Alright, alright I will be the first one to admit that this is a complete reach but I do think this comparison holds water. Devonta Freeman a 2x Pro Bowler and former touchdown leader in 2015; now considered by most of the dynasty community as a top fantasy asset wasn’t always the star he is today. When Freeman was a rookie he played limited snaps but in those snaps, he never really showed flashes of greatness, the idea he would become the player he is today was not a popular opinion. I mean rookie running backs coming onto the scene and being great seems to have become the norm in today’s NFL and in 2017 that is truer than ever. Wayne Gallman has been well… mediocre, he hasn’t been bad but despite that, he was given a great chance to take over the starting job in New York he has not come through. With other Rookies like Fournette, McCaffrey, Cook, Hunt, and Kamara showing signs of real greatness the expectations of these rookie running backs have just gotten out of hand in the dynasty community. I’m just here to plead my case that despite Gallman not living up to expectations these other running backs have set, you can look to a man named Devonta Freeman for hope Gallman will bring you success in 2018.
As you can see Freeman and Gallman’s combine numbers are VERY identical, it is actually remarkable how similar they are. Athletically without pads, there is practically no difference between these two, but the real comparison of athleticism as we know is made on the field. In Gallman’s small sample size he has shown flashes of this quickness and athleticism that seems reminiscent of Freeman. When looking at their size the obvious difference is in their height as Gallman is 3 inches taller than Freeman but despite that, they are both relatively small backs. Freeman, in my opinion, does have a better build for a running back as he is a little stockier than Gallman and uses his height and balance to his advantage. But I do not think Gallman’s size will be detrimental to his NFL success what so ever.
In my original pre-draft research, my comparison to Freeman actually originated from comparing their college careers and not their combine numbers. This comparison taking stats out of it, for now, was an easy one to make. Two running backs from ACC powerhouses, All-ACC members, and finally college football national championships. Both players were very instrumental in their team’s success but were not the stars of their teams. With players like Jameis Winston, Kelvin Benjamin, Deshaun Watson, and Mike Williams it is easy to see how these players went under the radar. As far as their college numbers there are some resemblances but you may have to look for it. At first glance, it looks like Gallman was much more prolific but it is much closer than it seems. Gallman, as you can see below, had more yards and TDs in his JR and SR year. But Freeman did not get nearly as many carries as Gallman so in this case, I look at the average YPC. Freeman has much better numbers here with a very impressive 5.9 YPC both years but with less carries that numbers tend to be a little higher. Still, Gallman’s YPC is a good bit lower and can’t be completely attributed to more carries so I’d give Freeman the edge there. But you also can’t ignore the fact that Gallman’s success blows Freeman’s year out of the water as a whole. Another comparison you may look at from a pure number standpoint is Scrimmage. Both players are duel threat backs and in their senior years, their yards and TDs were almost the same. In these stats, you can make the argument for either of these players which were more successful but one thing is for sure both were instrumental to their national champion teams.
Finally, let’s compare the underwhelming rookie seasons by these two backs. In this case, you can clearly see in just about every way Gallman had a better season than Freeman but just like in college he was given more carries. One argument you can make against Gallman was he was given much more of an opportunity and even a start but didn’t lock up the job. But this did not slow down Gallman, he showed a lot of talent this season as did Freeman. Both also showed to be capable receivers in their rookie years but Freeman showed to be more reliable than Gallman did. Neither were anything special by any means but given limited opportunities, it’s not fair to make an assumption either way about these two.
Alright like I was saying, in the beginning, comparing Gallman to a pro bowl running back is a tough comparison to make. But as you can see the relation between the 2 players is easy to see even if the NFL production isn’t there yet for Gallman. If you don’t have any Gallman shares look to acquire them on the cheap. Who knows if he will be anything but with the Giants hiring a new coach and turning that offense around Gallman could find himself in a featured role. Don’t do anything crazy to acquire him but I think he could be had for a 3rd rounder in most leagues. He is no guarantee but if he can come out next season and have anything like the second year Freeman had you will be thrilled you made the move.