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Devonta Freeman 2017 Season Outlook


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8. Devonta Freeman, ATL
2017 Projection: 240 attempts / 1080 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 40 receptions / 320 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdowns (240 points)
Outlook: Since 2015, Devonta Freeman has been one of the premier backs in the game while splitting time with Tevin Coleman. The guy simply gets it done week in and week out and usually finds a way to impact the game most weeks. He will be splitting duties with Coleman again this year, however he will be heavily involved in the Atlanta offense. I predict rushing attempts to rise in Atlanta with the loss of incumbent OC Kyle Shanahan, paving the way for excellent fantasy production for both Freeman and Coleman

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Only RB in the game to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of the last 2 seasons.

 

As FFC pointed out earlier in this thread, the departure of Shanahan means the offense will be less efficient, which means they're running more plays.  Scoring for Matt Ryan is the only thing that should come down, but volume should help Julio and Freeman.  Coleman and Gabriel were both products of Shanahan's system, being the primary speed guys at their positions, and we should expect to see a big drop for them.

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14 minutes ago, Lord_Varys said:

Coleman and Gabriel were both products of Shanahan's system, being the primary speed guys at their positions, and we should expect to see a big drop for them.

 

Funny you say that.

 

Just this week, John Lynch shared this nugget during a long interview he did on local radio:

 

"I think one thing I saw when I studied Kyle Shanahan running offenses in Atlanta, he probably knew how to use speed more so than any offensive coordinator in this league."

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29 minutes ago, Rolling Thunder said:

Funny you say that.

 

Just this week, John Lynch shared this nugget during a long interview he did on local radio:

 

"I think one thing I saw when I studied Kyle Shanahan running offenses in Atlanta, he probably knew how to use speed more so than any offensive coordinator in this league."

 

It's Shanny's MO.  Fantasy owners should be aware of that when ranking Falcons or 49ers.

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3 minutes ago, Ravensdan said:

 

 

Who could benefit in San Fran?

This season- nobody.   

Its a complicated offshoot of the Kubiak zone blocking scheme and requires not only specific skill sets in players,  but time and experience running it.   It's gonna be a rough year in SF methinks.    But you hire a guy like Shanny because he will make you better given the time and resources.  

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Hilarious how this time a year ago many were lamenting that Shanny wasn't fired after "ruining" Matt Ryan in 2015, and now he's being hailed as a guru. 

 

Never forget how quickly perceptions change in the NFL. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
5 minutes ago, izzyf89 said:

Heavily contemplating taking him with my 8th pick if McCoy is taken. Even with AJG and Evans still on the board. Reach? Hard to argue against back to back 1,000 yard seasons. 

 

I would happily take Freeman or AJG in that spot. Not only does Freeman get you those 1000+ yard seasons but he gets those double digit TD seasons as well.

 

1500 total yards and 10-15 TD range is def doable in that offense for DFree.

 

I also believe AJG is very capable of a 1500 yard season. He was on that pace last year before he went down.

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On 6/28/2017 at 6:26 PM, Ravensdan said:

 

Who could benefit in San Fran?

 

On 6/28/2017 at 6:31 PM, Impreza178 said:

This season- nobody.   

 

From the other side of the coin, San Francisco is ripe with IDP standouts ready to benefit. Still not ready to take the team D out for a Sunday walk, but multiple individual positions will be weekly starters, and they'll see mucho time on the field. Ok, I'll retire to the infrequently visited IDP thread now...

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On June 28, 2017 at 5:36 PM, joshua18 said:

Hilarious how this time a year ago many were lamenting that Shanny wasn't fired after "ruining" Matt Ryan in 2015, and now he's being hailed as a guru. 

 

Never forget how quickly perceptions change in the NFL. 

 

 

Was it the coach or was it the players? Everyone loves to think it was the coach.. and everyone on the forums likes to believe it's all the coach and without the coach the player is nothing. 

