Why You Should Draft Tevin Coleman

by Bobby Shepherd
Why You Should Draft Tevin Coleman

Last year it was no secret, the Falcons offense struggled at times in the absence of Kyle Shannahan. This led to a regression in most of the overall fantasy value of their players. Tevin Coleman still managed to finish as the RB22.

Many people, myself included, believe that Steve Sarkisian can improve his play calling this year. Which is why Tevin Coleman's ADP of 66 overall and RB28 makes him an excellent value.

Why You Should Draft Tevin Coleman

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The case for 2018

His Workload

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Coleman was drafted in 2015, which you may remember was the year Devonta Freeman took the league by storm. Since then, Coleman proved himself just as effective as Freeman. As a result, every year since then Coleman has increased his touches.

As he gains more opportunity, his efficiency remains at an elite level. Both Freeman and Coleman have a career average of 4.3 yards per carry. However, Coleman has a career average of 12.2 yards per catch to Freeman's career average of 8.2.

There were really no major offseason moves outside of the draft and contract extensions so we can expect this offense to be pretty similar to what it was last year. I expect, as most experts do, an increase in the overall efficiency of the offense this year. As a result, Coleman likely outperforms his ADP of RB28. We should view him as having stand-alone value whether you handcuff him to Freeman or not.

Freeman's Health

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Injuries are bad for the sport as a whole. They are bad for players, fans, and fantasy owners. That said, in a fantasy draft it is hard not to take them into account. Freeman isn't particularly injury prone, but running backs get banged up a lot. Freeman did miss two full games and most of a third game last year with a concussion. And if he gets another concussion, he could miss a lot more time than people might think.

Were Freeman to miss any time again, Coleman immediately becomes a must-start player in any format. Last year while Freeman was out, Coleman averaged 20 touches per game with 243 scrimmage yards and 4 touchdowns. So if his stand-alone value wasn't enough, he has also proven to be one of the most capable handcuffs in football.

Free Agency in 2019

I love Coleman as an under-rated back based on his ADP this year. But his true value comes in keeper and dynasty formats. I've been able to demonstrate his value for 2018, but there is a chance for a massive increase in value for 2019.

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Recent Free Agency Impacts

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Last year, Jerick Mckinnon went undrafted in most fantasy leagues but took over the passing work for the Vikings when Dalvin Cook suffered a season-ending knee injury. He posted relatively unimpressive numbers with 3.8 yards per rush and 8.3 yards per reception.

The reason McKinnon is relevant is the contract he received this offseason. He got a four year 30 million dollar contract with a guaranteed 18 million. McKinnon's major improvement in scenery also dramatically impacted his ADP. This year he is at 21 overall and the RB14.

Last year Dion Lewis had an ADP of RB54. Lewis had a respectable 4.8 yards per carry and 8.1 yards per reception in his career, but is injury prone, missing 42 of 96 games since joining the league. After his first season not devastated by injuries, he received a 19.8 million dollar contract to sign with Tennessee with 8.25 million guaranteed. His ADP has now cut in half - drafting as an RB27.

There is likely to be a lot of interest in a running back with good stats and a limited injury history. As a result, the Falcons may have an issue retaining Coleman with all of the contract extensions that they have given recently and still need to give. If it comes down to paying Julio Jones or paying Tevin Coleman I think we all know the decision they'll make.

Possible Landing Spots

There are always many teams in the NFL looking for a player of Coleman's consistency and limited injury history. There is often a lot of turnaround in the NFL and while his prospects may seem limited now, there are several teams who could be in need next year.

Possible landings spots for a player of Coleman's talent are tough to predict, but teams in need are everywhere. Oakland could use a younger more consistent back with better pass catching ability. Buffalo might be in the market for a proven veteran if McCoy's off-the-field distractions limit his effectiveness. Even Pittsburgh might need a new running back if they can't find a way to close a deal with Le'Veon Bell.

The Takeaway

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Even if he remains on the Falcons after this year he will remain a solid flex option week in and week out. Should Tevin Coleman find himself in a situation that increases his workload, he will most likely be a highly sought after pick next year.

He is an excellent player to draft this year as he has solid projections this year. But in a league where you can keep him, he has a chance to massively increase his value.

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Draft Kit Page for more advice to prepare for the 2018 season.

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