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Devonta Freeman, RB (ATL)

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Redraft, Freeman's got zero value even as a handcuff. Don't believe it, look at the long TD run by Antone Smith. Atlanta's not going to keep forcing the issue with Freeman averaging one yard per carry, awful in pass pro. Handcuff's only have value when there is a clear path to starter reps. Dynasty he's definitely a buy low if your still believe.

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Thanks guys, you've convinced me to pull the plug on Freeman (in a re-draft). I would be fine with being patient if he was performing well in a backup role, but he really hasn't. Time to make a move.

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Rotoworld:

Falcons rookie RB Devonta Freeman rushed four times for 38 yards and caught five passes for 44 yards in Atlanta's Week 5 loss to the Giants.

The Falcons spoke openly of increasing Antone Smith's role after the game. That would probably happen at either Freeman or Quizz Rodgers' expense, or both. This was the most productive game of fourth-round pick Freeman's career to date. He's still not worth owning in 12-team fantasy leagues.
Oct 5 - 5:03 PM

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Antone smith is 29, small, and having the best performance of his career. That's not necessarily a badthing, but despite all his long touchdowns, the Falcons aren't giving him many touches. I think he's a threat top freeman developing onto the 3rd down,change of pace back role, but it doesn't seem like antone else is progressing into the lead back role. Jacquizz looked ok for a bit, but he's been disappointing. Jackson isn't exciting anyone. If there's competition for Freeman, it probably isn't on the roster yet.

Of course, that begs a couple questions. First, is rb likely to be a priority in next year's draft. I don't think so. Their biggest issues right now are on the o line and all across the defense. If they draft a back, it doesn't seem likely they'd use an early pick on one.

Second, with baker coming back, matthews gating a year of experience and sjax getting a year older, the opportunity may be a lot better next year and beyond.

This, freeman is averaging about two catches for 20 yards rack well, in addition to about 4 yards per carry that is delayed by late game carries in the blowout against Tampa. Outside that game he looks very good so far, albeit on limited work.

So I'm actually pretty bullish on his dynasty prospects right now, and love that his prove has come down significantly. Great time to buy imo. He may not pan out but the upside is still there.

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Rotoworld:

Devonta Freeman managed 20 yards on two carries and caught five passes for 17 yards in the Falcons' Week 7 loss to Baltimore.

Freeman continues to play ahead of Antone Smith, presumably because the Falcons have a fourth-round pick invested in Freeman and nothing invested in Smith. As a rotational back in a four-way committee that also involves Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers, Freeman offers no value in re-draft leagues.
Oct 19 - 5:39 PM

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Rotoworld:

New OC Kyle Shanahan said he "loved" RB Devonta Freeman when evaluating him as an NFL prospect last year.

Shanahan offenses are annually effective in the run game -- it's merely a question of who will be doing the running. The in-house candidates right now are dead-legged Steven Jackson and Freeman, who looked more like a passing back than a feature runner as a rookie. But if Shanny sees it differently and installs Freeman as his horse, there will be major statistical upside here. The Falcons backfield will be one of fantasy's bigger offseason storylines.

Related: Steven Jackson

Source: Jay Adams on Twitter
Feb 10 - 12:18 PM

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Red shirted him last year, and optimistic about a payoff this year. I think he gets a shot. Atlanta has far too many other areas to address before RB this season, and SJax clearly looks done. The Shanahan love is a big bonus. Hopefully they beef up the OL a bit, and Freeman himself sees improvement over last year. Didnt see much last year to get excited about, but the talent and solid work ethic seemed to be pretty evident at FSU. Not ready to count on him as a RB2 or even a flex right away, but high hopes for him to ascend into that territory this season and beyond.

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Isnt it funny now a season later after Freeman was UNABLE to overtake the awful SJax (as I predicted) there is now an opportunity for the Freeman supporters to finally be right in this thread. Now that SJax is 50 and a new coach is in town Freeman gets his shot. Wouldnt be surprised to see him fall on his face. He wasnt even the most explosive scat back on his team last year. Yikes.

