Devonta Freeman Fantasy Football Outlook & Value 2019

Position Ranking– RB13, ADP– 3.04, Auction Value ($200)– $20, Team– ATL, Bye– 9

Running a three receiver set, the Atlanta Falcons flourished in the passing game. The offense ranked 10th overall with one of the best fantasy seasons from quarterback Matt Ryan. He threw for 4,924 yards and 35 TDs en route to a disappointing 7-9 season for Atlanta. With Devonta Freeman back in the picture and a hopefully improved defense, the Falcons have playoff aspirations coming into 2019.

FPTS 2018 GP ATT RU YDS YDS/ATT ATT/G 100+ YDS RU TD REC TGTS/G REC YDS REC TD Yahoo FPTS/G
9.1 2 14 68 4.9 7 0 0 5 3.5 23 0 5.8

Upside

After an injury riddled 2018 season, Freeman will look to get back on track as the Falcons’ lead back in 2019. Ito Smith will get some looks but last year’s lead back Devin Coleman is no longer a worry. Freeman should be the clear #1 in the Atlanta backfield without any threat from Coleman to split time with him. When healthy, Freeman is a great option at running back and was easily a first or second round pick last fantasy season. If he returns to form, you could be looking at a 1,000 yard rusher with 8 TDs.

Floor

If Freeman’s struggles before his injury last year continue, fantasy owners could be in for some bad times. He only received 14 carries in two games prior to injuries that netted him 68 yards and 4.9 yards per carry. My question for him is whether Atlanta will allow him to quickly rush for 16-18 times a game from the start or try to slowly ease him back into the rotation. They’ll also look for Matt Ryan to repeat his impressive 2018 and will likely trust him to throw the ball rather than for Freeman to run early in the season. His floor is 750 rushing yards and 6 TDs.

What to Expect

Atlanta FalconsFreeman is currently ranked as the 13th running back off the board and holds an auction value of $20. He’s currently projected to have 3rd round draft value. Running backs coming off injury are always a question mark. Will their injury limits their explosiveness and how healthy they are. For Freeman, he looks back to full health and an active participant early in OTAs. While he might start slow and have his reps limited by the training staff, there’s no doubt Freeman is a high end RB2 to begin the year.

While I wouldn’t trust Freeman as my RB1 option out of the gate, he’ll make for a great fit as a compliment to any of the Tier 1 backs you might have drafted in Round 1. He sits at 13th in rankings in what looks to be a fairly loaded second tier of running backs. He’s projected to be drafted in the 3rd round which seems to be a steal considering the other names going around him. By the midway point of the season, I can easily see Freeman giving you second round potential and ranking in the top 10 in his position.

The $20 valuation in auctions seems also like a bargain given the cost of other tier 2 running backs. Currently, Freeman is ranked as a RB3 on most draft boards though I have him ranked as a high upside RB2 in my personal ranks. If he’s healthy after last year’s industry, I have no doubt that Freeman will return to his 2017 form where he rushed for 865 yards and 7 TDs. This year, I’ll expect a fairly similar season before his injury with 850 yards and 7 TDs.

  
Originally from San Francisco, California, Justin Yeung has grown up as an avid Giants and Warriors fan, watching them both through the good and bad times. Currently, he is a junior attending the University of California, Irvine majoring in business economics and minoring in management. When he’s not in class, you’ll often find Justin at various sporting events and pursuing his goal of visiting all 30 Major League stadiums.

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