The Atlanta Falcons have the overall fantasy QB1 in Matt Ryan and two fantasy RB1s in Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman (Coleman is RB7 and Freeman RB11 in ESPN standard scoring). They also have the WR1, Julio Jones. It’s been a fun offense to watch, but it has only led the Falcons to a 4-3 record. Still, an exciting offense lost one of its most exciting pieces when Tevin Coleman went down with a hamstring injury.
Coleman and Freeman had been splitting work in the backfield and sometimes even appearing on the field at the same time. They worked well together, with Freeman usually getting early down inside runs and Coleman working around the corners and on third down. Both are good runners, both are good pass catchers, so naturally, both have been excellent fantasy options.
Around halfway through the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers, however, Coleman had to leave the game and was unable to return. He is also expected to miss Week 8 and may miss a few more weeks after that as well. According to our Fantasy Doctor Selene Parekh, an MRI is necessary on Coleman’s hamstring in order to determine the severity of the strain, but it will be at least two weeks and could be up to six weeks until he is able to return to the field. It’s a blow for the Falcons, but luckily for them, they have Freeman waiting and ready to be an every-down back.
The Falcons signed running back Stevan Ridley and promoted running back Terron Ward from their practice squad. Both are bad signs for Coleman, but good signs for Freeman. Ridley has not been the same running back he was in New England and Ward is little more than organization depth. As long as the games are close while Coleman is out, Freeman will be the back on the field.
Coleman owners: sit tight, this is not a season-ender and could ultimately only be a few weeks.
Freeman owners: rejoice. Your RB1 just got even more touches and won’t come off the field unless the game is out of hand in one way or another.