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RB Devonta Freeman - Atlanta Falcons

5-8, 206Born: 3-15-1992College: Florida StateDrafted: Round 4

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Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel, US Presswire

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Freeman left the Week 10 game with a concussion

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Dec 11): The Falcons smartly committed to Freeman in Week 14 and won a hard-fought divisional game. He should be the bell cow against the Bucs this week too.

Week 15: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

All RB vs TB

FBG says: Great matchup. The Falcons continue to field one of the league's more efficient run games. It's not a particularly explosive one, but it's as consistent as they come. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have combined for 96+ ground yards in 7 of their 10 games together, and at least one of the pair has reached 74+ in 10 of 13 overall. Running behind a top-tier line - our Matt Bitonti currently ranks it seventh, with a B+ run-blocking grade - the duo boasts a great floor with strong receiving and short-yardage upside (the Falcons tend to turn to the run near the goal line). Coleman will need to clear the concussion protocol to suit up this week, and if he can't go, Freeman will represent one of Week 15's best plays; his matchup with the Buccaneers' up-and-down run defense only makes his outlook sweeter. We can't take much from their Week 14 performance: limiting the Lions' barely-there running game means little, and doing it with Ameer Abdullah sidelined means even less. It's much more sensible to consider this a lower-tier unit based on its tendency to give up huge games to quality lead backs. Since Week 6 they've allowed 91+ yards and 1-2 touchdowns each to Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, the Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara combination, Tevin Coleman, and Jamaal Williams. Things went from bad to worse when All-Pro tackle Gerald McCoy went down with a shoulder/biceps injury this week; he's likely gone for the remainder of the year. Without McCoy to shed blockers and blow up plays, there's little reason to fear this unit for fantasy purposes.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
13 vs MIN 39 12 74 0 2 1 7 0 0 8.1
14 vs NO 51 24 91 1 0 0 0 0 0 14.1
15 at TB PROJ-Dodds * 15 * * 2 * * * *
15 at TB PROJ-Tremblay * 17 * * 1 * * * *
15 at TB PROJ-Bloom * 18 * * 1 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 14 vs NO (24 / 91 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

He earned eight cutting inside a fullback lead through a huge crease on the Falcons' opening drive. Two plays later , and two Saints penalties later, he gained another five up the middle from a single back, two-tight end set, making a strong press to the left guard and cutting back to the right guard. He was stuffed on a toss to left end that he tried to cut back inside on the following play. He earned eight untouched outside left end on a toss near midfield during Atlanta's third drive, picking up a good block from Justin Hardy. New Orleans stuffed Freeman on 1st and goal at the 1 on a run up the middle. Freeman followed Coleman on 3rd and goal from 1 for walk-in score off the left side. The team turned back to Freeman to get them deep into Saints territory early in the second half, but Matt Ryan threw an interception to kill the drive. Freeman slowed down as the game went on, and the team used Tevin Coleman more in the fourth quarter, including on the drive that yielded the game-winning field goal.

2017 Week 13 vs MIN (12 / 74 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

He bounced off his own lineman on a run towards left guard and tried to work to the outside, but he was dropped by a defensive tackle for no gain on the second play of the series. Minnesota stuffed Freeman again with penetration in the backfield for a two-yard loss four plays later. He made a nice head fake in the backfield to set up penetration at the right edge to earn five yards off right tackle on a 1st and 20 later in this first drive. Two plays later on 3rd and 8, Freeman found a huge hole inside the right guard and up the right flat with a strong bounce out for a long gain and a first down. However, center Alex Mack committed a holding penalty. Freeman had another strong run up the right side but another holding penalty nullified the play. He earned 12 on a 3rd and 17 draw from shotgun to set up an opening drive field goal attempt. Atlanta ran power to the right side for a strong gain across midfield for a first down during the third series. Freeman earned another first down up the middle but this time, the Vikings were called for a penalty on the second play of the second half. Freeman earned four with a tough run through contact on a first-down run later in the drive. Freeman ran hard up for a first down in the middle of the fourth quarter and then earned seven on a check-down and made two defenders miss for most of the gain. Freeman earned another strong crease on a pitch to the left side on the following play.

