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Dynasty & Redraft: RB Sony Michel, Patriots


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I think people put a little too much stock into the notion of the Patriots using a dedicated TD hammer RB. Before Blount did it in 2016, which I suspect had much to do with Gronk starting only 6 games and playing in only 8, the last time they had a double digits TD guy was 2012.

I think 2013-2017 is more representative of how things will shake out TD wise in NE going forward.

They always rush for tons of TDs but they will get split up between two-three guys equally. With some incidental Brady or FB plunges from the one.

IOW temper expectations on Hill/Gillislee if they make the team. And temper expectations on individual rushing TD numbers in general.

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If  NE's RB usage patterns give you pause something to consider, not a decision maker as there is a lot to consider here but a reason why I think this is a good landing spot for Michel and not worried

Just heard a 15 minute discussion about this exact issue on the radio. Last year, when Michel was in the game he got the ball 85% of the time. Because of that, teams have been playing 8 in the box. As

Let’s not exaggerate. It’s only been 22. 

18 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

If Hill makes the team wouldn't either him or Burkhead be inactive each week?

Bolden will be active since he's a special team player, which would make 4 RBs active (White, Michel, Burkhead/Hill. Bolden) and 5 if you count FB James Develin. I can't see them dressing 5 RBs and a FB each week.

No way Burkhead is inactive...they gave him decent $ and they love him...I guess Hill could be inactive but that would surprise me...just get the feeling he either plays or gets cut...Develin just got decent $ as well so he isn't going anywhere...while I know they value Bolden I don't think he's a Slater-type of special teams lock...I see Develin, White, Burkhead and Michel as your definites...what they do with that last spot (I am assuming there will be 1 more) could really have an effect on things...

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7 minutes ago, Chaka said:

I think people put a little too much stock into the notion of the Patriots using a dedicated TD hammer RB. Before Blount did it in 2016, which I suspect had much to do with Gronk starting only 6 games and playing in only 8, the last time they had a double digits TD guy was 2012.

I think 2013-2017 is more representative of how things will shake out TD wise in NE going forward.

They always rush for tons of TDs but they will get split up between two-three guys equally. With some incidental Brady or FB plunges from the one.

IOW temper expectations on Hill/Gillislee if they make the team. And temper expectations on individual rushing TD numbers in general.

Agree and disagree...I don't think it is a definite that they have one as they have not had one in many seasons...that being said if Hill makes the team he will most likely be one...if they are not gonna use him in that role I don't see them giving him a roster spot...BB loves his flexibility and he will use that roster spot elsewhere...

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4 minutes ago, Boston said:

No way Burkhead is inactive...they gave him decent $ and they love him...I guess Hill could be inactive but that would surprise me...just get the feeling he either plays or gets cut...Develin just got decent $ as well so he isn't going anywhere...while I know they value Bolden I don't think he's a Slater-type of special teams lock...I see Develin, White, Burkhead and Michel as your definites...what they do with that last spot (I am assuming there will be 1 more) could really have an effect on things...

That's kind of the point I was trying to make - I don't see Hill or Gillislee, whichever one makes the team, being active most weeks.

You would know better than me but I thought I read Bolden is considered an important special teams player so he would always be active. While he's a pedestrian RB, as an emergency runner should one or two backs go down in-game he's good enough.

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6 minutes ago, Boston said:

No way Burkhead is inactive...they gave him decent $ and they love him...I guess Hill could be inactive but that would surprise me...just get the feeling he either plays or gets cut...Develin just got decent $ as well so he isn't going anywhere...while I know they value Bolden I don't think he's a Slater-type of special teams lock...I see Develin, White, Burkhead and Michel as your definites...what they do with that last spot (I am assuming there will be 1 more) could really have an effect on things...

 

1 minute ago, Dr. Octopus said:

That's kind of the point I was trying to make - I don't see Hill or Gillislee, whichever one makes the team, being active most weeks.

You would know better than me but I thought I read Bolden is considered an important special teams player so he would always be active. While he's a pedestrian RB, as an emergency runner should one or two backs go down in-game he's good enough.

