According to ESPN, Falcons RB Steven Jackson enters 2014 as the team’s starter, but the Falcons plan is to groom rookie Devonta Freeman as the future three-down back.
SMITTY: While we still need to see Devonta Freeman take an NFL snap, he is a promising young rookie running back. He isn’t a big runner, as he stands 5-8, 206 pounds, but the position is changing. Smaller backs are the new trend, and I firmly believe Atlanta will give Freeman every opportunity to grab the starting gig by mid-season (if not sooner). Freeman looks like one of the better rookie rushers for 2014, even if some rookie rushers have more long-term upside. If you ask me, Tre Mason is the most talented rookie in this 2014 rookie running back class, but he has Zac Stacy, a top 8-12 caliber fantasy/NFL rusher, sitting in front of him. Now, despite Stacy being a serious talent, I eventually see Mason thriving in this league. Bishop Sankey is really the only rookie rusher walking into a better immediate situation than Freeman. Terrence West, my second favorite rusher from this 2014 rookie class, has Ben Tate (potenital top 10 fantasy rusher this year) sitting in front of him, and Carlos Hyde still has Frank Gore and still-promising Marcus Lattimore sitting in front of him. West and Hyde will both likely thrive in time, maybe even as soon as 2015, but Freeman has strong immediate upside entering this upcoming season. Our 2014 fantasy football cheat sheets are 2014-ready, so see where all these guys rank!