2017 Week 10 vs DAL (2 / 3 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Anthony Hitchens delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on Freeman during his second carry of the game and he was clearly woozy as he slowly climbed to his feet. It was the last we saw of Freeman. He left the field with 6:26 in the first quarter and did not return.

2017 Week 9 vs CAR (11 / 46 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 18 / 0 rec)

Freeman had a strong, slashing gain of six yards off right tackle on his first touch of the game. He had a five-yard gain called back due to a hold by West Schweitzer, who has struggled as the replacement starter. Freeman routinely earned strong gains with cutbacks or yards after contact, but Atlanta's game script changed with Carolina taking the lead in the middle of the game and controlling the ball with its own ground attack in the third quarter. Freeman took a big shot from Kurt Coleman late in the game on an outlet pass that forced him to leave the field. Watch for a potential rib injury or possible aggravation of his shoulder injury. He looked okay after the initial sting of the hit and getting helped off, so it may be nothing more than Freeman getting the wind knocked out of him.

2017 Week 8 vs NYJ (12 / 41 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 20 / 0 rec)

The Falcons' starter didn't have any huge plays, but he consistently found cut back lanes or nice-sized creases with his first reads throughout the day. He routinely set up short-yardage situations and converted third downs. Despite Tevin Coleman's big plays, Freeman was the more consistent option in terms of positive gains.

2017 Week 7 vs NE (12 / 72 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)

As we've seen all season, Freeman ran well, routinely earning cutback attempts and yards after the catch as an outlet receiver both over the middle and split wide from the formation. Freeman had multiple runs of 8-10 yards during this game and nearly broke several of them for more. His biggest gain was a run off right guard for 22 yards, and it was one of 3 runs where he broke through a wrap from a defensive lineman or linebacker at the line of scrimmage. Several of his largest gains came during Atlanta's final two drives during the fourth quarter with the game in hand and the Patriots to let Atlanta bleed the clock with the ground game.

2017 Week 6 vs MIA (9 / 68 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)

Freeman followed his fullback off right tackle on a 2nd and 5 and the hole closed up fast enough that he tried to reverse field but lost three with Miami swarming to the ball on the second play of the opening drive. He earned 10 yards up the middle on the opening carry of the second drive through a big hole against nickel. He lost three off tackle two plays later. The Miami defense swarmed to the ball and stopped Freeman for no gain on a screen pass to the left flat on 3rd and 11, forcing Atlanta's first punt of the game in the second quarter. He earned a 44-yard run on a toss left through a huge canyon of a crease thanks to blocks in the second level. Two plays later, he got inside the nine of Miami off left end for nine yards. Freeman earned a slant to reach midfield with 0:20 left in the half. After Miami dominated the third quarter and Atlanta rotated to Tevin Coleman during the fourth quarter, Freeman got stuffed on the few opportunities he had up the middle. Later, Freeman dropped a 1st and 10, screen pass at the two-minute warning.

2017 Week 4 vs BUF (18 / 58 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)

The Falcons starter ran hard and made timely plays, including runs to beat penetration into the backfield. He earned a well-blocked run to left end for the first down and a gain of at least 10 yards to begin the game. He followed up with a spin away from Lorenzo Alexander in the backfield for a 2nd and 2 run up the left sideline for a first down, reaching the 50. Freeman later earned nine off guard to begin the fourth series and followed up with a first down on a short run up the middle. Later in the half, Freeman was stuffed for a two-yard loss thanks to penetration into the backfield on a toss play to the middle of the line, forcing a 3rd and 12. He gave Atlanta the lead with a one-year plunge at the end of the first half to give. His best run was a hard-charging attempt up the middle for 16 yards, breaking three wraps with 11:00 left, getting Atlanta inside the Buffalo 35. He also earned a screen pass to get Atlanta in the red zone with 1:05 left.

