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Royce Freeman: The Breakout RB You Need to Own in Your 2018 Fantasy Football League

Breakout RB Royce Freeman
Royce Freeman Photo Credit: Athies22

Drafts are winding down, so let’s get to the point: Royce Freeman is the breakout RB you want to own in 2018.

For a breakout RB, I’m not looking at LeVeon Bell or Todd Gurley. We know they are studs, and they each have a great chance at finishing as the top scorer of 2018.

I’m also not looking at long shots who will most likely be duds. I’m not interested in making wild guesses and hoping they work out. Freeman made my list because he’s still a gamble but could be well worth his third-round price tag. In fact, he could provide Round-1 value by the end of the year.

When searching for running backs ready to make a big splash, I make sure they have the talent to start, can outperform other backs on the roster, and are in the right situation to succeed.

With Freeman, even as a rookie, he checks all the boxes for me.

Here’s why:

Why Royce Freeman Is the Breakout RB You Need to Own

Does he have the talent to start?

The answer is yes.

At Oregon, he scored 16 or more rushing touchdowns in three out of four seasons. While he wasn’t asked too often to be a receiver, he posted a 26-348-2 stat line in 2015.

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He also has been blocking well enough to serve as a third-down back, according to an Aug. 14 ESPN report.

The talent is there.

But what about his competition?

Competition Wont Stop This Breakout RB

In the beginning of the summer, I was drafting Devontae Booker in MFL10s as much as possible.

I’m a sucker for committee backs you can draft late, and Booker had the early edge over Freeman because of his NFL experience.

However, Freeman has looked the part early in the preseason of an explosive back ready to rack up Fantasy points in 2018.

And if he does more with his touches than Booker early on, he could absorb the production that C.J. Anderson left behind. Anderson finished 2017 with 1,007 rushing yards, 224 receiving yards, and four total touchdowns.

That was good enough to put him in the top 20 in Fantasy points for running backs.

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Keep in mind that was also with Booker and Jamaal Charles cutting into his production, combining for 595 rushing yards, 404 receiving yards, and two total touchdowns.

Charles is gone, and if Freeman can prove he’s a lead back early, he can earn even more work than Anderson.

The more he touches the ball, the more chances he has for Fantasy success.

Royce Freeman’s Status with the Denver Broncos

The Broncos finished 2017 with the eighth-most rushing attempts, which is a good situation for a  rookie running back to enter.

Last year, Anderson finished ninth in the entire league for rushing attempts.

Case Keenum is a better quarterback than the Broncos had in 2017, but he’s still just a game manager.

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The offense for the Broncos in 2018 will still rely heavily on the rushing attack.

Now, as I’ve been warning, you may have to be patient with Freeman. The Broncos seem set to operate a committee, at least to start the year.

But when we put it all together, Freeman is ready to be the breakout running back of 2018.

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Jack Delaney

Jack's love of craft beer and gangster rap is only surpassed by his love of pass-catching running backs. He was a top-40 finisher and $1,500 prize winner for the 2014 RotoBowl, a top-50 finisher in the 2015 Mock Draft Online Championships, finished first in draft accuracy for quarterback rankings in 2015 on Fantasy Pros, and was a contributor to the 2015 and 2016 The Fantasy Football Guide.
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