Edited by boltup15
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On ‎4‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 0:41 PM, FFCollusion said:

 

It's a hard question to answer without being biased, because of the way you presented it to me.  Basically, I've been challenged to find a statistical reason of why Freeman shouldn't regress.  I can find statistics that back that up, but without a comparison, I'm not sure how confident I can be in them.  So, let me be upfront here.  The reason Freeman is in the Murray/McCoy tier, for me, is because he's been rock solid 2 years running.  It actually has less to do with him, and more to do with M.Gordon and J.Howard being 1 year wonders.  Can Freeman regress? Sure.  But look at your regression projections for Freeman.  Pretty solid.  Now tell me what a regression for M.Gordon looks like.  Look at his 2015 season.  Howard is a rookie, and I'm pretty blanket statement when it comes to my 1st round pick, and people who have only played this game once in their careers.  Howard just won't be on my team.

Hell people want to brag about Howard's 1300/6 season, but will turn around and shun McCoy in 2014 because he was a 1st round bust when he only had a 1300/5 season.  Sure Howard is a rookie, so it's more impressive in 'real' football terms, but I'm not in any point-per-rookie leagues.

Does anyone know who the Bears #1 WR will be next year?  Cuz I don't.  Who's their starting QB come week 1?  I'm not calling Howard T.Gurley, but man... their situations from rookie to sophomore season sure feel eerily similar to me.  An impressive rookie season, despite a crap team, a new QB comes in, no real WR threat (Sorry Britt defenders) and defenses adjust.  Sure OLines, OCs, etc come into play.  You won't hear me argue Howard's talent, or workload.  There are just too many variables in his environment that prevent him from the tier of RBs we're discussing.

 

Melvin Gordon?

Melvin Gordon has yet to play a full 16 game season yet.  He's also yet to reach 4 yards per carry.  He's a quantity not quality type of fantasy player thus far in his career.  He hasn't impressed me yet.  He had a solid season, but I think people are slightly blinded by the TDs, where he had 12 in just 13 games.  Woodhead's exit drastically (and artificially) inflated the value of M.Gordon.  I do not believe this was by design, and I do no think it's how SD... errr LA?... wants to run their football team, ESPECIALLY given that M.Gordon couldn't hold up to the load.  Leaving us with a back dependent on touches and TDs to get fantasy points, in a situation where I expect his touches to fall, and I expect his TDs to fall.
*Let me clarify, I drafted M.Gordon all over last year, and multiple posters of this forum, literally laughed and mocked me in the draft lobby.  He was a cheap back, with 3 down capabilities, that everyone was down on after a poor rookie season.  This is not a bias against Gordon.  Post-Hype-Sleepers are real.

 

I could be wrong across the board, but even if we ignored all of his on-field-downfalls... he has to stay on the field.  His injury concerns alone, drop him below Freeman for me.

Also, because it's slightly relevant:

M.Gordon was 3rd in the league, with 50 rushing attempts inside the 20 yard line... tied with D.Freeman.

M.Gordon was 3rd in the league, with 27 rushing attempts inside the 10 yard line... tied with D.Freeman.

M.Gordon was 3rd in the league, with 17 rushing attempts inside the 5 yard line... 1 ahead of D.Freeman.

*Keep in mind, Gordon played in 3 less games.  My point isn't that Gordon wasn't impressive, it's that Freeman, despite his committee, was still a top 5 back in these categories in the Red Zone.

Of note... 9 of M.Gordons 10 rushing TDs came from inside the 5 yard line.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing, per se, because it secures his role as the goal line back, but... does it make him goal line dependent?  I don't know.  But if a vast majority of your TDs come on goal line plunges... what happens if your team doesn't get to the goal line as often?  Food for thought, David Johnson had 12 TDs from inside the 5, the same as L.Blount, which lead the league.  To put this into perspective, only 3 of Le'Veon Bell's TDs came inside the 5 yard line.  But, that's also an unfair comparison, as it doesn't account for total TDs.

 

Okay, so that's the long and short of why those 2 won't be in the same tier of Freeman for me.

I don't have a big enough issue who want to put them in the same tier to argue about it, it's not unreasonable.

