It's a Sunday morning in August, and you're at the grocery store. Being the lazy person that you are, you strictly eat cereal every morning.
You meander over to the cereal aisle with some Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles on your mind, avoiding all of the organic devil food on the way. You get to the cereal section, and the stress immediately overtakes you. You can feel yourself start to sweat. You think you're going to crumble under the pressure.
Bran Flakes: 3 for the price of 1.
Now you're in a predicament. Nobody really wants Bran Flakes. Okay, nobody with a soul really wants Bran Flakes (looking at you, Andy Dalton).
They're 3 for 1 though. That would last you a while, and with this deal it's not going to cost you much.
I'll take the stupid Bran Flakes. Whatever.
Luckily you already got a pound of lobster and a couple filets before that, so it makes the stupid Bran Flakes hurt less. Regardless, you could be happier.
You get home, crack open the bag of stupid Bran Flakes, and inside is a 24 carat gold Rolex watch.
That's unexpected. Probably even makes you feel a little dirty, but you're definitely going to roll with it.
This is how every single owner felt who drafted Devonta Freeman in 2015.
I saw zero hype around Freeman. The Falcons drafted Tevin Coleman, and he was supposed to be the man. Freeman's rookie year was nothing special, but I guess he had a chance to start.
It got to the point that you may have ended up drafting Freeman just because he was still there. A possible starting running back available in the 7th or 8th round? Eh, sure, whatever. You probably got pretty good value because no one was impressed with him. Plus, his name has some zing to it. That can never hurt.
You know the story after that. Coleman gets hurt, and Freeman erupts. All of the owners that basically drafted him by accident start rejoicing in the streets.
I hated it. I hated that Freeman was so incredible last year.
However, I don't hate him this year. And I hate that I don't.
P.S. Le'Veon Bell was the lobster. Brandin Cooks was all of the filets.
According to FantasyPros, Freeman is currently ranked 17th overall in standard leagues and 15th overall in Point-Per-Reception (PPR) leagues. I have him a little higher: 15th in Standard and 11th in PPR. Not a big difference, but I expected to be much lower than the consensus on Freeman this season.
I just can't be.
He was the number one fantasy running back last season by a wide margin. He had only 1,061 rushing yards, but added another 578 receiving yards on 73 receptions. He ended up with 11 rushing touchdowns and 3 receiving touchdowns which really vaulted him to the top of the fantasy leaderboards.
Freeman got hurt against the Colts last year, and Coleman ended up coming in and doing a decent job: 35 carries for 158 yards combined between the Colts game and the following game against the Vikings.
As soon as Freeman came back, he was the workhorse again. In the following three games, Freeman had 61 touches compared to Coleman's...11.
That's really all the proof I need. Coleman was, at that time, capable of handling his share of the running back duties, and he averaged just over 3 touches per game compared to 20-ish for Freeman.
Freeman is the guy.
The Falcons brought in Alex Mack at center, which is a major upgrade for the team and for Freeman's production. They didn't do much to improve their defense, but that's fine with me because that means it'll be shootout city again, and Freeman's 73 receptions show that that's good news bears for him.
Yes, good news bears is a thing. Well, now it is at least.
Honestly I've been in emotional pain the entire time I've been writing this. I don't want to like Freeman. I want to run away from him.
The production last year was just too good, and I have no formidable reason to think it'll change.
Sign me up.