severely underrated. Let’s talk about why he’s one of my favorite late-round targets at his ADP, especially if you’ve punted on running back in the draft and you’re looking for a starter. Obviously, the addition of Melvin Gordon III is cause for a little concern, but Lindsay didn’t disappear, and I’d be less than shocked to see him finish with more fantasy points than MGIII this season. I’m going to cover two things here: stats and a “gut-feeling.”

Numbers are admittedly not my strong suit, but I’m gonna highlight a few of Gordon and Lindsay’s anyway. To start simply, Gordon’s ADP is currently RB19, while Lindsay is coming in with an ADP of RB38, per FantasyPros. In 2019, Gordon and Lindsay finished as RB21 and RB18, respectively. In the last five seasons since MGIII has been in the league, he’s had one 1,000 yard season. Meanwhile, the undrafted rookie has put up two consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons. Arguably my favorite Lindsay stat is that in his two years, he’s had zero fumbles. Now, Gordon had only four fumbles last year, not a terrible stat line – unless, of course, you compare it to zero. Lastly, in broken tackles, Lindsay in 2019 tied with Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara with 29; only Nick Chubb and Aaron Jones had more with 32 each. MGIII had an uninspiring eight of them.

Now to flip the switch, Lindsay has a chip on his shoulder after the Broncos made MGIII the 7th highest-paid running back in the NFL. This chip on his shoulder is not new; it’s just grown after having a predisposition to a chipped shoulder for going undrafted. Lindsay’s rookie campaign after being undrafted was at least partially fueled by the league’s lack of confidence in him. He knew he had to come in and show off, and he did just that. On his way to the 2018 pro-bowl selection, Lindsay overtook Royce Freeman, a 2018 third-round pick, to become the RB1 in Denver. I expect that same fire has been lit under Lindsay, and I am looking very forward to reaping the benefits.

It should be stated that while I am a Broncos fan, I did my due diligence to withhold my homer tendencies from this evaluation. I didn’t do a great job, but like my six-year-old says, “At least I did my best, that’s most important, right!?” Bingo, kid.

Well, you’ve made it to the end of one of my many-more-to-come wordy explanations. The ball is in your court now; do with it what you will.