 

As for the regression, and potentially biased statistics since I'm specifically looking for something to disprove the claim...

The funny thing about prolific offenses is understanding why they were prolific, and what that means for certain players.

Were the Falcons prolific because they ran a million plays, up and down the field scoring left and right?

Or... were they prolific because of how efficiently they moved the ball up and down the field, scoring left and right?

Is there a difference?  Does this difference effect RB/WR/QB/TE differently?

 

In this scenario I think yes.  Because if we're going to discuss this prolific offense and it's regression tell me...

Why did D.Freeman have less attempts, less yards, less targets, and less fantasy points when the offense supposedly got better?

I'm going to assume your answer is 'Because Coleman!'  Fine, not a bad answer.

But tell my why in this prolific offense, Julio Jones had less targets, less catches, less yards, less fantasy points?

Julio just had his worst year since 2012, even on a per-game basis.

 

So if the offense was so good, why did the 2 biggest fantasy players have worse seasons than when the offense was average?

Was it because they ran 78 fewer offensive plays in 2016, than they did in 2015?

Was it because Matt Ryan threw the ball 97 less times than his previous 3 year average?

Was it because Matt Ryan threw 38 TDs, 13 more than his previous 3 year average?

Was it because Matt Ryan threw 7 INTs, 8 fewer than his previous 3 year average?

 

If Matt Ryan doesn't turn the ball over, and successfully throws a TD, early and often on nearly every drive... is that a good thing or a bad thing for a RB and WR in fantasy football, who we depend on for carries, and catches to get our points?  I don't know about you guys, but every time a 'drive' ends I'm disappointed if I own a player on that offense.  If I own Freeman or Julio, I do NOT want to see T.Gabriel taking it 76 yards to the house on the opening throw from Matt Ryan.  How effective/efficient/prolific the offense was on that drive HURT me, not helped.  It's not just about the TD either.  Gabriel can have the TD, but can my RB/WR get 5-8 carries/catches on the way down please?

 

When I look at 2015 and 2016:
 

2015:

Freeman 264 carries 97 targets

Coleman 87 carries 9 targets

Team 420, 1606, 4379, 5985

264/420 = 62%

 

2016:

Freeman 227 carries 65 targets

Coleman 118 carries 40 targets

Team 421, 1928, 4725, 6653

227/421 = 54%

 

What I see, is that the Falcons ran the ball 421 times, only a single attempt more than they did in 2015, despite 78 fewer plays total.

Did you know the Falcons only had 20 more first downs in '16 than '15?  A little over 1 a game.

Matt Ryan actually threw the ball 36 fewer times this year.

 

So, when I think of a regression coming... I'm thinking it's coming from the efficiency column, not the quantity column.

Rushing attempts should go up, passing attempts should go up.  Passing TDs should come WAY down, interceptions should go up.

All of which forces the offense to be on the field more often, not less.

More offense, more plays, and the 'pie' suddenly isn't getting smaller for Freeman, it's getting bigger.

 

Tl;dr I agree a regression in efficiency is coming for the entire Falcons offense.  But I think you might have incorrectly projected how that effects the team and its players, regarding rushing and passing attempts.

 

 

Upon further thought, as I begin the treck into my 2017 rankings, Freeman will be my 4th ranked RB this season, with the possibility to jump to 3rd based on Zeke's legal issues and potential suspension.  Gordon nor Howard belong in Freeman's tier, in my opinion, the more I analyze their situations.  McCoy will be in the Freeman tier, directly behind him at 5th, and then I think I'm going to have AJayi 6th, despite my reluctance earlier this offseason, although I might swap him and D.Murray who I currently have sitting at 7th.  I'm fairly sure I'd rather have 16 games of Freeman, than 14 of Zeke.  I'm not confident I can say the same about McCoy or anyone else, so the suspension would need to be 3, possibly 4 games, for Zeke to fall further for me personally.