Burkhead makes only 50k more than Gillislee. they have a heavy investment in both. James White makes more than both of them. 

 

I agree that they like Burkhead a lot and I expect to see him as the primary lead back with Michel taking much of Lewis' volume. 

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1 minute ago, Dr. Dan said:

I agree that they like Burkhead a lot and I expect to see him as the primary lead back with Michel taking much of Lewis' volume. 

But Lewis was the primary lead back for the second half of the season once he was healthy.

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As much as I have bagged on the NFL pick of Michel. The facts are the Pats consistently score about the most fantasy points from the RB position and the track record for touches of RBs taken in the 1st round is very good. It's a combination worth betting on for redraft. I am just not sure what the right price is. 

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2 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

But Lewis was the primary lead back for the second half of the season once he was healthy.

I would see Michel taking much of Lewis' volume, not all. I expect Burkhead to get a healthy dose. 

 

The fact that NE can produce 3 fantasy viable RBs (Lewis, Burkhead, White) is a great thing for Michel's 2018 and beyond outlook. I think this is very favorable. However, I think his fumbling issues are concerning and the fact that they really do seem to like Burkhead a lot... I just feel like Michel is going to have difficulty really forcing BB to put him on the field when he has reliable options. He even has Hill/Gillislee if he really wants 

 

This carousel of RBs is why I generally avoid NE RBs. While there are a lot of fantasy points to be had, it's maddening sometimes trying to predict usage 

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15 minutes ago, Dr. Dan said:

 

Burkhead makes only 50k more than Gillislee. they have a heavy investment in both. James White makes more than both of them. 

 

I agree that they like Burkhead a lot and I expect to see him as the primary lead back with Michel taking much of Lewis' volume. 

There is a gigantic difference between Burkhead and Gillislee...Gillislee got his $ before he played with the Pats....once he got there they soured on him pretty quickly...Burkhead got this contract after playing for the Pats...that shows they are very comfortable with him...the $ may look the same but it is very different situations...

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20 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

That's kind of the point I was trying to make - I don't see Hill or Gillislee, whichever one makes the team, being active most weeks.

You would know better than me but I thought I read Bolden is considered an important special teams player so he would always be active. While he's a pedestrian RB, as an emergency runner should one or two backs go down in-game he's good enough.

I guess where we differ is I see Hill either making the team and playing or getting cut...if they cut Bolden for him I don't see him being the type of player that is inactive...your situation could unfold as well so like usual there are question marks in this backfield...they also have a kid that they gave decent rookie FA $ to (Webb from Vanderbilt)...will be interesting to see how he looks in pre-season because it appears they would like to put him on the practice squad...he could factor into the depth equation as well if they decide to move on from both Hill and Gillislee and they get hit with injuries...

https://247sports.com/nfl/new-england-patriots/Bolt/Patriots-show-they-really-like-Vanderbilt-RB-Ralph-Webb--117909766/

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13 minutes ago, TripItUp said:

Where is this "burkhead is the lead back" nonsense coming from?

 

Guy has never had 80 carries in a season.  

Burkhead took over as the lead back until he was injured last season (and then White took over).  He is a very good pass blocker and can run between the tackles.  I would think he holds the job until Michel is ready.  

IMHO, unless/until Michel gets really great at pass protection (and he is very good), Michel, Burkhead and White will all take turns as starters as injury allows.  Like most years in NE.   

 

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3 minutes ago, Hairy Snowman said:

Burkhead took over as the lead back until he was injured last season (and then White took over).  He is a very good pass blocker and can run between the tackles.  I would think he holds the job until Michel is ready.  

IMHO, unless/until Michel gets really great at pass protection (and he is very good), Michel, Burkhead and White will all take turns as starters as injury allows.  Like most years in NE.   

 

Burkhead can't handle lead back roles, that's why they drafted Michel.  There is a reason Burkhead has never had 80 carries in a season.

 

Burkhead is a complimentary piece, nothing more.   

 

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1 minute ago, TripItUp said:

Burkhead can't handle lead back roles, that's why they drafted Michel.  There is a reason Burkhead has never had 80 carries in a season.