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

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Isnt it funny now a season later after the clueless (and since fired) coaching staff could not figure out that Freeman was the better RB was UNABLE to overtake the awful SJax (as I predicted) there is now an opportunity for the Freeman supporters to finally be right in this thread. Now that SJax is 50 and a new coach is in town Freeman gets his shot. Wouldnt be surprised to see him fall on his face. He wasnt even the most explosive scat back on his team last year. Yikes.

Don't mind if I fix this for you.

Yet another dumb coaching staff that trotted out a used up RB because they signed him to a big $ contract instead of admitting the mistake and going with the better players.

Edited by lod01

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

This is a concern as he could get Gio Bernarded.

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

This is a concern as he could get Gio Bernarded.

Can't get "Gio Bernanded" if you didn't do anything significant your rookie season. Gio was being coveted as a top 5-10 dynasty RB last offseason after his rookie campaign. Freeman won't sniff anywhere close to that

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

This is a concern as he could get Gio Bernarded.

If they sign a high profile RB, or use an early pick, then it's panic time. However, They have so many needs that are greater than RB, I would be mildly surprised if they did either. They used a 4th round pick on Freeman, which these days for a RB is a relatively high pick. I suspect they will try to get a better look at what they have before using resources that they need to fill other more pressing needs than RB.

My thought is that he gets a chance to run with the job this season, and opportunity is an important first step. What he does with that opportunity is the big question.

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

This is a concern as he could get Gio Bernarded.

Can't get "Gio Bernanded" if you didn't do anything significant your rookie season. Gio was being coveted as a top 5-10 dynasty RB last offseason after his rookie campaign. Freeman won't sniff anywhere close to that
Ok, he could get Toby Gerhardt'ed.

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

This is a concern as he could get Gio Bernarded.

If they sign a high profile RB, or use an early pick, then it's panic time. However, They have so many needs that are greater than RB, I would be mildly surprised if they did either. They used a 4th round pick on Freeman, which these days for a RB is a relatively high pick. I suspect they will try to get a better look at what they have before using resources that they need to fill other more pressing needs than RB.

My thought is that he gets a chance to run with the job this season, and opportunity is an important first step. What he does with that opportunity is the big question.

It doesn't have to be a high profile RB. There are plenty of above average RB's that will be available in FA and the mid-rounds of the draft that could come in and force a share of the carries. Rashad Jennings, Ryan Matthews, Roy Helu, Knowshon, Gore, McFadden, Vereen, Ridley, Forsett, Herron, Polk - not all of those guys will re-sign with their current teams. More than a couple of them are really good fits for the Shanahan style of RB as well. The draft is also deep at RB, and there will be some quality guys available in rounds 3 and later. Freeman hasn't jumped off the page as a guy that will demand carries, so he could end up in a full-blown share or worse getting surpassed by the next Zac Stacy in the 6th round.

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

This is a concern as he could get Gio Bernarded.

If they sign a high profile RB, or use an early pick, then it's panic time. However, They have so many needs that are greater than RB, I would be mildly surprised if they did either. They used a 4th round pick on Freeman, which these days for a RB is a relatively high pick. I suspect they will try to get a better look at what they have before using resources that they need to fill other more pressing needs than RB.

My thought is that he gets a chance to run with the job this season, and opportunity is an important first step. What he does with that opportunity is the big question.

It doesn't have to be a high profile RB. There are plenty of above average RB's that will be available in FA and the mid-rounds of the draft that could come in and force a share of the carries. Rashad Jennings, Ryan Matthews, Roy Helu, Knowshon, Gore, McFadden, Vereen, Ridley, Forsett, Herron, Polk - not all of those guys will re-sign with their current teams. More than a couple of them are really good fits for the Shanahan style of RB as well. The draft is also deep at RB, and there will be some quality guys available in rounds 3 and later. Freeman hasn't jumped off the page as a guy that will demand carries, so he could end up in a full-blown share or worse getting surpassed by the next Zac Stacy in the 6th round.

