You may know Tevin Coleman as part of the Falcons one-two punch at running back, but he's got the reputation of a touchdown-dependent player in Fantasy. In the past two seasons, Coleman has delivered 15 games with 10-plus Fantasy points in non-PPR with a dozen involving a touchdown. And because his end-zone visits overshadow his yardage (66.7 per game in his past two years), he only has five games on his career résumé with 15-plus Fantasy points including just one in 2017. So, if Coleman's not scoring, he's boring. Everything would change if he didn't share the field with Devonta Freeman -- he has a 100 percent success rate when Freeman is out -- but that's just not reality as of now. Figure Coleman will get a couple of big games throughout the year with sporadic touchdown production. Making lineup decisions on him will cause weekly headaches. Nonetheless, Fantasy owners will find their way to Coleman with a pick in Round 6 (maybe early Round 7) simply because of his track record as a decent No. 2 running back. It's dangerous territory for a rusher with exactly nine career games of 15-plus touches.
Coleman rushed for eight yards on three attempts in a 17-0 loss to the Jets on Friday night. Coleman got the starting nod at running back for the inactive Devonta Freeman (healthy scratch), taking the field for one drive with Matt Ryan and the first-team offense. There was little room to run for the 25-year-old scatback in his brief appearance, as he was contained to a one-yard gain on his first touch of the season (a toss right that was blown up by Nathan Shepherd). His longest run of the night came from a six-yard scamper a few plays later on a draw, when the Falcons were facing a 3rd-and-22 following two early penalties and a failed screen play.
Coleman may receive added involvement in the Falcons offense during the upcoming season, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "They want to use me more," Coleman said at OTAs on Wednesday. "Line me up out wide and stuff like that. It's going to be pretty cool." As the Falcons continue to add wrinkles to their game plan in OTAs, it appears getting the ball in the dynamic Coleman's hands more frequently could be a priority for offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. In addition to the 13 rushing touchdowns he has accumulated over the past two seasons, the running back has also made notable contributions as a pass catcher, hauling in 58 receptions for six touchdowns since 2016. Head coach Dan Quinn noted Wednesday that Coleman made a "big jump" in pass protection last season, which bolsters the 25-year-old's case for earning more playing time in 2018.
Coleman and the Falcons may discuss a long-term contract, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. After the Falcons signed Devonta Freeman to a five-year, $41.25 million extension in August, there was speculation Coleman would be available for trade in the 2018 offseason or else would be one of the major prizes in 2019 free agency. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff isn't ready to write off Coleman's long-term future with the organization, recently saying he can envision a scenario in which both running backs are handsomely paid. It still seems likely that Coleman could find a larger contract elsewhere, but Freeman's deal isn't so cumbersome as to entirely prevent the Falcons from discussing an extension with Coleman. The 2015 third-round pick dropped off to 4.0 yards per carry last season, but he remained efficient in the passing attack with 7.7 yards per target, while also piling up 223 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a three-game stretch when Freeman missed time with a concussion.
Coleman rushed for 40 yards on 14 carries and added 28 yards on three catches during Saturday's 26-13 win over the Rams. Coleman finished Saturday with just two fewer touches, 19 to 17, than Devonta Freeman as the Falcons went to the ground in an effort to keep the Rams' potent pass rush at bay. Coleman didn't make any wow plays, but his 68 yards marked a high in the five games since Freeman returned from injury, having entered Saturday averaging just 42.5 yards per game since Freeman's return. The 17 touches also represent a high during that span. It's hard to see Coleman having much of an opportunity to improve next weekend against the Eagles. Philly boasted the league's best run defense this season - a full four yards per game better than second-place Minnesota.
Coleman (concussion) doesn't have a designation on the final injury report for Sunday's game in New Orleans. Coleman was a limited practice participant Wednesday and a full participant Thursday and Friday, leaving no doubt about his status for Week 16. He'll return to a complementary role behind Devonta Freeman, who took advantage of Coleman's one-game absence with 27 touches for 194 yards and a touchdown in Monday's 24-21 win over the Buccaneers. Coleman cleared the final hurdle in the concussion protocol Thursday.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/23||New Orleans Saints||12||17.22|
|6||10/14||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||19.13|
|7||10/23||New York Giants||21||17.88|
|12||11/23||@New Orleans Saints||12||17.22|
|14||12/09||@Green Bay Packers||16||17.38|
|17||12/30||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||19.13|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||120||513||5||20||245||2||115|