Fantasy Slant: Falcons Make Devonta Freeman NFL's Highest-Paid Running Back

By Vincent Frank on Thursday, August 10th 2017
Fantasy Slant: Falcons Make Devonta Freeman NFL's Highest-Paid Running Back

The Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday made Devonta Freeman the highest-paid running back in the NFL, signing him to a five-year, $41.3 million deal with $22 million guaranteed. For Freeman, it's a raise that has been in the cards for a long time. It also tells us something significant about the future of this team at the running back position. 

Last season saw Freeman split time with fellow young running back Tevin Coleman. In reality, the splits were not that close last season. 

Touch Distribution 2016
Player Rush Rec Touches
Devonta Freeman 227 54 281
Tevin Coleman 118 31 149

By making Freeman the highest-paid running back in the NFL, Atlanta has surely shown its hand here. The team fully intends on using him as a near three-down back moving forward. 

A player that has put up 3,175 total yards on 619 touches over the past two seasons, an expected uptick in touches should help him continue to dominate from a fantasy perspective. He's averaging 5.2 yards per touch and one touchdown per 22.9 touches over the past two seasons.

If Freeman were to hit the 350-touch plateau, almost like we saw in 2015, we're looking at a guy that could very well put up 1,800-plus total yards to go with 16 touchdowns. Considering he's finished as a top-six fantasy running back in each of the past two seasons, that would be a major fantasy boon.

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