Fantasy Football Mailbag: Monday 7/18/16

Is Tevin Coleman worth keeping? And do the Lions offer any fantasy football value entering the season?

Fantasy football research never stops, and offseason news can really complicate things, especially when coaches talk up second- and third-string players. That's why we're starting up a fantasy football mailbag.

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Now, let's answer some questions.

I'm a bigger Tevin Coleman fan than most, but Coleman is -- objectively -- a sound keeper if the draft cost is the 15th round. Coleman is, on average, taken as the last pick of the eighth round in 12-team standard leagues, according to Fantasy Football Calculator, so a 15th-round swap offers great value.

But in case you needed more reassurance, there's buzz that the team wants to reduce Devonta Freeman's workload this year and give Coleman more touches. That's probably justified. Although Freeman posted some elite numbers last season, he was legitimately awful at times, too.

Through Week 11 last season, Freeman -- on 167 carries -- owned a Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) score of 21.98, which would have been the best mark among 47 backs with at least 95 carries last season had he stopped there. Per carry, Freeman (0.13) would have ranked second behind David Johnson (0.15), and his 48.50% Rushing Success Rate (the percentage of carries that boosted NEP) would have ranked third.

After Week 11, Freeman accounted for a Rushing NEP of -14.52 on 97 carries. That -0.15 per carry mark would have tied for 44th (out of 47) with Antonio Andrews. His Success Rate was just 29.90%. Only Chris Polk (28.28%) had a mark lower than 32.67% in this group.

Simply put, Freeman was amazing for a few weeks but graded out as one of the worst backs in the league during the last few weeks in 2015 and as a rookie in 2014. If Coleman does get more work, Freeman's inefficiencies could render him a receiver first and a rusher second. Coleman is definitely worth it.

First things first: that's a quality avatar. But yeah, there is value to be had in Detroit.

Marvin Jones might be the biggest value at the receiver position this season. Ameer Abdullah really turned things around last year during the second half and gets an improved offensive line to run behind. We project Golden Tate to push for more than 110 catches this season.

Even tight end Eric Ebron is looking like a pretty solid value with some big upside, and short-yardage rusher Zach Zenner could provide some deep-league value if things break his way.

There are a lot of reasons to like this offense and a lot of cheap ways to gain exposure to it during your drafts.

One wrinkle that could throw off everything is whether or not free agent running back Arian Foster signs with the team. Foster is expected to visit the team this week, and even though his performance suggests his best days are long behind him, forcing him into a role could throw things off for fantasy football purposes.

But if that doesn't happen, the Lions offer plenty of fantasy value entering the 2016 season.

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