UPDATE: Recent reports suggest that Jacquizz Rodgers will start Week 17, but many believe that he will split the carries with Devonta Freeman. Keep in mind there is risk in starting either rusher, and the team could lean on the hot hand in Week 17. That said, everything we said below applies, as Freeman is a super sleeper of the future, but as this recent report suggests, the Falcons are very capable of mishandling the situation and wasting Freeman’s talents. Start either rusher at your own risk in Week 17, but we sure hope we see Freeman get his chance to get starter carries so that he can prove that he is a special talent that has been trapped in a situation where he has not been used properly. Looking for Week 17 Power Rankings?
PREVIOUS UPDATE: Devonta Freeman was one of our breakout candidates this year, and unfortunately, the Falcons failed to utilize his talents. This is a complete oversight on their part, and we are hoping Freeman gets enough work in Week 17 to prove us right. He is a dynamic rusher with tons of RB2 upside if given the carries. If you need a secret weapon of a flex in Week 17, this might be your guy. Be certain to check back on Steven Jackson’s status heading into Week 17, but if S-Jax sits, and if Atlanta is smart, they will unleash the player we had hoped to see all season long. Looking for Week 17 Power Rankings?
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!
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