Devonta Freeman
Devonta Freeman
27-Year-Old Running BackRB
Atlanta Falcons
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The good news is that Freeman didn't suffer another concussion last year. The bad news is that he avoided it by only playing two games, thanks to a preseason knee issue followed by a season-ending groin injury that required surgery in October. The 27-year-old has proven he can be a dangerous, versatile back, using his elusiveness and vision to exploit small creases in the trenches while doing damage in open space (and his receiving ability keeps him on the field for passing downs). Tevin Coleman's departure leaves Freeman with little competition at the top of the depth chart (backup Ito Smith is in many ways just a lesser version of the veteran, and fifth-round pick Qadree Ollison may just be a short-yardage specialist). The blocking in Atlanta took a big step back during Freeman's lost season, but it should be back on track this year after the team used a pair of first-round picks on offensive linemen Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary. However, new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has favored the passing game in recent seasons and now returns to Atlanta after flopping as a head coach in Tampa Bay. Koetter failed to produce a 1,000-yard rusher in three years during his last stint in charge of the Falcons offense, and he never developed a consistent ground game with the Bucs. Even if Freeman is healthy and enjoys a bigger workload, he may struggle to match his past efficiency. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract with the Falcons in August of 2017.
Makes brief appearance
RBAtlanta Falcons
August 22, 2019
Freeman carried the ball two times for three yards in Thursday's preseason contest against Washington. He also hauled in his only target for a six-yard reception.
ANALYSIS
Freeman was on the field for only the Falcons' first offensive possession. His most impressive run came on the initial play of the game, which would have gone for nine yards if not for a holding penalty that nullified the gain. Most importantly, Freeman has remained healthy throughout the preseason, and will enter the regular season as the team's primary back.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Devonta Freeman's 2018 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Broken Tackle %
7.1%
 
Positive Run %
71.4%
 
% Yds After Contact
38.2%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
1.9
 
Rushing TD %
0.0%
 
Touches Per Game
9.5
 
% Snaps w/Touch
28.4%
 
Air Yards Per Game
0.5
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.01
 
% Team Air Yards
0.0%
 
% Team Targets
1.2%
 
Avg Depth of Target
0.1 Yds
 
Catch Rate
71.4%
 
Drop Rate
14.3%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
4.4
 
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Atlanta FalconsFalcons 2018 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

581
0
310
0
67
0
66
0
16
0
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Devonta Freeman lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2018 Devonta Freeman Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Devonta Freeman's measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
5' 8"
 
Weight
206 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.58 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.26 sec
 
Cone Drill
7.11 sec
 
Vertical Jump
31.5 in
 
Broad Jump
118 in
 
Hand Length
9.63 in
 
Arm Length
29.38 in
 
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
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.
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
Looking better than ever
RBAtlanta Falcons
August 13, 2019
Coach Dan Quinn said Freeman has come back stronger from last year's groin injury, showing improved explosion in his cuts, Jason Butt of The Athletic reports. "[Freeman]'s had an outstanding offseason," Quinn said. "The energy he brought back, starting with OTAs, he's a stronger man than what he was prior to his injury."
ANALYSIS
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Sitting again Thursday
RBAtlanta Falcons
August 8, 2019
Freeman will be held out of Thursday's preseason contest at Miami, Matthew Tabeek of the Falcons' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Uncontested No. 1 back for Atlanta
RBAtlanta Falcons
August 4, 2019
Head coach Dan Quinn confirmed Sunday that Freeman is the unquestioned starting running back, while a contingent of Ito Smith, Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison battles for the No. 2 role behind him, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Likely sitting Thursday
RBAtlanta Falcons
August 1, 2019
Freeman isn't expected to play in Thursday's Hall of Fame Game versus the Broncos, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Looking good during offseason
RBAtlanta Falcons
June 23, 2019
Coach Dan Quinn said Freeman looks like his old self again, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official website reports. "He was another one who had so much to prove and to get back out on the field and to recapture his energy and style so quickly," Quinn said. "I was very happy to see that. He looks so much like himself."
ANALYSIS
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