Devonta Freeman's Fantasy Stock Boosted by Two 1st Round Lineman Additions - Roto Street Journal
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Devonta Freeman’s Fantasy Stock Boosted by Two 1st Round Lineman Additions

Joe Mixon wasn’t the only running back who benefited from his team adding to their respective offensive line during the draft. Falcons RB Devonta Freeman was an additional winner thanks to his team’s dedication to drafting two linemen. Yes, Atlanta took both OG Chris Lindstrom and OT Kaleb McGary in the first round. These two studs will start right away and complete the league’s only all-first round offensive line — which should make life much easier for both Freeman and Matt Ryan. 

Albeit first rounders, linemen entering the NFL naturally don’t get the same exposure as skill position and fantasy relevant players, which is why we always turn to draft expert Dane Brugler for his input:

On Lindstrom:

“Lindstrom is a stout pass protector on the interior, understanding angles and staying square to defenders. Overall, Lindstrom moves well with the smarts and toughness to stalemate NFL defenders, projecting as an immediate starting guard at the next level.”

Also on McGary:

“Overall, McGary’s on-field reps aren’t always pretty, but they are mostly effective, using his mobility and play strength to tie up edge defenders, projecting as a right tackle (similar to Mitchell Schwartz) ready to compete for immediate starting reps.”

Bolstering the line should only help one of the NFL’s better offenses continue to hum with so many skill guys ready to produce. Offensive line has generally been a problem in Atlanta (see Super Bowl 52), so helping franchise QB Matt Ryan stay on his feet, and giving him more time to spread the ball around to his weapons will only benefit everyone. However, the biggest help to Freeman’s buzz and increased stock comes from the departure of long time committee-mate Tevin Coleman, who left for San Francisco. This leaves former vulture extraordinaire Ito Smith to compete for touches with Freeman — who will be returning with fresh legs off of his groin injury that put him on the IR after Week 5.

Freeman is a guy who’s likely to see his stock dip after some disappointing seasons and nagging injuries, but don’t overlook an improved offensive line in one of the league’s best offenses, while also handling a large number of touches. There’s some good upside here for a guy not far removed from three straight RB1 seasons.

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