 

On the big board, he'll be behind AB, OBJ, JJ, and... I think that's it, making him 7th overall for me(Assuming Zeke isn't suspended for the time being).  The big 3 WR, the big 3 RB, and then give me Freeman.  From a strategy perspective, given the right (or wrong depending on how you see it) snake position, I would draft him as high as 4th overall without issue.

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25 minutes ago, FFCollusion said:

 

Upon further thought, as I begin the treck into my 2017 rankings, Freeman will be my 4th ranked RB this season, with the possibility to jump to 3rd based on Zeke's legal issues and potential suspension.  Gordon nor Howard belong in Freeman's tier, in my opinion, the more I analyze their situations.  McCoy will be in the Freeman tier, directly behind him at 5th, and then I think I'm going to have AJayi 6th, despite my reluctance earlier this offseason, although I might swap him and D.Murray who I currently have sitting at 7th.  I'm fairly sure I'd rather have 16 games of Freeman, than 14 of Zeke.  I'm not confident I can say the same about McCoy or anyone else, so the suspension would need to be 3, possibly 4 games, for Zeke to fall further for me personally.

 

On the big board, he'll be behind AB, OBJ, JJ, and... I think that's it, making him 7th overall for me(Assuming Zeke isn't suspended for the time being).  The big 3 WR, the big 3 RB, and then give me Freeman.  From a strategy perspective, given the right (or wrong depending on how you see it) snake position, I would draft him as high as 4th overall without issue.

 

In a total points league, I can see putting Freeman ahead of Zeke.  But not in a weekly head to head.   If he misses a few games you're still better off in a weekly matchup when the games start to really matter.  There are very few weeks I would expect Freeman to outscore Zeke.  He's getting all the carries, expecting a greater role in passing game (my opinion), and running behind the best line in the game.   It makes sense to grab the proper cuff of course- but this is secondary and short term.  

 

    It's the same reason I didn't hesitate to draft Bell last season in the first round.  I really don't care about missed games before week 8.  There's not the crush of byes and injuries to deal with.   If it ends up being a late season suspension for Zeke- completely understand dropping him down.   Also concerned about his longterm prospects in a dynasty draft.   But redraft?  not so much.   I haven't seen any indication of that the way the NFL drags its feet and I doubt they want to deny America's team one of its stars when tv ratings start to crank up.    Zeke will be suspended early or next season. 

 

Last thought:  There's a lot of ways Atl can beat you and with a new coordinator- I don't know what will shake out.   But there's no doubt how Dallas will do it.  Zeke's gonna be rocking 25-30 touches a game down the stretch on a team needing every one to count to make the playoffs. 

 

Just my .02 

Edited by Impreza178
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On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 6:31 PM, Impreza178 said:

This season- nobody.   

Its a complicated offshoot of the Kubiak zone blocking scheme and requires not only specific skill sets in players,  but time and experience running it.   It's gonna be a rough year in SF methinks.    But you hire a guy like Shanny because he will make you better given the time and resources.  

I agree that nobody will benefit, however this is the best chance Aldrick Robinson has every gotten after being with Shanny for 16 games in Atlanta and making a couple of plays last year.  There is really little else in front of him on the depth chart.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wouldn't argue with anyone that took Freeman as the rb4. He's somewhere in the rb4-rb7 range for me. Freeman is a good bet for another 1,000 rush yard, 50 catch, 400 rec yard season. He'll be a threat for 8-12 td's as well. I'm not sure what the new OC plans to do, but I'm sure it'll involve Freeman plenty. 

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11 hours ago, bgar15 said:

How early do you feel comfortable taking Freeman in a PPR? I have a tough time ranking him.

 

Do you rank him above McCoy?

 

What WRs would you take over him if available?

 

1) The end of the first round. I would take the big 3 RBs, McCoy, Brown, OBJ, Jones over him but give me Freeman over Green, Evans, Gordon, Howard, et al.

 

2) No. I have McCoy #4 and Freeman #5 but view McCoy as a level higher (I have McCoy in a tier by himself behind the top 3 and ahead of Freeman and co.). Ajayi, Gordon, Howard have more upside than Freeman but have little track record.  

