Phillip Lindsay has missed the past two games because of a toe injury, but after being officially listed as “questionable” for Thursday night’s game against the Jets, he has a chance to play in Week 4. Melvin Gordon has held down Denver’s backfield in Lindsay’s absence, but the third-year handcuff should eat into Gordon’s touches, creating legitimate start ’em, sit ’em questions for fantasy owners if Lindsay is active.
We’ll be here providing updates below about Lindsay right up until the active/inactive report is released at around 6:50 p.m. ET on Thursday. For injury updates on Jamison Crowder, click here, and for more fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Is Phillip Lindsay playing Thursday night?
Lindsay suffered a turf toe injury late in the first half in Denver’s Monday night opener against Tennessee. He returned to practice this week, and coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday that Lindsay is “close to returning.” Prior to exiting in Week 1, Lindsay had run seven times for 24 yards and caught his lone target for 11 yards. He even received a carry on first-and-goal from the two-yard line. The Broncos backfield was/is very much a split between Gordon and Lindsay, and Gordon hasn’t done anything to run away with the job in the two weeks since.
Because of that, it’s tempting to recommend starting Lindsay against the woeful Jets defense (seventh-most fantasy points allowed to RBs) if he’s active, but you have to account for the possibility of him aggravating the injury early or the Broncos easing him back into action. It makes all the sense in the world for the Broncos to opt for a run-heavy game plan with Brett Rypien making his first NFL start, but Lindsay is still a big risk. If you really want to get Lindsay in a lineup, use him in DFS. Chances are he’ll be low owned because of the injury, but he still has plenty of upside if he’s healthy and has no restrictions.
The real question for fantasy owners might be whether to start Gordon if Lindsay is active. There’s no doubt he’ll steal some touches, and Gordon hasn’t really been that good this year (4.1 yards per carry, 58 rushing yards per game). His receiving ability gives him a decent floor, but if Lindsay is going to steal goal-line carries, Gordon has less upside than you might think. We’d still recommend him in both standard and PPR leagues this week because of hte matchup, but he’s more of a flex than even an RB2.