Fantasy Football: Falcons' Devonta Freeman ruled out vs. Panthers

Sept. 14 (UPI) — Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will not play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday due to a knee injury.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn announced Freeman’s status for the NFC South clash on Friday.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection had six carries for 36 yards and three receptions for 14 yards in the Falcons’ Week 1 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

He left the game early and was announced as questionable to return after suffering the right knee injury. Freeman did not practice this week.

Fantasy Football Outlook

Freeman was my No. 17 running back for the week before the news broke that he was not playing against the Panthers. Obviously Tevin Coleman moves up in my list in this matchup. Coleman can be used as an RB2 or a flex in deeper leagues while facing the Panthers, who still boast a strong run defense, allowing just 75 yards on 17 carries to Dallas Cowboys running backs in Week 1. The Panthers also allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs last season.

Coleman had nine carries for 19 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. He also had a 26-yard reception. He had just 21 yards on 11 carries in the Falcons’ regular season-ending win against the Panthers last season.

Coleman also had just five yards on five carries in the Falcons’ Week 9 loss to the Panthers during the 2017 season, but salvaged that game with a 19 yard touchdown reception. While the news of Freeman’s absence definitely elevates Coleman’s stock for Week 2, don’t expect anything more than RB2 production.

“You know our value of T-Co,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters Thursday. “We highly regard him. We have been down this road before, if it gets to that.”

The Falcons and Panthers kickoff at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

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