 

3) See #1 so just Brown, OBJ, Jones. I can see a case for Green over him but when I doubt I prefer the RB due to their general greater week-to-week consistency. 

 

 

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He's a DND for me at his ADP. 

 

Superbowl curse for losing team. I don't think he is well liked by his team. Missed a critical block that resulted in a turnover. Claimed he should have won the Superbowl MVP. And he wants a ton of money that will eat the Falcons cap. 

 

 

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I can't create a topic in the assistant coach forum for some reason (probably cause my account is new?) 

Anyway who's the better keeper this year for standard PPR?

 

Devonta Freeman or Jordan Howard?  Le'veon is my 1st keeper and I need to decide on a second (my league only does 2; I don't know if this is standard).


Jordan Howard is on the worse team so he'll have less opportunities to score, but he has no competition in the backfield.

 

Devonta Freeman will clearly have more chances in the red zone, and he's a good back, but Tevin Freaking Coleman makes it super annoying to own Devonta. Last year, every game when Tevin Coleman touched the ball or got the goal-line carry, I would get so frustrated.

 

Main reason I'm leaning towards Howard is because of the way keepers work in my league. I'm in an auction league and I can keep Devonta for $10 or Howard for $1. Not a huge difference this year, but in my league we double the cost of a keeper with every year. So Devonta will be $20 next year and Howard will only be $2.

So in terms of future planning, Howard has a lot of appeal. Man this is a tough choice. Luckily Le'veon is my other keeper and I get him for only $16 this year lol.

 

Every fantasy ranking has them neck and neck. Thoughts?

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6 hours ago, Bigbuddha319 said:

I can't create a topic in the assistant coach forum for some reason (probably cause my account is new?) 

Anyway who's the better keeper this year for standard PPR?

 

Devonta Freeman or Jordan Howard?  Le'veon is my 1st keeper and I need to decide on a second (my league only does 2; I don't know if this is standard).


Jordan Howard is on the worse team so he'll have less opportunities to score, but he has no competition in the backfield.

 

Devonta Freeman will clearly have more chances in the red zone, and he's a good back, but Tevin Freaking Coleman makes it super annoying to own Devonta. Last year, every game when Tevin Coleman touched the ball or got the goal-line carry, I would get so frustrated.

 

Main reason I'm leaning towards Howard is because of the way keepers work in my league. I'm in an auction league and I can keep Devonta for $10 or Howard for $1. Not a huge difference this year, but in my league we double the cost of a keeper with every year. So Devonta will be $20 next year and Howard will only be $2.

So in terms of future planning, Howard has a lot of appeal. Man this is a tough choice. Luckily Le'veon is my other keeper and I get him for only $16 this year lol.

 

Every fantasy ranking has them neck and neck. Thoughts?

 

If by "standard PPR" you mean 1-point PPR, Freeman is a monster (when you get to 10 responses, I believe you'll be able to start your own threads; for clarity, it's either "standard", i.e. not point-per-reception, or "PPR", or possibly "0.5-PPR"). Freeman is the superior back, with superior hands, hands down: watch his highlights from any year, including FSU. But considering your auction league's keeper rules----assuming you plan on staying in this league year after year----I think you have to go Howard for value of the $. And if the ranking systems you're looking at have these two neck-and-neck, read the Howard thread and Freeman thread more thoroughly: there's some quality brainpower here that'll help to explore the backs in depth.

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Loss of an efficient system doesn't create more opportunities IMO.  It creates more punts. 

 

Freeman talent is fun and exciting to watch. 

 

I will never draft a guy this committed to a time share than another in a feasting beating role with no competition. I would trade down and collect more picks later than draft this guy at his current ADP

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14 hours ago, Dreams And Dwightmares said:

Loss of an efficient system doesn't create more opportunities IMO.  It creates more punts. 

 

Freeman talent is fun and exciting to watch. 

 

I will never draft a guy this committed to a time share than another in a feasting beating role with no competition. I would trade down and collect more picks later than draft this guy at his current ADP

You must play in standard leagues only then.  

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