I hear you, and dont disagree with your point, but my point is that unless its a high profile guy, he will likely get a legit opportunity. I dont think he got one last year. Maybe it was on him - bad practices, not picking up the offense, or lack of talent all possible. But its also possible that the staff just wasnt ready to put in a rookie when they were fighting for their jobs. I wont rule the guy out as a legit RB and fantasy commodity after just 65 total carries at the NFL level, and in fact, I personally see him as a guy you can probably get at a low cost who still carries significant upside.

ETA - My opinion would change quite a bit if they used even a 3rd or 4th round pick on a RB. With all of their needs, use of a pick this early would indicate that they see the position as one of need.

Edited by ChuckLiddell

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

This is a concern as he could get Gio Bernarded.

Can't get "Gio Bernanded" if you didn't do anything significant your rookie season. Gio was being coveted as a top 5-10 dynasty RB last offseason after his rookie campaign. Freeman won't sniff anywhere close to that

Gio didn't have an old geezer, that a coaching staff would not give up on, in front of him. Did you see their OL? 4 of 5 were on the DL a few weeks into the season.

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

This is a concern as he could get Gio Bernarded.

Can't get "Gio Bernanded" if you didn't do anything significant your rooTkie season. Gio was being coveted as a top 5-10 dynasty RB last offseason after his rookie campaign. Freeman won't sniff anywhere close to that

Gio didn't have an old geezer, that a coaching staff would not give up on, in front of him. Did you see their OL? 4 of 5 were on the DL a few weeks into the season.

Sure he did. BJGE.

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I think Sjax being washed up could be a negative for Freeman...it pretty much guarantees they will be bringing in better competition for Freeman (who I was not overly impressed with)...now whether that's a higher pick, a lower pick or a free agent is TBD...until we know Freeman's value is on-hold...

This is a concern as he could get Gio Bernarded.
Can't get "Gio Bernanded" if you didn't do anything significant your rooTkie season. Gio was being coveted as a top 5-10 dynasty RB last offseason after his rookie campaign. Freeman won't sniff anywhere close to that
Gio didn't have an old geezer, that a coaching staff would not give up on, in front of him. Did you see their OL? 4 of 5 were on the DL a few weeks into the season.

Sure he did. BJGE.

BJGE was there but the coaching staff knew he was the inferior product and Gio got action from the start. In ATL, Mike Smith and co. had no clue.

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Rotoworld:

Falcons GM Thomas believes Devonta Freeman can be the team's feature back.

Dimitroff's comments come nine days after new OC Kyle Shanahan said he "loved" Freeman as a prospect. Freeman played as small as his 5-foot-8 frame suggested as a rookie, but he checks in at over 200 pounds, and has plenty of juice. Although 2014 suggested he might be best utilized as a COP back, there's still a chance Freeman would run with bell-cow duties if given the opportunity. He's definitely a better bet for the Falcons than Steven Jackson.

Source: Vaughn McClure on Twitter
Feb 19 - 3:52 PM

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This has to be extremely encouraging for dynasty owners...

When asked if Devonta Freeman was ready to become the Falcons' feature back, GM Thomas Dimitroff said, "no question."

We figured as much after Steven Jackson was handed his walking papers on Thursday. Freeman showed flashes as a rookie, producing 248 yards on the ground and another 225 through the air. Atlanta is going to be a pass-first offense as long as Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are running the show, but Freeman should still have plenty of opportunities to contribute.

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I am not an owner of Freeman. Instead of buying on Freeman, I am going to pursue other backs in Atlanta because I don't have much faith in Freeman locking this gig down.

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I wouldn't get too excited on Freeman until we see what the Falcons do in free agency and/or the draft. While they are talking Freeman up now, it wouldn't be the first time that a GM says a guy can be a workhorse/3-down back and then promptly goes out and gets some considerable competition.

