Many fantasy football owners likely just sprinted over to their waiver wire to see if Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman is available. After ESPN’s Field Yates revealed that starter Devonta Freeman will miss Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers, it now opens the door for Coleman to step in and carry a massive workload.
Freeman, who’s dealing with a knee injury, was the clear-cut starter for the Falcons, but it was Coleman who found the end zone in Week 1. While neither player looked great for fantasy owners in the team’s opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, there’s an opportunity for fantasy football players to reap the benefits of this news due to Coleman’s workload.
Let’s take a look at how Freeman’s absence will impact Coleman, as well as what fantasy football owners can realistically expect from the Falcons running back.
Tevin Coleman’s Numbers With Devonta Freeman Sidelined
Without question, the most important topic to evaluate is how Coleman has done with Freeman sidelined. As StatMuse shows, he’s played three full games without his backfield mate, and it’s resulted in 57 rushing attempts for 250 yards and three touchdowns. These numbers do not include a game we’ll break down below in which Freeman left with a concussion after the second play.
While Coleman hasn’t seen a workhorse-caliber number of carries often in his career, the upside has always been there. The Falcons running back is explosive and has shown the ability to thrive as a pass-catcher at times. Last season, Coleman saw 14 or more carries four times. Three of those games came with Freeman injured (he left the Cowboys game early with a concussion), and here’s how the numbers looked:
- at New York Jets (with Freeman): 14 carries, 82 rushing yards
- vs. Dallas Cowboys: 20 carries, 83 rushing yards, one touchdown
- at Seattle Seahawks: 20 carries, 43 rushing yards, one touchdown
- vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 19 carries, 97 rushing yards, two touchdowns
Coleman also rushed 18 times for 110 yards in a 2015 game without Freeman against the Minnesota Vikings.
Expectations for Coleman vs. Carolina Panthers
The matchup for Coleman against the Panthers won’t be easy sledding, but the 25-year-old has had his fair share of success against them in his career, as StatMuse shows. Over five games, Coleman has totaled 36 rushing attempts for 152 yards, one touchdown on the ground, nine receptions for 92 yards and one additional score.
While the combined averages of 40.6 yards per game don’t seem incredible, Coleman has always shared the rock with Freeman in these matchups. A rushing average of 4.2 yards per carry isn’t bad, especially considering the Panthers held Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott to just 69 yards on 15 carries in Week 1.
Coleman makes more than a fine streaming option in Week 2 against the Panthers, and if Freeman were to miss any extended time, he’d be a top target for fantasy owners. In the daily fantasy football world, DraftKings has Coleman listed at just $5,300, making him a top-tier value play.