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The Lowdown: Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, and Andre Ellington

Atlanta Running Backs

From Pro Football Talk:

Hamstring injuries left the Falcons without three of their running backs in recent days, leading the team to sign Evan Royster in order to have enough healthy bodies to get them through practice.

They may not need Royster to fill that role for too much longer, however. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman both suited up for Monday’s practice and multiple reports from Falcons practice had them taking part in individual drills while sitting out the team portions of the workout.

After a near two-week hiatus, the two Atlanta running backs are finally back at practice.


This has all the makings of another timeshare in the league. Currently Tevin Coleman is being selected a few rounds ahead of Devonta Freeman. A rookie running back already missing reps in practice certainly isn’t going to do him any favors in terms of possibly passing Freeman on the depth chart. It’s also possible that the No. 1 RB designation on this depth chart may be meaningless if they’re heading for a timeshare.

At Coleman’s current ADP, I wouldn’t be willing to invest a pick in him given that he’s dealing with hamstring issues, which can linger throughout the season and he doesn’t have  clear role in this offense. In early August, the Atlanta beat writers also favored Freeman over Coleman.

I think the upside of Coleman outweighs Freeman. Freeman was an ineffective rusher in his limited action last season and he struggled in pass protection. Depending on how my draft shapes out, this may be a backfield I am avoiding altogether. Our staff projections have Coleman projected as the No. 22 RB, while we have Freeman at RB44.

Arizona Running Backs

If you were on Twitter last night, the fantasy community exploded with rants and opinions on the Arizona backfield. Some good, some not so good. I’m just here so I don’t get fined. But for real, this is a downer if you were looking to target someone like David Johnson because I think this will cut into his workload more than Ellington. However,  Andre Ellington is still a player I won’t be targeting this season.

Andre Ellington2010.69184.41-0.410.00
Matt Forte2650.753130.719.690.04
Andre Williams2160.482103.919.790.05
Joique Bell2360.593116.5315.170.06
LeSean McCoy3140.660140.1621.740.07
Mark Ingram2260.681126.2524.150.11
Frank Gore2540.540103.8827.920.11
Alfred Morris2650.661124.9630.440.11
Jonathan Stewart2130.46491.8432.660.15
Eddie Lacy2650.569128.4450.360.19
Lamar Miller2150.542106.4951.210.24
Arian Foster2600.575121.2151.390.20
Le'Veon Bell2900.687125.1758.930.20
Jeremy Hill2350.458117.6159.490.25
Jamaal Charles2050.54193.5264.880.32
Justin Forsett2740.548125.6865.820.24
Marshawn Lynch2940.534141.7472.160.25
DeMarco Murray4360.786204.1087.500.20

Ellington was the least efficient RB in the league last season among RBs who had at least 200 attempts. His production was completely volume driven and he’s not going to have that volume this season. They drafted David Johnson and signed Chris Johnson, I think that answers any questions of whether they want to use him as workhorse or not.

We don’t really know how the workload is going to shake out for either of these backs, but Ellington’s workload will likely be trimmed down, while Johnson and Johnson will be mixing in as well. I won’t be investing in this backfield this season.


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