The Patriots made an expanded dedication to working the football final season. Of New England’s earlier six seasons, the one one with extra speeding makes an attempt got here in 2016 — when Tom Brady was suspended for 4 video games.
Whether that pattern continues stays to be seen, as Bill Belichick and his teaching workers are unpredictable. Still, one working again who figures to characteristic prominently is Sony Michel.
The 24-year-old working again is getting into his second season. As a rookie, Michel, a first-round select of Georgia, performed in 13 video games throughout the common season, ending with 209 carries for 931 yards (4.5 yards per carry). Both of these totals had been greater than double every other New England again.
In the playoffs, it was Michel who led the Patriots’ assault. He averaged 112 yards speeding per sport and notched six touchdowns, together with the one one in Super Bowl LIII.
Despite his largely optimistic rookie season, the 2019 fantasy football forecast for Michel is blended.
The widespread refrains are Michel’s threat of accidents and his lack of receptions within the passing sport. As ESPN’s Eric Karabell famous, a point-per-reception format won’t be excellent news.
“We know Michel has knee problems and — repeat, nobody — expects them to go away,” Karabell wrote. “The Patriots drafted Michel’s potential replacement in Damien Harris and, you might have heard, they have a tendency for switching up their running back touches from week to week, sans warning. In addition, Michel caught seven passes last season. Seven.”
Still, the specter of Harris, a 2019 third-round choose, doesn’t look like too nice up to now in coaching camp, as Boston Herald author Kevin Duffy noticed:
We’ve seen little or no from Damien Harris this summer time. Just not getting many reps. Pretty clear that Sony is the No. 1 RB proper now.
— Kevin Duffy (@KevinRDuffy) August 12, 2019
Michel’s place because the staff’s high working again has been a theme at Patriots camp up to now this preseason. On high of performing some one-on-one work with Brady early in camp, his position is reportedly nonetheless increasing.
“Sony Michel has seen an uptick in snaps and targets almost daily as he heads into his second year,” wrote Boston Globe Patriots reporter Jim McBride. “It has become evident that the Patriots are trying to make him a more well-rounded back to keep defenses guessing.”
Getting extra receptions in 2019 would trigger a severe enhance in Michel’s fantasy worth as that was basically the key gap in his stats a yr in the past.
Another issue to think about is the opposition Michel will face. According to analysis from UPI, the Patriots will face eight of the league’s worst-run defenses from 2018. That’s tied with the Jets for essentially the most by any staff within the NFL. If Michel’s position expands, it may very well be at a time when New England is concurrently going up towards weaker-run defenses.
Yet the considerations over Michel’s knee will linger, that means that there’s nonetheless a doubtlessly bigger diploma of threat concerned with drafting him in fantasy. Ultimately, such a threat may repay in a giant manner in 2019, as Washington Post fantasy football author Des Bieler concluded.
“A disconcertingly wide range of outcomes seem to await those who draft Michel and his history of knee issues,” mentioned Bieler, “but at his average draft position, it’s not a bad roll of the dice at all.”