Devonta Freeman will have plenty of opportunity to prove his value immediately. A left hamstring injury is likely to sideline veteran starter Steven Jackson for the bulk of the preseason, allowing Freeman and Jacquizz Rodgers to receive more backfield reps in training camp and exhibition games. Freeman already has shown flashes of his ability to be an every-down back. (ESPN)
FF Today's Take:Jackson suffered a left hamstring injury - the same one that cost him four games last year - on Tuesday. HC Mike Smith didn't offer much of a timeline, other than that the veteran is expected back for Week 1. At any rate, the Falcons have been thrilled with Freeman thus far and he should be expected to contribute even with a healthy (and aging) Jackson. Freeman only figures to see his fantasy stock rise to high-end RB4 status before the end of the preseason.
Will S-Jax share carries with Freeman?-- Mon Jun 30 3:15 pm --
Veteran turns 31 in July; rookie stood out in OTAs
Steven Jackson is the starter. He turns 31 next month and probably has one good season left in him -- but if he is slowed by nagging injuries, the Falcons will turn to someone else. They drafted Devonta Freeman in the fourth round with thoughts of grooming him as the three-down back of the future. If he looks as good in pads as he did in shorts, Jackson might have a battle on his hands. Even the battle for the third running back will be interesting with Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith in the mix.(ESPN)
FF Today's Take:It'd be a bit surprising if Jackson loses significant touches to Freeman if he manages to stay healthy because Jackson is the only back on the roster that allows the Falcons to play more physical - an area that was lacking in 2013 because of a poor offensive line and Jackson's hamstring injury. However, Freeman looks to be the clear No. 2 option right now and may open the season as the third-down back while also stealing about 30 percent of the regular backfield snaps.