The Falcons strike me as a team that may try to lock down one of the bigger name RBs out there sometime on day one of the draft.

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I am not an owner of Freeman. Instead of buying on Freeman, I am going to pursue other backs in Atlanta because I don't have much faith in Freeman locking this gig down.

Agreed here although as it stands right now, that team sucks at running the ball.

People want to blame Sjax even though he was one of the top RB's in the league at yards after contact in 2014. Sjax did not offer any big play ability but that O line was awful and Freeman is far from a special back. Sell high.

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Over the years, my experience has always been that unless the guy left standing is a clear rising talent waiting in the wings, the odds are against you.

In this scenario, there are four basic outcomes, three of which are bad.

1. Freeman excels.

2. Falcons bring in competition in FA.

3. Falcons draft a back or two and bring in competition.

4. A. Smith just outplays Freeman, regardless.

So, 75% of the outcomes are not in your favor. Revert to Fantasy Football axiom #1. Sell High.

This is a very over simplified way of explaining my thinking but it has held up time and time again.

How many times did we think Dwill was going to take over in Carolina? Then JSTEW was going to take over in Carolina? Then Ben Tate was going to take over in Houston? Then Ben Tate was going to go somewhere else and take over? That <insert RB here> was going to take over in San Fran, San Diego, Oak, New York Giants and Jets, etc, etc?

Unless the guy you're holding is obvious, I think you have to look hard at asking "well, if MY guy (that guy I'm biased towards and maybe have a little man crush going on with) is SO good, why didn't he rise at the end of last year? Why couldn't he beat out a 30+ year old RB that everyone says is on dead legs? Basically, why didn't he already do the obvious?

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What kind of rookie pick can we expect for him?

Im guessing most owners are in for anything between 1.07-2.12 last year depending on time of draft, league scoring and starting requirements.

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Unless the guy you're holding is obvious, I think you have to look hard at asking "well, if MY guy (that guy I'm biased towards and maybe have a little man crush going on with) is SO good, why didn't he rise at the end of last year? Why couldn't he beat out a 30+ year old RB that everyone says is on dead legs? Basically, why didn't he already do the obvious?

So who is obvious, iyo?

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I wouldnt advise against selling him high if someone made a great offer, but as a current owner, I am far more optimistic than some in this thread are. Its not like he is some UDFA from a small school who came into the league as a complete unknown. This is a relatively high pick (for a RB) in a pretty stacked draft coming from a National Champion. He basically redshirted his rookie year for a team with a bad OL and a high paid vet ahead of him. He didnt impress, but he also had less than 100 touches (for roughly 500 yards and 2 TD, which is decent).

Now we see nothing but rave reviews from his GM and his new OC. Thats reason for optimism. Not every rookie excels in year 1 - especially given his circumstances.

I dont have him penciled in as a starter for me, but I am certainly not looking to trade him for a late 1st/early 2nd just so that I can draft someone who I hope may have this same opportunity at this time next year. To me, this seems like a perfect path for a late 1st/early 2nd round pick from last year. Its only Feb, but as of today he is looking like the guy to get the first crack at starters touches on a pretty good offense. Im sure that another RB will be brought in - just like the Steelers will bring in another RB, the Chiefs brought in another RB, and the Vikings brought in another RB. Unless its a 1st or 2nd round pick or a proven free agent, I personally will remain optimistic. Want a lottery ticket? How about hanging onto this guy? This is a lottery ticket where you already know the first 4 numbers.

I think people are overthinking this. This is a dynasty hold IMO, not a sell.

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Odd trend of posts. Freeman didn't show that well in 2014 for a variety of reasons including the absence of quality OLine play, a massive RBBC, and his pass protection deficiencies, a common problem for rookie backs (Tre Mason anyone?). But the offense will change significantly under the new staff, Jackson is gone, as is most everyone else, and the typical scheme of a Shanahan rushing attack fits Freeman's skillset well.

