Not too long ago, Devonta Freeman broke out and finished as the best running back in fantasy. Since then he has been one of the steadiest producers at the position. He finds himself in unfamiliar territory in 2019. As a down 2017 and injury riddled 2018 has forced him down draft boards.
It is no secret that Freeman is a special running back. He runs with aggression and great balance and has moves that make defenders look dumb. He is also a great pass catcher and is a threat to reach 60 plus receptions every year. Getting that sort of dual threat ability at the end of the third round is truly rare. With Tevin Coleman gone and only Ito Smith and rookies fighting for touches, Freeman could see himself reaching 20 touches a game later in the season. If Freeman can stay healthy, he will no doubt finished as a top 15 running back. The offense he is playing in is also a huge advantage. As the Falcons have a plethora of offensive weapons that can take attention away from Freeman.
Why You Should be Skeptical
Now while Freeman has been a stud when healthy, the past couple years have been tough for Freeman and fantasy owners. Freeman basically missed the entire 2018 season with injuries and the year before was hampered for much of the season. That lead him to have a down 2017 season despite playing 14 games. This year the concerns are injury. Can Freeman hold up to the workload, especially being 2 years older? History says that the Falcons will try and split the load as they did with Tevin Coleman. Problem is that there isn’t a back on the roster that has the talent Coleman had in this offense. With all that being said, Freeman has durability concerns and workload concerns which has pushed him down the draft boards.
What to Take Away
Drafting Devonta Freeman in 2019 comes with a load of questions. Can he stay healthy? Will he split work as usual? Will he be as good after all the injuries? Well considering his past production and his current ADP, I will say that I am on the side of drafting Freeman. There are only two ways that I would want Freeman however. One is if I went back to back wideouts in the first couple of rounds, or even if I drafted 3 non-running back players. Devonta would give me a solid RB2 that I could pair with another RB2 to secure the position. The upside here is that I will most likely be stacked at the WR and TE position. Next is if I secured a top tier running back already. For instance, pairing Freeman with say an Ezekiel Elliot. This gives you security in case Freeman goes down. Zeke can carry the workload needed for the running back production and you can replace Freeman with a waiver pickup or handcuff. The upside here is if Freeman stays healthy, you most likely have two stud running backs to carry you to a fantasy championship.