2017 Week 3 vs DET (21 / 106 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 32 / 0 rec)

The Falcons runner converted a 3rd and 16 with an angle route up the right seam into tight coverage at the Lions two, taking a huge hit as he made the reception. He was stuffed on the next play for a loss of two on a well-defended trap play. Freeman made three defenders miss for a 12-yard gain on 2nd and 10 on a run to the left edge at the end of the first quarter. With Jarrad Davis out, the Lions missed his pursuit on Freeman's cutback runs, including a nine-yard gain on outside zone to lead off Atlanta's third series early in the second quarter. Later in the drive, Freeman earned huge creases up the middle thanks to his success on the edge, earning two strong gains from the 15 to the Detroit 1 and an easy score on the following play. Freeman earned at least 15 yards up the middle with less than a minute left but a holding call nullified the play and pushed Atlanta from scoring position to just outside the 40. Two plays later, Freeman cut the yardage deficit to 3rd and 7 after a nice gain up the left sideline on a quick pass to the boundary. Freeman had three strong gains on the left side of the line to respond to the Lions tying up the game late in the third quarter for a trio of first downs, including a two physical finishes to end the quarter.

2017 Week 2 vs GB (19 / 84 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)

His second run of the game was a fine cutback to the left flat where he split two defenders for eight yards. This got Atlanta near midfield. Two plays later, Freeman gained another five yards and two plays after that, he worked the right flat on a wide route behind two blockers for 7 yards and a first down inside the 10 of Green Bay. This target came on a route where Freeman and Tevin Coleman began the play in the backfield. Two plays later, Freeman took the toss play to the right end for a one-yard plunge. Freeman scored again on a run outside Sambrallo for a two-yard play behind its tight trips set of Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu, and Justin Hardy. With a 31-10 lead by the middle of the third quarter, Freeman bled the clock with good cutback running as a ball carrier and a short-range pass receiver during the third and fourth quarter.

2017 Week 1 vs CHI (12 / 37 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)

He gained six on the first offensive touch of the game on a toss right to a wide open perimeter. Great bounce out on a short draw from shotgun on the third down for the first down. Picked up a good 3rd and 1 with a nice cut back outside penetration up the middle for a first down. Bounce left for the five-yard score with 4:30 in the half. Good read and bounce. Strung out ot the left early in the third quarter. Another good stop-start cut inside for a five-yard gain. Freeman wasn't as involved in the passing game as Coleman and this was close to an even split in touches.

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Latest News

Falcons | Devonta Freeman carries the load (Thu Dec 7, 11:52 PM) - Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman rushed 24 times for 91 yards and a touchdown in a 20-17 win over the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Dec. 7.

Our View: The Falcons committed to Freeman as strongly as they have all year, and he was able to keep the offense on schedule. He's a must start at Tampa next week.
link to story   

Falcons | Devonta Freeman has solid outing (Sun Dec 3, 04:45 PM) - Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13.

Our View: Freeman looked good, but the Falcons never committed to him as the primary means of moving the offense. They are in an urgent situation to preserve playoff standing next week against New Orleans on Thursday, and Freeman will be a boom/bust RB2.
link to story   

Falcons | Atlanta's Week 13 injury report (Fri Dec 1, 03:40 PM) - Atlanta Falcons CB Desmond Trufant (concussion) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 1, and has been ruled out for Week 13. LB Sean Weatherspoon (illness) did not practice and is listed as questionable. PK Matt Bryant (back), WR Julio Jones (ankle), OG Andy Levitre (knee) and CB Brian Poole (back) were limited during practice but are not on the injury report. RB Devonta Freeman (concussion), WR Justin Hardy (shoulder), OT Ty Sambrailo (hamstring) and RB Terron Ward (knee, shoulder) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

link to story   

Falcons | Devonta Freeman on track to play (Fri Dec 1, 03:21 PM) - Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 1, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.

link to story   

Falcons | Another full practice for Devonta Freeman (Thu Nov 30, 06:59 PM) - Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) was a full participant in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 30.

Our View: Freeman is good to go, and we expect him to put up some nice RB2 numbers in a tough matchup against Minnesota.

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Schedule

15@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
16@ New Orleans Saints
17vs Carolina Panthers