• Sony Michel

  • RB
  • , New England Patriots
  • 25
  • 215 lbs
  • 5' 11"
Week 12 Projection
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  • $4000
  • 4.54
  • 1
  • $5500
  • 4.14
  • 1
  • $12
  • 4.14
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Scouting report

by Spencer Babbitt

NE RB Sony Michel - Week 4 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 4 at Kansas City Chiefs
Sony Michel finally showed signs of life in Week 3 where he broke off two long runs and eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the first time since the 2018 AFC Championship Game. As a reminder, Michel totaled 56 total rushing yards through the first two weeks so the 100-yard performance is not likely to be a regular occurrence. Michel's outlook is further dampened by the the fact that the Patriots continue to ramp up Rex Burkhead's workload and James White should return to the lineup this week. At the end of the day, Michel's situation is a total mess to project for fantasy in any given week, making him an unreliable starting option and heavily dependent on scoring touchdowns to return value.

by Spencer Babbitt

NE RB Sony Michel - Week 3 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 3 vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Game script left Sony Michel behind in Week 2 as the Patriots had to air it out with Cam Newton to keep up with Russell Wilson and company in Seattle. Michel finished with 19 scoreless yards on seven carries, showing that his floor is rock bottom in any game where New England falls behind early in the game. Alvin Kamara diced up the Raiders in Week 2, but the vast majority of his damage came in the passing game, an area where Michel offers nothing. Michel's outlook is further dampened by Cam Newton's involvement at the goal line where his quarterback has already scored three touchdowns in two weeks. Michel always has some touchdown upside as New England's ealry-down grinder, but in the end he is a risky start in fantasy.

by Spencer Babbitt

NE RB Sony Michel - Week 2 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 2 at Seattle Seahawks
Sony Michel resumed his role the lead early-down running back for New England in Week 1 by totaling 37 yards on 10 carries with a goal-line touchdown. While the touchdown salvaged Michel's day, his usage presents red flags. He carried the ball five fewer times than Cam Newton, only received three more carries than teammate Rex Burkhead and a rookie named J.J. Taylor got four carries of his own. Michel offers nothing in the passing game, thus volume and goal-line work is critical for his fantasy value. While it looks like Michel should retain some goal line looks, he will obviously lose some to Newton. Michel makes for a risky start at his current usage.

by Spencer Babbitt

NE RB Sony Michel - Week 1 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 1 vs. Miami Dolphins
Sony Michel looks poised to handle most of the early down rushing work for New England's running back committee in Week 1. This looks like a matchup where Michel can be started with some confidence given the projected positive game script and Damien Harris's absence. Michel should get enough volume to warrant starting as a middling flex, but his lack of involvement in the passing game always makes him a risky start. Start Michel if you must, and hope he falls into the endzone for a short touchdown at some point during the game.

by Spencer Babbitt

NE RB Sony Michel - 2020 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside
Sony Michel’s role is no mystery. He is a between-the-tackles power runner who provides almost nothing in the passing game. This role carries some value in New England. Michel should receive enough volume to be a viable fantasy starter in games where New England experiences a positive game script. Michel’s 247 carries last season was good for ninth among running backs and his 45 red-zone touches also cracked the top 10. The addition of Cam Newton is great for Michel’s fantasy prospects as it should bring greater offensive efficiency to the Patriots’ offense as a whole, meaning additional red zone and goal-line carries. Michel will have RB2 upside in games where the Patriots are favored or adopt a run-heavy game plan.

Fantasy Downside
Michel’s fantasy upside is limited by injury and game script concerns. Michel had offseason surgery for a fractured foot and only shed his walking boot earlier this month. Michel also missed time due to a knee issue in 2018. It is too early to tell whether Michel will be 100% for training camp, let alone Week 1. Michel also has significant game script concerns. He offers nothing in the passing game and only had a 38.2% snap share last season, meaning he comes off the field on every third down and even more frequently when New England is trailing. Michel will be a glaring hole in your lineup in any game the Patriots fall behind and favor James White on the field as their designated receiving back. Finally, Newton will almost certainly get goal line carries that would normally go to Michel now that he will be under center for the Patriots.

2020 Bottom Line
Michel is a situational fantasy play due to his lack of versatility. He should rack up enough carries, yards and touchdowns to be a viable flex play, but his floor is very low and fantasy drafters will almost surely be frustrated with him some weeks. Michel should be drafted as a RB3 that gets a small bump in standard leagues.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE RB Sony Michel - Week 17 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 17 vs Miami Dolphins
Sony Michel hasn't been terribly elusive through most of 2019, ranking 35th in PFF's elusive rating among 47 running backs with at least 100 attempts. Michel looked like a new man last week against the Bills, posting the 2nd-highest elusive rating among 27 running backs with at least 10 attempts. Fantasy owners who were hopeful that Michel's touchdown upside on a high-scoring offense would overcome his inefficiency must be disappointed with his two total fantasy RB1 weeks and his RB28 overall ranking through Week 16. Michel's touch rate has been above 70% for the last two games, while he's maintained a healthy 42% snap share, encouraging signs for him this week and in the playoffs.

The Patriots' Week 17 opponents the Miami Dolphins rank 24th in aFPA to running backs, and given Miami's overall defensive struggles, the Patriots should score fast and early. If the Patriots defense with its second-ranked aFPA to quarterbacks continues its season-long effectiveness, a lopsided score in New England's favor appears to be a likely outcome. That would bode well for Michel's fantasy output, making him a good bet for an RB2 finish, and his DFS pricing ($4,900 on Draftkings, $6,400 on FanDuel) make him an attractive & inexpensive option.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE RB Sony Michel - Week 16 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 16 vs Buffalo Bills
The Patriots had run the ball on over 50% of their offensive snaps in just one game this season before their Week 15 matchup with the Bengals, a game in which they handed the ball to a running back on 54% of their snaps. Sony Michel was the primary beneficiary of the run-heavy attack, and his touch rate of 74.1% was his second-highest of the year. That usage translated to an RB23 finish for the week, despite the fact that the Bengals' ninth-ranked aFPA to running backs is far better than their aFPA to quarterbacks (22nd) and wide receivers (20th).

Michel now goes up against a Bills defense that ranks sixth in quarterback aFPA, but 16th in aFPA to both running backs and wide receivers. The Bills have scored 17 total points in each of their last two games, and both were against excellent defenses. The Patriots defense presents an even greater challenge than the Ravens or Steelers, and New England held the Bills to 10 points in their first matchup. Attacking Buffalo's (relative) weakness would mean utilizing the running game, and a projected low-scoring matchup shouldn't force them to abandon that plan. Michel is low-end RB2 start this week.

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