The expectations are high for Devonta Freeman after finishing last season as the No. 1 Fantasy running back in all formats. With over 1,600 total yards, 14 total touchdowns and well over 300 total touches (he had 73 receptions!), Freeman was fantastic. There's some concern about just how much work he'll have with teammate Tevin Coleman figuring to get some touches, plus his numbers last season were helped by back-to-back three-touchdown games in Weeks 3 and 4. Still, for a guy who can tally over 100 yards pretty easily in an offense that got a big boost up front in center Alex Mack, Freeman carries plenty of appeal. Aim for Freeman with a pick in late Round 1/early Round 2 and plan to pair him with Coleman around Round 9 to lock up the Falcons backfield.
Freeman's touch total in 2016 could decrease in order to keep him fresher and also get Tevin Coleman more involved in the Falcons' offense, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Freeman narrowly trailed Coleman on the Falcons' depth chart going into last season, but after the then-rookie broke his ribs in Week 2, Freeman fully capitalized on his newfound starting opportunity, finishing with 1,634 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns. While that production earned Freeman fantasy fame and a Pro Bowl selection, Falcons running back coach Bobby Turner recently revealed the team's backfield could further improve by getting Coleman more involved. With obvious big-play potential, Coleman showed flashes during his 12-game first season, and with better health and ball security, could cut into Freeman's snaps this season, making Atlanta's backfield situation worthwhile to monitor once again going into the upcoming campaign.
Freeman practiced in a limited fashion during Tuesday's OTAs, as he's dealing with a high gluteal strain, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. Freeman went through portions of practice early on, including some agility drills. In the later portions of practice, however, coach Dan Quinn decided to keep Freeman limited in order to risk any sort of aggravation to a lingering strain. The injury is considered minor and Freeman is widely expected to be a full go when the team's mandatory minicamp starts on Jun. 14.
Freeman rushed for 81 yards on 24 carries and added 18 yards and a touchdown on two receptions in Sunday's loss to New Orleans. He fumbled during the game. Freeman's fumble was especially costly as the Falcons were marching deep into Saints' territory, it was his third of the season. The second-year back scored a total of 10 touchdowns between Weeks 2 and 6, but scored just once between Weeks 7 and 14. He bounced back, finding the end zone in each of the Falcons' final three games. The version of the West Coast offense offensive coordinator Kyle Shanhan runs has produced fantasy darlings such as Arian Foster, Clinton Portis, Alfred Morris and Justin Forsett. Expect Freeman to be similarly valued in fantasy drafts ahead of next season.
Freeman (knee) is listed as active Sunday against the Saints. Although he's been a reliable pass-catching threat all season, garnering at least five targets in 11 of 14 games, Freeman has largely been touchdown-dependent on the ground since running for 88 yards in Week 8 against the Buccaneers. However, in his previous matchup with the Saints in Week 6, he notched 13 carries for 100 yards, eight receptions (on 10 targets) for 56 yards, and two total touchdowns.
Freeman (knee) is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Saints. A limited participant throughout the week of practice, Freeman doesn't seem to be in any danger of missing Sunday's ideal matchup. His efficiency has waned as he season has worn on, but he should enjoy facing the New Orleans defense to close things out. Meanwhile, Tevin Coleman (concussion) has been ruled out, leaving Terron Ward as the top backup.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/11||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|3||09/27||@New Orleans Saints||31||22.38|
|7||10/23||San Diego Chargers||30||21.50|
|8||10/30||Green Bay Packers||11||15.33|
|9||11/04||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|13||12/04||Kansas City Chiefs||4||13.44|
|14||12/11||@Los Angeles Rams||23||18.50|
|15||12/18||San Francisco 49ers||32||22.88|
|17||01/01||New Orleans Saints||31||22.38|
|3 Year Avg||165||652||6||52||402||2||153|