Yes, there will certainly be additions to the backfield, perhaps as many as 3. And, yes, those additions threaten Freeman's upside. And, yes, too, there are concerns that Freeman's size may not be ideal and could lead to either a limited workload or take him out of lead back consideration into more of the 3rd down role. Those concerns exist to one degree or another on most teams in transition. To me, Freeman is an opportunity with strong RB2 upside. Shanahan's lead back typically is very much worth owning and in a quality passing offense like Atlanta's figures to be even more so.

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I wouldnt advise against selling him high if someone made a great offer, but as a current owner, I am far more optimistic than some in this thread are. Its not like he is some UDFA from a small school who came into the league as a complete unknown. This is a relatively high pick (for a RB) in a pretty stacked draft coming from a National Champion. He basically redshirted his rookie year for a team with a bad OL and a high paid vet ahead of him. He didnt impress, but he also had less than 100 touches (for roughly 500 yards and 2 TD, which is decent).

Now we see nothing but rave reviews from his GM and his new OC. Thats reason for optimism. Not every rookie excels in year 1 - especially given his circumstances.

I dont have him penciled in as a starter for me, but I am certainly not looking to trade him for a late 1st/early 2nd just so that I can draft someone who I hope may have this same opportunity at this time next year. To me, this seems like a perfect path for a late 1st/early 2nd round pick from last year. Its only Feb, but as of today he is looking like the guy to get the first crack at starters touches on a pretty good offense. Im sure that another RB will be brought in - just like the Steelers will bring in another RB, the Chiefs brought in another RB, and the Vikings brought in another RB. Unless its a 1st or 2nd round pick or a proven free agent, I personally will remain optimistic. Want a lottery ticket? How about hanging onto this guy? This is a lottery ticket where you already know the first 4 numbers.

I think people are overthinking this. This is a dynasty hold IMO, not a sell.

Not heavily vested in him but I have to agree with this post. I'd hold or buy low before selling, unless I could get a mid 1st for him (which I doubt anyone would pay)

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I could see them drafting a RB, but he will still get his.

The only guys I would be worried about would be Peterson, Gordon, or Gurley, and I doubt any of them end up in Atl. Maybe Gurley.

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I wouldnt advise against selling him high if someone made a great offer, but as a current owner, I am far more optimistic than some in this thread are. Its not like he is some UDFA from a small school who came into the league as a complete unknown. This is a relatively high pick (for a RB) in a pretty stacked draft coming from a National Champion. He basically redshirted his rookie year for a team with a bad OL and a high paid vet ahead of him. He didnt impress, but he also had less than 100 touches (for roughly 500 yards and 2 TD, which is decent).

Now we see nothing but rave reviews from his GM and his new OC. Thats reason for optimism. Not every rookie excels in year 1 - especially given his circumstances.

I dont have him penciled in as a starter for me, but I am certainly not looking to trade him for a late 1st/early 2nd just so that I can draft someone who I hope may have this same opportunity at this time next year. To me, this seems like a perfect path for a late 1st/early 2nd round pick from last year. Its only Feb, but as of today he is looking like the guy to get the first crack at starters touches on a pretty good offense. Im sure that another RB will be brought in - just like the Steelers will bring in another RB, the Chiefs brought in another RB, and the Vikings brought in another RB. Unless its a 1st or 2nd round pick or a proven free agent, I personally will remain optimistic. Want a lottery ticket? How about hanging onto this guy? This is a lottery ticket where you already know the first 4 numbers.

I think people are overthinking this. This is a dynasty hold IMO, not a sell.

I agree with this. Would gladly buy him for an early 2nd in any league right now.

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If I had him I'd move him for a mid 2nd anywhere, but I didn't like him coming out and he's shown exactly what I expected so far; good enough to be the budget end of a RBBC at best! I could be eating crow later but I don't see it with Freeman.

