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Royce Freeman

Royce Freeman

Running Back #37
Team: Denver Broncos
Ht / Wt:5'11" / 229 lb.
Born:February 24, 1996
Drafted:2018 / Rd. 3 (71)
Draft Team:DEN

Royce Freeman: Picks up 30 yards

Freeman ran for 26 yards on eight carries and added a four-yard catch during Sunday's 18-12 win over New England.

Analysis: With Melvin Gordon out (illness), Freeman held onto the RB2 job despite Phillip Lindsay's return to the fold. The result was a season-high nine touches. He wasn't able to do much with them. Freeman is a solid pass-protector and receiver, but he should return to the sideline Sunday against Kansas City assuming Gordon's health improves.

October 19, 2020 8:18 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Gains 12 yards

Freeman ran for six. yards on three carries and added two catches for six yards during Thursday's 37-28 win over the Jets.

Analysis: Despite an offensive explosion (by Denver's standards), Freeman was not heavily featured as RB2. Melvin Gordon racked up 25 touches. Freeman remains a solid pass protector and receiver, but it's hard to see his role expanding in the near future as Phillip Lindsay (toe) may well be ready for Week 5's matchup against New England.

October 2, 2020 3:08 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Gains 35 yards

Freeman caught both of his targets for 31 yards and ran for four yards on two carries during Sunday's 28-10 loss to Tampa Bay.

Analysis: Freeman helped convert a third-and-long early in the third quarter with a big 28-yard catch-and-run, Denver's longest play of the game. He otherwise played a small supporting role in a Denver rush offense that could not kick into drive after falling ahead early. His value heading into Thursday's matchup against a middle-of-the-pack Jets rush defense depends on two things. One, the health of Phillip Lindsay (toe). Second, whether Brett Rypien or Jeff Driskel can pass well enough to keep the Broncos' offense balanced and on schedule.

September 28, 2020 8:02 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Quiet day against Steelers

Freeman registered 20 rushing yards on three carries during Sunday's 26-21 loss to Pittsburgh.

Analysis: With Phillip Lindsay (toe) facing a 2-to-4 week absence, Freeman was not plugged into a comparable role against the Steelers. Though we haven't yet seen the Melvin Gordon-Lindsay dynamic fully unveiled because of Lindsay going down part way through the season opener with injury, surely the 2018 Pro Bowl back would have been more involved than Freeman was Sunday. With the Broncos ranking in the lower half of the league in team rush attempts thus far in 2020 (26 carries per game), Freeman's upside is limited as the distant No. 2 to Gordon, especially given his sparse passing-game usage.

September 22, 2020 5:34 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Nearly hits pay dirt

Freeman was unable to pick up any yardage on his one rush attempt, but he did collect 12 receiving yards on his lone catch during Monday's 16-14 loss to the Titans.

Analysis: Freeman was tackled just shy of the endzone on his fourth-quarter reception. The Broncos tried to dial up a goal-line touchdown run for Freeman on the subsequent play, but he was stopped for no gain before Melvin Gordon eventually punched in Denver's second TD of the night. Phillip Lindsay is set to undergo an MRI on what is believed to be a mild case of turf toe developed during Monday's game, but if he is inactive or limited Week 2, Freeman may see an uptick in usage against the Steelers' vaunted front seven.

September 15, 2020 4:22 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Looking at roster bubble?

Freeman may need to fend off competition for the Broncos' No. 3 running back job, Ryan O'Halloran of The Denver Post reports.

Analysis: A third-round pick two years ago, Freeman has been thoroughly unimpressive to this point in his pro career, averaging 3.9 yards on 262 carries and 5.8 yards on 57 receptions. The Broncos gave a vote of no-confidence when they added Melvin Gordon to a backfield that already had Phillip Lindsay, potentially leaving Freeman to duke it out with Khalfani Muhammad and undrafted rookie LeVante Bellamy for the third spot on the depth chart. The team kept three running backs on its 53-man roster last season, with No. 3 man Devontae Booker playing 26 snaps on offense and 195 snaps on special teams.

June 17, 2020 7:36 AM EST

Royce Freeman: Supplanted by Gordon

The acquisition for Melvin Gordon leaves Freeman on the outside looking in in Denver's 1-2 punch, Sean Keeler of The Denver Post reports.

Analysis: There were whispers that Denver was looking for an upgrade over Freeman in free agency, but the investment in Gordon is at least a small shock. Freeman emerged as a solid receiver out of the backfield in 2019, but has never really lived up to his billing has a big, savvy bell-cow back, averaging just 3.88 yards per carry in two seasons. His uber-efficient 2018 season aside, Gordon has averaged just 3.80 yards per carry during his career, but is a more dynamic receiver and has at least shown the ability to be a big-time runner in spurts. Gordon's contract leaves little hope for Freeman to win back the RB2 role in camp and it wouldn't be a total shock to see Freeman traded if Denver adds another back in the draft.

