1. Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons
A recent fixture on the “That Helps No One” segment of NFL Network’s fantasy show, Smith had 11 carries against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6 while scoring a touchdown for the third straight game. He also has at least two catches in three of the last four games.
Devonta Freeman missed time with a knee injury earlier this year, and a more recent foot injury has now landed him on injured reserve. It’s not clear if he needs surgery or if he’ll be able to return in or around Week 15, but Smith is in line for a solid role in a very good offense for the balance of the meaningful fantasy season this year.
Tevin Coleman has not been particularly impressive so far this year (3.7 yards per carry, three total touchdowns), so the nearly equal touch split from Week 6 (11 touches for Coleman, 13 for Smith) could start to shift a little more toward Smith going forward.
Smith is looking like he’ll push into low-end RB2 territory in all fantasy leagues now, with the potential for more if Coleman continues to underachieve or if he were to go down to injury. That’s why Smith is atop this list in the final version, after being mid-pack before the news on Freeman surfaced.
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