It seems like it was just yesterday that former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was the highest-paid running back in the league. Today, he is a running back without a team after Atlanta released him earlier this offseason. In his two-year prime, Freeman was a great fantasy asset. In a recent best-ball draft, I noticed that Freeman wasn't even selected at all. I get that he doesn't have a team, but I do think he could have a few weeks of fantasy value this season, making him an interesting best-ball option.
Freeman has two things that he does well that can help fantasy owners: pass-catching and scoring near the goal-line. In a three-season span between 2015 and 2017, Freeman scored 35 touchdowns. Injuries (foot & knee) have slowed Freeman down. Given his hard-nosed running style, he's also sustained concussions.
Freeman will never be a lead back again. His concussion history is scary, but he could still help in a few select fantasy situations. Florida State reporter Mike Settle thinks the former Seminoles back could be a nice fit with the Arizona Cardinals:
"He could provide a 1-2-3 punch on the ground with Drake and Kyler Murray. He may not be the feature back in the desert, but he could end up having a career resurgence in the potentially potent Cardinals offense."
Settle makes a very good point here. I also think a team like the Bears would also be a good fit. Bears running back David Montgomery did not look good in his rookie season, averaging fewer than four yards a carry. Tarik Cohen is used primarily in the passing game. Chicago's offense could use a back like Freeman since he can still get some work done between the tackles and catch passes. If Nick Foles is named the Bears starting quarterback, Freeman would be a perfect fit.
Another potential landing spot for Freeman is with Tom Brady. The Buccaneers have the uninspired Ronald Jones in the backfield, and they just drafted Ke'Shawn Vaughn. The rookie Vaughn is a player I like, but I could see Freeman as part of a committee. Some have suggested Freeman sign with the Eagles, but they already have a ton of backs on their roster, and Miles Sanders should be the clear-cut guy. I think Freeman could very well end up back in his hometown of Mami and play for the Dolphins. In Miami, he would have to compete with for snaps with Jordan Howard and Matt Breida. Seattle could be an option as well.
Finally, I could see Freeman back in Atlanta on a cheaper deal. Todd Gurley is not a picture of health, so more reinforcements will be needed. Regardless of what happens, Freeman should be drafted in best-ball leagues, his ability to catch and score touchdowns should make your optimized roster several times during the season.
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