Tevin Coleman was a touchdown monster in week three on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. It was a shootout in the Bayou, as the Falcons beat their divisional rivals by a score of 45-32. Coleman punched in three scored while rushing for 42 yards and caught three passes for another 47 yards. For fantasy football owners in PPR leagues, that is 29.9 points.
But this week the Falcons will be hosting the Carolina Panthers. While a Falcons vs. Saints game screams slug-fest, a game against Carolina will not have the same outlook. So despite the monster game in week three, let’s take a closer look at Coleman before you immediately slide him into your starting lineup this week.
First things first, Atlanta deploys a committee approach with their running backs. DeVonta Freeman is still the lead back for the Falcons. Coleman is the goal lineman and the pass catcher. Coleman is not a big time runner, as he has yet to break four yards on a single carry this season. So when it comes to starting or sitting Freeman, we need to examine the Panthers’ run defense when it comes to allowing touchdowns and how backs do in the passing game against them.
In regards to the running game, the Panthers have allowed three rushing touchdowns on the season. One of those came from a quarterback in Blaine Gabbert. The other two came on opening night against the Denver Broncos. One of those came from 28 yards out, while the other was from a yard out. As a run defense as a whole, the unit is extremely solid, not allowing a 100-yard rusher yet this season. So with only one goal line rushing touchdown, and a unit that is pretty solid against the run, a touchdown is far from a given this week for Coleman.
So will he be able to get any value out of the passing game? Week one saw CJ Anderson catch four for 47 and a touchdown against Carolina. Carlos Hyde had three for 18 in week two. And last week the Vikings backs were each held to a single reception each for a total of six yards. So aside from Anderson, who had a great week one, the Panthers have been stopping the running backs each week.
So when all is said and done, do not be blinded by last week when you set your lineup for this one. Last week’s match-up was scheduled to be a high scoring affair from the start. Freeman benefited from a Saints defense that is virtually non-existent. This week will not be as lucky with the Panthers in town. Look for something around 15 yards with two receptions for 20 more. In other words, sit him on your fantasy football team this week.