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With a new coaching staff coming in, I would try to sell if I owned him. He was over drafted in my opinion and they won't be attached to him.

The guys who drafted him are still there (dimitroff, pioli). And like others have said the new coaches have nothing but good things to say. Falcons have too many needs to draft or sign a stud. Oline should be improved. Not a bad lotto ticket

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I think the pro-Freeman half of this discussion is forgetting who the OC is and what his MO is for RBs.

The system tends to like bruisers that get downhill in a hurry off of one cut. A brief history of the Shanahan/Kubiak/Little Shanny system:

TD - 6th Rounder (5'11" / 210lbs)

Olandis Gary - 4th Rounder (5'11" / 218lbs)

Mike Anderson - 6th Rounder (6'0" / 230lbs)

Reuben Droughns -Converted FB (5'11" / 220lbs)

Clinton Portis - 2nd Rounder (5'11" / 219lbs)

Arian Foster - Undrafted (6'1" / 227lbs)

Alfred Morris - 6th Rounder (5'10" / 224lbs)

Isaiah Crowell - Undrafted (5'11" / 225lbs)

Terrance West - 3rd Rounder (5'9" / 225lbs)

Justin Forsett - 7th Rounder - journeyman who finally broke out (5'9" / 197lbs)

Freeman - 4th Rounder (5'8" / 205lbs)

Forsett is by far the smallest of all those guys, and bounced around the league for years before actually doing anything substantial last year. The rest of them: all around 5'10-5'11" and ideally 220lbs. That's a bigger player than Freeman, and most of them didn't cost a whole lot to acquire.

My guess is Atlanta brings in competition, and as mentioned by others earlier, if it's a big, one cut guy... I'm investing.

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I think the pro-Freeman half of this discussion is forgetting who the OC is and what his MO is for RBs.

The system tends to like bruisers that get downhill in a hurry off of one cut. A brief history of the Shanahan/Kubiak/Little Shanny system:

TD - 6th Rounder (5'11" / 210lbs)

Olandis Gary - 4th Rounder (5'11" / 218lbs)

Mike Anderson - 6th Rounder (6'0" / 230lbs)

Reuben Droughns -Converted FB (5'11" / 220lbs)

Clinton Portis - 2nd Rounder (5'11" / 219lbs)

Arian Foster - Undrafted (6'1" / 227lbs)

Alfred Morris - 6th Rounder (5'10" / 224lbs)

Isaiah Crowell - Undrafted (5'11" / 225lbs)

Terrance West - 3rd Rounder (5'9" / 225lbs)

Justin Forsett - 7th Rounder - journeyman who finally broke out (5'9" / 197lbs)

Freeman - 4th Rounder (5'8" / 205lbs)

Forsett is by far the smallest of all those guys, and bounced around the league for years before actually doing anything substantial last year. The rest of them: all around 5'10-5'11" and ideally 220lbs. That's a bigger player than Freeman, and most of them didn't cost a whole lot to acquire.

My guess is Atlanta brings in competition, and as mentioned by others earlier, if it's a big, one cut guy... I'm investing.

My guess is that Ryan Mathews ends up there. I don't believe he'll command a ton of money, and will fit the system.

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How do we feel about Freeman after no significant adds in free agency? He should be locked into some kind of meaningful role, even if they draft a back, right?

Talk to me this time next week.

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Even if the draft a RB? I mean with the amount of rumors coo I g out that Atl might draft Gurley. Yeah, not anywhere near out of the woods yet.

There are a bunch of rookie RBs who can hurt his value. Anyone drafted round 3 or sooner.

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I'd definitely look at deals trading him off if I owned him.No idea what you can expect in a deal.

I don't think odds are good he walks from the draft w/o at least an early down committee partner. Probably can't even discount a RB drafted late rounds as significant competition given success of RBs drafted during Shanahan's OC stops Slaton (3rd), Foster (UDFA), Morris(6th), Crowell (UDFA)

Edited by Craig_MiamiFL
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