Stick With Royce Freeman in Dynasty

Embed from Getty Images

Dynasty owners are leaving Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman for dead after two lackluster seasons. There was a reason he was an early rookie pick in 2018 and you should not be following this trend.

Please hear me out. I know, Royce Freeman is not exactly the most exciting player to be thinking about in July. But you have to play dynasty like the stock market –  I see an incredible opportunity to buy Royce Freeman low at his current rock bottom ADP and our #63 ranked running back. His stock will only go up 📈📈📈.


First, let me 8-mile you and let’s acknowledge all of the bad. Yes, the addition of Melvin Gordon to the Denver Broncos’ backfield is an absolute killer for Freeman’s 2020 season. This is precisely why I’m advising you to trade for Royce Freeman now! 

Philip Lindsay  out-carried Freeman 106 to 39 starting in week 11 last season. However, Freeman was the running back to take a step forward in his second year as a pass catcher, not Lindsay. He hauled in 43 receptions on 50 targets (20th among RBs), a better catch rate than Philip Lindsay in either ‘18 or ‘19. Where as Lindsay only brought in 35 catches in 2019.


Catching the ball out of the backfield is where I believe Royce Freeman starts making his bones in the league moving forward. Running back targets are very valuable in fantasy football and Freeman may just be morphing into a James White hybrid fantasy back before our eyes. Most likely, the metamorphosis won’t be completed with the Denver Broncos (this is a good thing).


Let’s remember what a BEAST this guy was in college. People forget that at Oregon, Royce Freeman caught 79 (!!!) career passes! That is insane for a college running back. By comparison, James White only caught 73 passes in his college career at Wisconsin. For whatever reason, Freeman’s rushing ability is not translating to the NFL level. Film grinders, please tweet me any examples of things you see that might explain this. I remembered him being a film darling coming out of college and am interested in what others might observe going wrong. But I’m hoping that Freeman goes the James White route in the NFL and becomes a satellite plus back. He could end up being a future RB2 and is essentially free right now.


Freeman is entering his third year in the NFL in 2020. Since March there have already been LOTS of trade talk rumors surrounding Freeman. After this season he will only have 1 year left on his contract, becoming a free agent for the 2022 season. Having invested third round draft capital, I don’t believe the Broncos are looking to hang on to him for very long. That makes him an attractive target for another team to acquire on the cheap. Whether that is via trade or free agency, as the Broncos may even choose to cut him outright this year. Again, that would be a good thing for Freeman’s fantasy stock. He screams as a good value pick in startup drafts, or an excellent depth piece with high upside to your established dynasty team.


The other scenario which might allow Royce Freeman to thrive while still in Denver, is injuries. Obviously, this could be an argument for all running backs buried in the depth-chart, however there are reasons  it’s realistic to think injuries could clear the path for Freeman. Melvin Gordon has missed games due to injury in three of his five NFL seasons. Philip Lindsay had a bad wrist injury at the end of 2018, causing him to miss the final games of that season. If the aging Gordon ends up on the shelf while Freeman is still in town, cha-ching! Your investment begins to pay dividends earlier than expected.

Seemingly everyone is giving up on this guy. But Royce Freeman is a hold/buy low for the 2021 season and beyond, which means you should get him now at basement bargain prices. Everyone is down on him, but all hope should not be lost. He just needs change of scenery and fresh start on a new team who would be able to better utilize him. Things to remember: He has third round NFL draft capital, which is nothing to slouch at these days considering how the running back position is valued by NFL teams. Royce Freeman also has better than average workout metrics and body type. His 107.8 speed score (87th percentile) and 85th percentile agility score, along with a solid 31.1 BMI (70th percentile) are all important factors ensuring Royce will get a fair shot sooner than later. It’s only a matter of time…tick…tick…BOOM

Follow me on Twitter @dynastysanta for lots of spicy fantasy football takes, tweets from the John, and random thoughts about life that happen to pop into my head. Click here to view my past articles. Get all the dynasty advice, rankings, and articles that you need by subscribing to Dynasty Football Digest. Looking for the best IDP takes to help win your league? Look no further than the IDP Guys, just click here to dominate your league.