March 22, 2020 9:13 AM EST

Royce Freeman: Finishes second on team in catches

Freeman finished the 2019 campaign with 496 yards and three touchdowns on 132 carries and 43 catches on 50 targets for 256 yards and a touchdown.

Analysis: Freeman's 2019 output was similar to that of his rookie season. He averaged 47.0 yards per game as compared to 42.4 as a rookie and 4.3 yards per touch in 2019 as compared to 4.2 in 2018. What changed was how he was gaining yards. Freeman averaged 2.7 catches per game in 2019, up from 1.0 as a rookie. His 43 receptions placed him behind only Courtland Sutton for the team lead. He tallied four or more catches seven times during the season, though five of those were with Joe Flacco under center. Freeman doesn't look much like a pass-catching back, but given the fact that receiving is one of the weaker aspects of Phillip Lindsay's game, it's a role he slid into and he made some clutch plays in the passing game during the season. With veteran Devontae Booker likely headed out of town, it'll be interesting to see who emerges as RB3 in Denver. If it isn't a shifty scatback type, Freeman could expand on his role as a pass-catcher in 2020.

January 4, 2020 11:36 AM EST

Royce Freeman: Accounts for one of two rushing TDs

Freeman ran for 28 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and caught both of his targets for nine receiving yards during Sunday's 27-17 win against the Lions.

Analysis: The record-setting back out of Oregon has eclipsed 35 rushing yards just once since Week 5, but Sunday he broke a skid of six consecutive games without a rushing TD. Freeman was much more involved over the first half of the year in comparison to his current role, as he racked up 11 carries and 3.3 receptions per game between Weeks 1 and 8. Since Week 9, the 23-year-old Freeman has been afforded just over eight offensive touches per game, while failing to exceed 14 receiving yards in any outing. He'll continue to serve as a secondary option to Phillip Lindsay in Denver's regular-season finale against Oakland's top-15 rush defense.

December 22, 2019 6:32 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Limited to 26 yards

Freeman ran for 12 yards on five carries and added 14 yards on four catches during Sunday's 23-3 loss in Kansas City.

Analysis: Freeman, and the Denver ground game more generally, were extremely limited during Sunday's loss. Head coach Vic Fangio told reporters Monday that the poor production was the result of poor blocking, some missed opportunities by the backs, and the Broncos digging themselves into an early hole. It was more of the same for Freeman, who has been held under 30 yards in four of his last six contests. He scored just once during that span. He's a hard back on which to rely, but his receiving ability should be on full display Sunday against Detroit's 31st-ranked pass defense.

December 16, 2019 4:39 PM EST

Royce Freeman: First career receiving TD

Freeman rushed eight times for 24 yards and caught both of his targets for eight yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 38-24 win over the Texans.

Analysis: The highlight of Freeman's day was a three-yard receiving touchdown in the final minute of the first half. That was his first career receiving score, though Freeman has emerged as a reliable receiver out of the backfield with 36 catches this season. He has averaged only 7.6 touches per game over the past five after reaching double digits in each of the first eight.

December 8, 2019 2:28 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Practicing fully

Freeman (ribs) practiced fully Thursday, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Freeman -- who logged five carries for 11 yards and caught all four of his targets for an additional 13 yards last weekend -- is thus good to go for Sunday's game against the Texans, but he's only an option in deeper fantasy formats these days, with his touches down over his last four outings and Phillip Lindsay having handled the bulk of the team's backfield work in that span.

December 5, 2019 2:37 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Nursing ribs injury

Freeman was limited in Wednesday's practice due to a ribs injury, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Freeman appears to have gotten nicked up during Week 13's win over the Chargers, though there's not yet any reason to worry that he's in danger of missing game action. The second-year pro will have two more changes to up his activity before the Broncos make a decision on his availability for Sunday's tilt in Houston. Freeman has been held under 30 scrimmage yards in four straight games, and he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 8.

December 4, 2019 3:11 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Totals 24 scrimmage yards

Freeman carried five times for 11 yards and caught all four of his targets for an additional 13 yards during Sunday's 23-20 win over the Chargers.

Analysis: Freeman averaged just 2.2 yards per carry and, although he received the third-most targets on the team, he finished with a meager 3.3 yards per catch. His long carry went for just five yards as he was held under 30 scrimmage yards for the third time in the last four games. Freeman's ability to make an impact in his current role is in serious question at the moment and he'll look to do more with his opportunities next Sunday against the Texans.

