Tevin Coleman Fantasy
The San Francisco 49ers announced March 14th that they have signed former Atlanta Falcon Tevin Coleman to a two-year, $10 million contract. Coleman comes to San Francisco with a very familiar face. Current Niners Head Coach Kyle Shanahan is the former Offensive Coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons. Those two spent two years together. One of those years was the notorious run to the Super Bowl where they lost to the New England Patriots. It was arguably Coleman’s best season as a pro, and one where he made a name for himself and solidified his role in the NFL. How will Coleman signing with the Niners affect him and the rest of the team’s fantasy value? Let’s take a look.
Tevin Coleman Fantasy Impact Leaving
The impact this will have on the Falcons offensive weapons as a whole is a bit of a mystery. Freeman, who missed most of the season and watched Coleman get the majority of the work in his absence, should be back to full health to start the season. There isn’t much doubt that when he returns, he will have the job as the top back in the Atlanta backfield. The pass-catching options in the likes of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley won’t be affected as much as the other running back on the Falcons roster, Ito Smith. Smith didn’t register a start in his rookie campaign, but he did appear in 14 games and shown some flashes. In the games that he had double-digit carries, he averaged just about 4.5 yards per carry. Not terrible considering the Falcons line was average at best. Smith did catch 27 of 32 passes thrown his way as well, which will be a void to fill with Coleman gone. Overall, Freeman, who is in a contract year, should get the biggest overall boost in the Atlanta offense as he looks to prove he’s worth another big contract in next years offseason.
Tevin Coleman Fantasy Impact Joining
Coleman spent his rookie year in 2015 with Shanahan, as well as 2016 where they made it all the way to the Super Bowl. That year was Coleman and the Falcons most successful year. Coleman alone rushed for eight touchdowns and did quite a bit of damage through the air. He had 421 receiving yards which is the most he’s had in his four years in the NFL. That’s where he will do the most damage with the 49ers. Expect Coleman to keep a similar role that he had in Atlanta. A pass catcher out of the backfield who will is capable of coming in and wearing down a defense on the ground. He is also more than capable of providing a clean pocket for his quarterback, which they will need as Jimmy Garoppolo is coming off a season that he missed with a torn ACL. If you’re looking for Coleman to be a workhorse back and carry your fantasy team, you’re not looking in the right spot.
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During the 2018 offseason, the 49ers agreed to a deal with former Minnesota Viking Jerick McKinnon to a four-year, $36 million contract. Unfortunately, McKinnon wasn’t able to see the field due to a torn ACL he suffered before the season started. That left the Niners backfield in question. Who was going to step up in his absence? With the arrival of Coleman, this puts McKinnon’s status in a bit of a question. What role will McKinnon take on now? Both Coleman and McKinnon posses similar playing styles. Both are good at catching the ball out of the backfield, and both are very good in space. McKinnon gives up a lot of size compared to Coleman. McKinnon, who stands just five-foot nine-inches and 205 lb., to Coleman’s six-foot one-inch 210 lb. build, is quite a bit of a difference. Coleman, with his size, is able to dish out some more punishment than McKinnon. Both have a place on the roster, and I believe we may see a Freeman/Coleman type combination in San Francisco with these two. McKinnon has shown he can hold up to an NFL workload, despite the season-ending injury last year. Prior to that, the prior three years McKinnon appeared in 47 of 48 games. Expect him to be healthy and ready to win the “Freeman role” in San Francisco.
Matt Breida filled in quite nicely for McKinnon when he was forced to miss the entire 2018 season. Brieda, who started in 13 of the 14 games he appeared in, was not nearly healthy for the majority of those games either. He spent many weeks dealing with nagging injuries and couldn’t appear to hold up to the NFL game. Is that enough reason to take the job away from Breida? Coleman’s role should already be laid out for us, but is Breida’s role now diminished? With McKinnon coming back, it may be. Breida and McKinnon appear to be heading toward similar roles and with the amount of running backs the 49ers currently own, it will be a battle to watch to see which back comes out on top. One of these two may be the odd man out by the time the 2019 season rolls around.
Jimmy Garoppolo & Pass Catchers
Jimmy Garoppolo, like McKinnon, is also coming off a season-ending ACL tear. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see what Garoppolo could do with a full season as the starting quarterback. If all goes well, we should get our wish. George Kittle established himself and an elite tight end in 2018, though, outside of Pettis, no receiver truly emerged as a stable option. Garoppolo should enjoy those weapons. Now, in steps Coleman who will provide a good pass-catching option out of the backfield, as well as a capable pass blocker. He had his ups and downs last year in that aspect of the game, but overall, Coleman excels at pass blocking. That’ll be key in protecting Garoppolo, as the Niners had one of the worst interior lines in football last year. Coleman should see a lot of third-down work considering his skill in pass protection and his ability to catch the ball. This may even take some coverage away from his new teammate Kittle. Overall, it should boost Garoppolo’s value, as well as the pass-catching options in San Francisco.
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