Devontae Booker is expected to compete with rookie Royce Freeman for the starting job this season, but Booker is still worth drafting with a mid- to late-round pick even if he's in the No. 2 role. Booker has struggled through two seasons with only four games with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in 29 games played, but Denver's offense should improve in 2018 with Case Keenum coming in as the starting quarterback. Booker has plenty of sleeper appeal heading into training camp, especially if he's able to beat out Freeman for the starting job. If he is No. 1 on the depth chart, plan on drafting Booker as early as Round 5 or 6 in the majority of leagues. And if he's behind Freeman to open the season, Booker is worth drafting no later than Round 10. This is a training camp battle to watch in Denver.
Rookie third-round pick Royce Freeman will compete with Booker for the lead back role, according to the team's official site. The Broncos jettisoned C.J. Anderson this offseason, leaving Booker as the elder statesman in the running back room. Booker should still be the favorite for the lead job given his experience, but with just 3.6 yards per carry in two years, the Broncos sought reinforcements. Freeman will be the headliner, but the Broncos also added Arkansas' David Williams in the seventh round and local product Phillip Lindsay in undrafted free agency. That's 41 touchdowns worth of 2017 production that will be pushing Booker this offseason. It will be sink or swim for the 2016 fourth-round pick.
Booke ran for 47 yards on eight carries and picked up another 24 yards on five catches during Sunday's 27-11 loss in Washington. He fumbled during the contest. The 71 total yards were Booker's second-highest tally of the year. Booker's lone score of the season came in Week 8 against the Broncos' season-finale opponent, the Chiefs, but Denver's backfield is fairly complex heading into Week 17. On one hand, head coach Vance Joseph has talked up the importance of C.J. Anderson finishing the year with 1,000 yards, a sum he is 54 yards shy of. On the other, Booker and rookie De'Angelo Henderson are likely the future at the position for Denver. Anderson will likely get the bulk of the early carries, but Booker seems likely to reach double-digit touches for the fourth straight week, especially if the Broncos go run-heavy with Paxton Lynch at quarterback.
Booker rushed 11 times for 39 yards, brought in his only target for 10 yards and returned one kickoff for 23 yards in Thursday's 25-13 win over the Colts. Booker played a diversified role, but he still lagged as a distant second behind C.J. Anderson for work in the ground game. The second-year back has been firmly slotted into a complementary role over the last four games, and given Anderson's success Thursday, that doesn't appear likely to change over the season's final pair of contests. The 25-year-old offers some upside through his work in the passing game as well, but his volume remains too scant to trust in the fantasy postseason.
Booker rushed just twice for eight yards and secured his only target for no gain in Sunday's 35-9 loss to the Dolphins. Thought to be the emerging lead back just two games ago after logging 14 carries versus the Bengals, Booker has tallied just eight rushes and three receptions combined over the subsequent pair of contests. The downturn has coincided with Bill Musgrave's ascension into the offensive coordinator role, and with even Jamaal Charles garnering more opportunities through both the ground and air Sunday, Booker's fantasy stock is depressed for the time being.
Booker rushed for 11 yards on six carries and added 22 yards on two catches during Sunday's 21-14 loss to Oakland. Booker circled out of the backfield in the second quarter and caught a dime from Paxton Lynch for 19 yards, just barely missing the touchdown. Lynch tossed a pick a few plays later and the rest was all down hill. Booker has seen a sharp uptick in usage in recent weeks and led Denver's backs with 26 offensive snaps on Sunday. With Booker the most likely of Denver's trio of backs to be on the squad in 2018, expect Denver to continue to feed him to see what they have for next year.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/02||Kansas City Chiefs||20||17.76|
|5||10/07||@New York Jets||24||18.50|
|6||10/14||Los Angeles Rams||27||19.00|
|8||10/28||@Kansas City Chiefs||20||17.76|
|11||11/18||@Los Angeles Chargers||23||18.38|
|14||12/09||@San Francisco 49ers||19||17.75|
|17||12/30||Los Angeles Chargers||23||18.38|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||126||456||2||30||270||0||80|