December 1, 2019 6:37 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Continues decline

Freeman ran for 20 yards on two carries and added nine yards on two receptions during Sunday's 20-3 loss in Buffalo.

Analysis: Freeman's four touches marked a season low and his 29 total yards were his second lowest total of the season. The lack of usage is especially surprising as he led Denver running backs with 28 offensive snaps, totaling 56% of the team's plays. Part of that can be attributed to Freeman's role as a third-down pass-blocking back, but Freeman's steady decline is still surprising. After totaling double-digit touches in each of the first three games of the season, he hasn't reached 10 in any of his last three contests. Sunday brings a matchup against a middle-of-the-road Chargers run defense, but Freeman may not get the touches necessary to take advantage.

November 25, 2019 6:24 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Picks up 45 yards in loss

Freeman ran for 31 yards on eight carries and added a 14-yard catch during Sunday's 27-23 loss in Minnesota.

Analysis: Freeman kept the Broncos alive late in the fourth quarter, taking a swing pass on third and long and juking his defender on his way to a 14-yard gain and first down. The play itself was nice, but fans would be justified in being concerned that Freeman was kept to single-digit touches for the second consecutive game after at least 10 touches in the first eight contests of 2019. Even with Phillip Lindsay playing well, it's somewhat of a surprise that Freeman hasn't been more involved in the passing game, perhaps a product of Joe Flacco's (neck) absence. The workload between Lindsay and Freeman will obviously be worth monitoring Sunday against Buffalo.

November 17, 2019 4:22 PM EST

Royce Freeman: May cede more work to Lindsay

Freeman is excepted to handle a smaller role than normal out of the backfield Sunday against the Vikings with the Broncos planning to feature Phillip Lindsay more prominently, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Denver has deployed a fairly even distribution of the workload between Freeman and Lindsay all season, with the latter playing between 40 and 56 percent of the offensive snaps and topping out at 25 touches and the former handling snap shares between 47 and 63 percent and maxing out at 19 touches. Freeman (4.0 yards per carry) has been far less efficient on the ground than Lindsay (4.9 YPC), however, which could provide an explanation behind the Broncos' supposed plan to feature the Lindsay more in Week 11. Freeman's fantasy utility this week was already capped due to a tough matchup against a Minnesota team that ranks in the top half of the NFL in both rushing defense and scoring defense, but the potential of him falling out a timeshare arrangement diminishes his prospects further.

November 17, 2019 8:57 AM EST

Royce Freeman: Busy night in loss

Freeman rushed 10 times for 35 yards and a touchdown and secured four of five targets for 32 yards in the Broncos' 30-6 loss to the Chiefs on Thursday.

Analysis: Freeman opened the scoring on the night with a one-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter, his first score of the season. Freeman also saw five targets for the second consecutive game and has at least four receptions in five of his first seven contests of the season. Freeman has been a serviceable option in PPR formats due to his dual role, and he'll look to continue producing when and the Broncos face the Colts a week from Sunday in a Week 8 matchup.

October 17, 2019 9:29 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Gains 76 yards in win

Freeman caught all five of his targets for 42 yards and added 34 yards on 11 carries during Sunday's 16-0 win over the Titans.

Analysis: Freeman's biggest contribution came midway through the third quarter when, facing second and long, the Oregon product caught a swing pass and took it 18 yards upfield to help set up the only touchdown of the game. Freeman fans doubtlessly would like the sophomore back snap his season-long scoreless streak, but despite their body types indicating otherwise -- it's actually been Phillip Lindsay who has served as the primary goal-line back for Denver while Freeman has been more effective in the passing game. In addition to being a strong blocker, Freeman has caught at least four passes in four of his last five games and his receiving yards actually helped him edge Lindsay in total yardage Sunday. Look for that dynamic to continue Thursday against Kansas City.

October 13, 2019 4:49 PM EST

Royce Freeman: Piles up 67 scrimmage yards

Freeman carried 13 times for 61 yards and caught both his targets for an additional seven yards during Sunday's 20-13 win over the Chargers.

Analysis: Freeman came within two of his season-high in carries, receiving a few extra opportunities as his side held a lead from the early going. He averaged a respectable 4.7 yards per carry against a tough Chargers front despite breaking off a long gain of just 11 yards. Freeman, who is averaging 4.5 yards per carry this season, continues to see Philip Lindsay shine out of the backfield, but he should still see double-digit touches in next week's home matchup against the Titans.

October 6, 2019 6:46 PM EST

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