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.
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.