New England Patriots: Sony Michel predicted as solid rookie fantasy player
By Nick Ziegler
NFL Nation recently projected the stats in 2018 for some rookie running backs. How did they have Sony Michel of the New England Patriots doing?
With the 31st pick in the New England Patriots selected running back Sony Michel out of Georgia. Seeing the Patriots take a running back this early was a bit surprising, but Michel has a lot of talent and can help fill the void left by Dion Lewis.
Since Lewis left the Patriots in free agency, that was a lot of production at the running back position that needed to be replaced. Lewis was the primary ball-carrier for the Patriots, and nearly totaled 1,000 rushing yards.
For fantasy football owners of Lewis, he likely helped out quite a bit as a player that wasn’t drafted in most leagues. With Lewis gone, there is going to be a lot of production that needs to be made up for in the Patriots’ backfield. While Rex Burkhead will likely play a big role once again, Michel figures to have a strong chance of having success early on.
Recently NFL Nation projected the stats for rookie running backs in the league. For Michel, he was projected to have the third-highest amount of rushing yards among rookies. Here are the projected stats for Michel.
"Projected 2018 stats: 897 yards rushing; 8 rushing TDs; 27 receptions; 219 yards receiving; 1 receiving TD"
The projected stats for Michel are pretty impressive for a rookie, as they have him finishing behind Saquon Barkley and Rashaad Penny in rushing yards, with Barkley being the only rookie projected to go over 1,000 rushing yards.
For Michel, he isn’t going to be used nearly as much as Barkley with the other weapons that the Patriots have in the backfield. Barkley is going to be asked to be an every-down back for the Giants, while Michel will likely only be asked to be in the backfield on first and second down.
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In his rookie season, Michel is certainly going to have an impact for fantasy owners. If he lives up to his potential quickly, he could become a 1000-yard rusher. However, he will have limited opportunities in the passing game with James White and also in the red zone with Rex Burkhead. Despite this, Michel will certainly be one of the top rookie options at running back this season.