The Atlanta Falcons backfield took a hit on Friday when it was announced that running back Devonta Freeman would miss Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings due to a concussion, per NFL.com's Michael Fabiano.
It also hurts fantasy owners everywhere, who were enjoying a big season from Freeman, as ESPN Stats & Info shows:
Now Atlanta will turn to rookies Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward as the team's main rushers on Sunday as fantasy owners have two backs to target this week. Let's take a look at their fantasy outlook moving forward.
Coleman started the season as one of Atlanta's featured backs, rushing the ball 20 times for 80 yards in Week 1. But after a rib injury sidelined him for two weeks, along with the emergence of Freeman, Coleman's reps fell drastically.
It didn't help that he fumbled twice in just 59 carries this season.
In five games, Coleman had just 13 carries before Freeman's injury. Stepping into the starter's role now, Coleman should see plenty more of the ball, as Fabiano points out:
Almost averaging four yards per carry, Coleman could put together some decent numbers. The problem is, he'll be facing a Vikings defense that allows an average of 13.0 points per game against running backs, seventh-lowest in the league.
For teams that are looking to replace Freeman, Coleman is a nice option as an RB2, but don't expect a huge output.
Ward doesn't have much to show on his fantasy football resume for owners to pick him up this week. He's had just 21 carries on the season—and 19 of them came during Week 4 against the Houston Texans.
In that game he did pick up 72 yards and a touchdown, but I'd expect him to get a minority of the reps with Coleman getting another chance in the backfield.
Ward has shown that he can catch the ball out of the backfield and could provide an option for quarterback Matt Ryan out of the flat with eight receptions on the season. But he just hasn't shown the consistency that would warrant a pick up for fantasy teams.
If Coleman is battling turnover issues or goes down, then picking Ward would become a more feasible option.
Game stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Fantasy stats courtesy of ESPN.com.