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|In 2015, the Falcons reminded the fantasy community just how valuable a running back can be if given the opportunity to shoulder the majority of carries. Devonta Freeman outpaced all other fantasy horses despite barely reaching the 1000 rushing yard plateau. Tacking on an additional 73 receptions, three touchdowns and over 500 receiving yards pushed him ahead of the pack in only his second season. Unfortunately, Freemanís terrific results are not enough to keep NFL coaches from using more than one running back in todayís offenses. This sentiment rings truer when the team employs another talented and capable running back. Tevin Coleman seems to have carved out a role as the team enters 2016. How expansive that role is remains to be seen.
Freemanís status atop the depth chart wonít change due to Coleman, but his usage could take a hit now that the Falcons know what they have in the backfield. Additionally, the running game should get a boost if Alex Mack can solidify the offensive line. Mack is a Pro-Bowl caliber road grader when healthy. Combined with Jake Mathews and Andy Levitre, the left side of the line should provide the running game with ample room to maneuver. Considering the success Freeman experienced with last seasonís o-line, he has a good chance of posting another stellar fantasy season even with a decline in overall touches.
As is always the case with the top fantasy players from the season prior, Freeman is amongst the first players taken in early 2016 drafts. The real question as to whether he is a top five fantasy running back or simply a lower tier RB1 will depend on how the team chooses to divide the carries while keeping Julio Jones active in the passing game. Even with reduced touches, his opportunity and production in the red zone (most carries inside the 20 by a RB last season) keeps him in true RB1 territory.
| Coleman, Tamme ruled out for Falcons|
Devonta Freeman locked in as RB1
By: Mike Krueger | Wed Nov 2, 1:15 pm
|Falcons running back Tevin Coleman, defensive end Dwight Freeney and tight end Jacob Tamme were all declared out for Thursday nightís game against Tampa Bay by the team on Wednesday. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)|
FFToday's Take: Coleman will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury leaving Devonta Freeman and Terron Ward to handle running back duties. Freeman should handle 70 percent of the RB workload Thursday against the Bucs. Rookie Austin Hooper will start at TE.
| Tevin Coleman misses practice Wednesday|
By: Mike Krueger | Wed Oct 26, 12:30 pm
|Tevin Coleman (hamstring) won't practice today. Coach Dan Quinn said he's not sure of the extent of Coleman's injury. Ran some today. (Vaughn McClure on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: The Falcons signed Stevan Ridley this week which is an indication that they don't expect Coleman to play against the Packers. Expect a heavy dose of Devonta Freeman against a Packers defense that's given up the fewest fantasy points to the running back position.