Fantasy Football Injury Reaction: Tevin Coleman in spotlight with Devonta Freeman out

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On Saturday, we found out that Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will miss 2-3 weeks with a knee injury, according to the ESPN. He was already ruled out for Sunday's game against Carolina, and hopefully he will miss just Week 3 against New Orleans on top of that.

In his absence, Tevin Coleman is looking at a significant role for the Falcons and Fantasy owners, and he should be considered a must-start option in all leagues until Freeman is back. Against the Panthers, you should consider Coleman a low-end No. 1 running back in all formats.

There have been five times since 2015 that Freeman has either left a game or been out, and Coleman has either a touchdown or 100 rushing yards in all five outings. It happened three times in 2017, and Coleman averaged 16.0 PPR points over that span.

In Week 1 at Philadelphia, Freeman left in the second half against the Eagles, and Coleman finished with nine carries for 19 yards and a touchdown, along with one catch for 26 yards, which was good for 10 PPR points. He should have more success against the Panthers on more work, and he averaged 20.3 touches in the three games Freeman was injured last year. Coleman also has two total touchdowns in his past three games against Carolina going back to 2016.

As for Freeman, Fantasy owners just need to be patient until he's healthy, so stash him on your bench. The injury is being called a right knee contusion, and ESPN reports the Falcons do not expect a lengthy absence for Freeman. 

He was injured in Week 1 against the Eagles, but he dealt with an injury to the same knee late last year, though he played through it. We just hope this isn't something that lingers all season.

The new backup to Coleman while Freeman is out will be fourth-round rookie Ito Smith (1 percent ownership on CBS Sports), who is worth adding in deeper leagues. He should get a handful of touches behind Coleman over the next two games, but he does have appeal in dynasty and long-term keeper formats.

Coleman is a free agent after this year, and Smith could be his replacement option as the eventual backup to Freeman. If you can stash him now in a keeper league, do it just in case this is his audition for 2019.

Coleman is also holding an audition for the rest of the NFL in case he leaves the Falcons to show he can be a featured back. Based on his track record every time Freeman has been out in the past, he should have a successful performance, which will be great for Fantasy owners over the next two weeks.

So who should you sit and start this week? And where does every player stack up? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 2 Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB is going to finish in the top 5 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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