Devonta Freeman
Devonta Freeman
26-Year-Old Running BackRB
Atlanta Falcons
IR
Injury Groin
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Freeman's production dipped last year along with the rest of the Falcons offense, and while injuries played a part - he missed two games due to a concussion and played through a sprained knee down the stretch - the main culprit seemed to be new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's inability to replicate Kyle Shanahan's magic. The Falcons dropped from a league-high 33.8 points per game in 2016 all the way to 22.1 in 2017, with Freeman declining from 13 TDs to eight and 4.8 YPC to 4.4. His numbers remained strong on a per-play basis, though, and he remains one of the most versatile running backs in the league. He tied for third in carries inside the 5-yard line (14) and was ninth in runs of 15 or more yards (10), thanks to his elusiveness, vision and surprising strength at the point of attack. He's also a dangerous receiver, with his 163 catches the last three seasons ranking fourth in the league among running backs. After signing a big contract extension last offseason, and with Tevin Coleman heading into the final year of his rookie deal, Freeman should again be the top dog in the Falcons' backfield timeshare. Read Past Outlooks
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#21.33
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$Signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract with the Falcons in August of 2017.
Candidate to return in second half
RBAtlanta Falcons
Groin
October 18, 2018
Coach Dan Quinn said Thursday that Freeman (groin/foot) is a candidate to return from injured reserve later in the season, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
By virtue of being placed on injured reserve Tuesday, Freeman will have to miss at least the next eight weeks, making the Falcons' Dec. 23 game against the Panthers in Week 16 the earliest date he could return. Quinn noted that the Falcons' standing in the NFC playoff picture would likely dictate whether Freeman is activated, but the expectation is that the running back will be fully recovered from both injuries by late December. While it was a bone bruise in Freeman's foot that sidelined him for the Week 6 win over the Buccaneers, he elected to undergo surgery Thursday to address a groin injury that had also been plaguing him lately. While Freeman is on the mend, both Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith will be in line for enhanced roles out of the backfield.
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Devonta Freeman NFL Stats
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Devonta Freeman NFL Game Log
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Snap Counts
  • 2018 Offensive Snaps:
    67
  • 2018 Special Teams Snaps:
    0
 
Off Snaps:
ST Snaps:
2016
605
0
2017
552
0
2018
67
0
Measurables Overview

(Compared to other RBs)

Height:   5' 8"
BELOW AVERAGE
Weight:   206 lbs
BELOW AVERAGE
40-Yard Dash:   4.58 sec
WEAK
Shuttle Time:   4.26 sec
AVERAGE
Cone Drill:   7.11 sec
WEAK
Arm Length:   29.38 in
BELOW AVERAGE
Hand Length:   9.63 in
ABOVE AVERAGE
Vertical Jump:   32 in
WEAK
Broad Jump:   118 in
AVERAGE
Bench Press:   11 reps
TERRIBLE
Atlanta Falcons Team Injury Report
Questionable
Doubtful
Out
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
In terms of raw numbers, Freeman's 2016 was very similar to his 2015, as he topped 1,500 yards from scrimmage and scored 11 rushing TDs in each season. On a per-play basis, however, he saw his effectiveness soar, averaging a career-high 4.8 yards per carry and 8.6 yards per catch. Freeman's smallish frame (5-8, 206 pounds) isn't ideal for early-down work, but his willingness to run between the tackles and keep his legs churning allowed him to pick up 1.4 yards after contact per touch, good for 15th among RBs. His excellent pass-catching skills also produced top-five finishes in both receptions and receiving yards, and he was the only RB in the league to finish in the top three in both red-zone carries and targets. The big concern for Freeman, and indeed the entire Atlanta offense, revolves around the departure of Kyle Shanahan. New offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has a very limited track record, and while he'll continue to employ the no-huddle and play-action elements of Shanahan's scheme, it seems unlikely that the unit will maintain the high level it reached during the Falcons' Super Bowl run. Freeman should remain an integral part of the team's offense, but likely won't be able to match his 2016 efficiency or production.
Where Kyle Shanahan goes, fantasy owners eagerly follow. They know how good he's been for No. 1 receivers and running games. And last year, he was damn good to Freeman. Let's not get caught up in revisionist history, however. Last summer, rookie Tevin Coleman was considered the more interesting back, not Freeman. Coleman wound up getting the Week 1 start (despite an August hamstring injury), but a rib injury opened the door for Freeman, who had an inconsequential second game before spreading his wings. From Weeks 3-7, he piled up an absurd 825 total yards and nine TDs. He snagged 27 of 32 targets in the passing game, and had 5.3 YPC on his 109 attempts. A star was born. And just when we bought in fully on Freeman, the wave crashed a bit. Over his last eight starts he was limited to 3.25 YPC, and he had a modest four overall TDs. PPR owners weren't that sad — he still caught 39 passes over that period, staying on the field in all packages — but he didn't look like the explosive difference-maker we saw during Octoberfest. The team will probably lean on Freeman in the scoring area again — he was first in red-zone carries last year, and second among backs in red-zone targets. TDs can be fluky at times, but they sure pay the fantasy bills. Ten of Freeman's 14 scores came from the 7-yard line and in.
Freeman, a fourth-round pick last year, saw limited action in a crowded backfield, but the Falcons' decision to part ways with Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers could mean Freeman is ready for a more significant role. Undersized at 5-8, 206, Freeman is dangerous in space, using his agility and balance to slip would-be tacklers before lowering his pads and driving forward with surprising power to earn extra yards after contact. He's less effective between the tackles, but his vision is good enough for him to find holes at the line when called upon. He's an asset as a receiver, and his experience in college with a zone-blocking scheme should serve him well as Atlanta's offense transitions to a similar ground attack under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who oversaw productive running games in Houston and Washington. Third-round speed merchant Tevin Coleman is a threat to Freeman's touches, but even in a committee, Freeman's skills should allow him to have a productive campaign.
The Falcons spent a fourth-round selection on Freeman, a somewhat undersized – 5-8, 203 – but well-rounded back out of Florida State, and he'll immediately enter into the mix for backup duties behind Steven Jackson. He even has good enough receiving skills to cut into Jacquizz Rodgers' third-down work. A shifty runner with great vision and instincts who doesn't shy away from contact, Freeman's in line to be the long-term successor to Jackson in Atlanta, but he never exceeded 200 carries in a college season and may be best served in the long term as the early-down back in a committee approach.
More Fantasy News
Will have groin surgery Thursday
RBAtlanta Falcons
Foot
October 16, 2018
Freeman will undergo groin surgery Thursday in Philadelphia, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Will undergo groin surgery
RBAtlanta Falcons
Foot
October 16, 2018
Freeman is slated for groin surgery and will be placed on injured reserve, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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Heading to IR
RBAtlanta Falcons
Foot
October 16, 2018
The Falcons are expected to place Freeman (groin/foot) on injured reserve Tuesday, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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Unlikely to suit up Week 7
RBAtlanta Falcons
Foot
October 15, 2018
Freeman is unlikely to play next Monday against the Giants, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Won't play Week 7
RBAtlanta Falcons
Foot
October 15, 2018
Coach Dan Quinn ruled out Freeman (groin/foot) for next Monday's game against the Giants, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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