Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman was carted off the field during Sunday’s game against the New York Giants, per ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure, and the team later confirmed the rookie was questionable to return with a rib injury.
That leaves Devonta Freeman as Atlanta’s primary option out of the backfield. Fantasy owners in dire straits should scramble to pick up the second-year back out of Florida State as a contingency in the event Coleman is forced to miss extended time.
Although Freeman doesn’t offer the same between-the-tackle burst that makes Coleman such a special talent, he’s a capable pass-catcher who can offer value to owners in deep PPR leagues.
In the first half Sunday, Freeman totaled two carries for seven yards and a pair of catches for 12 yards. However, it is worth noting Atlanta opened up the field a bit more and seemed to abandon the run with Coleman on the sideline.
If Atlanta continues to try and smoke opponents through the air, owners won’t be able to trust Freeman as anything close to a starting running back or even a flex play. Simply put, there won’t be enough volume to rely on from week-to-week.
The good news for Atlanta’s backfield is that Freeman is finally healthy after a hamstring strain nagged him throughout training camp.
“I feel great making those cuts,” Freeman said prior to Week 1, per McClure. “The pain is gone. All the pain is gone. Right now, it’s just about getting that rust off. I’ve been out for like four weeks ago. I’m trying to get all the rust off and get in tip-top shape.”
Following a rookie season that saw Freeman muster 3.8 yards per carry and 7.5 yards per reception on 37 targets out of the backfield, owners in deep leagues can turn to him as a plug-and-play option in favorable matchups.
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