 

Burkhead is a complimentary piece, nothing more.   

 

I see Burkhead handling passing downs, goal line carries, and between the tackles. Michel is more intriguing as a pass catching option along with White. Possible 1-2 down. 

Overall, they are all situational players. Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that any of these backs will be a workhorse. Not to mention one fumble and you fall out of favor. 

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19 minutes ago, Dr. Dan said:

I see Burkhead handling passing downs, goal line carries, and between the tackles. Michel is more intriguing as a pass catching option along with White. Possible 1-2 down. 

Overall, they are all situational players. Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that any of these backs will be a workhorse. Not to mention one fumble and you fall out of favor. 

Michel has workhorse upside.

 

Burkhead has never had 80 carries and has no chance at even 150 carries....to be clear, Burkhead will never have 150 carries in a season for the rest of his life.

 

It is bizarre to me that Burkhead is now being talked up in this forum as an everydown player with "lead back" capability....ummm, not even close.

 

This must be Burkhead dynasty owner wishful thinking...it's the only explanation.

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32 minutes ago, Dr. Dan said:

Overall, they are all situational players. Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that any of these backs will be a workhorse. Not to mention one fumble and you fall out of favor. 

Some things get repeated over and over and take on a life of their own. Belicheck did bench Ridley when he started putting the ball on the ground but showed a lot of leeway with Lewis when he fumbled a few times when he first burst on the scene.

Obviously if Michel starts fumbling the ball, that would not a good thing - but if he was tearing up defenses before he started fumbling it would go a long way to keeping him on the field.

Why is Michel only a pass catching option? He wasn't even used much in the passing game at Georgia. He's 5'11 and 215 pounds - he's not a small back either. Burkhead is 210 pounds by the way. So he's a lead back but Michel can't be one?

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19 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

Some things get repeated over and over and take on a life of their own. Belicheck did bench Ridley when he started putting the ball on the ground but showed a lot of leeway with Lewis when he fumbled a few times when he first burst on the scene.

Obviously if Michel starts fumbling the ball, that would not a good thing - but if he was tearing up defenses before he started fumbling it would go a long way to keeping him on the field.

Why is Michel only a pass catching option? He wasn't even used much in the passing game at Georgia. He's 5'11 and 215 pounds - he's not a small back either. Burkhead is 210 pounds by the way. So he's a lead back but Michel can't be one?

I don't see Michel as only a pass catching option, but Lewis was used in that capacity to some degree with White and I would see Michel taking on some of that duty as well. I think Michel will share a lot with Burkhead. Perhaps I'm wrong and Burkhead only gets his 100 carries and Michel has 150 or something. It's impossible to really understand what's going on in BB's mind with regards to the RB position. 

26 minutes ago, TripItUp said:

Michel has workhorse upside.

 

Burkhead has never had 80 carries and has no chance at even 150 carries....to be clear, Burkhead will never have 150 carries in a season for the rest of his life.

 

It is bizarre to me that Burkhead is now being talked up in this forum as an everydown player with "lead back" capability....ummm, not even close.

 

This must be Burkhead dynasty owner wishful thinking...it's the only explanation.

I own no stock in the NE backfield, and it's for this reason. It's just maddening to try and make sense of it. Full disclosure, I did try to trade for Michel and I might draft him in my other dynasty league as my team owns 1.3. I'm between him and Chubb. So I don't dislike Michel at all. I hate his landing spot, but I like his potential.

None of the other RBs on the team have workhorse upside. I think Burkhead has upside to have a decent chunk of action however. Whether that's enough to impact Michel's fantasy outlook I have no idea. I see Burkhead taking a lot of goal line carries, and if Michel isn't thought to be a passing option then I fear that Michel will be no different than Abdullah has been for the last 2 seasons when healthy- a back for between the 20s and not really usable for fantasy. 

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2 hours ago, Chaka said:

Ahhhhh, I remember last year during the last round of my redraft trying to decide in my final pick and I had two super sleepers that I really wanted, Burkhead and some guy named Kamara.

I chose... poorly.

I can't understand how Kamara would have been available till the last round.

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15 hours ago, Snorkelson said:

Perhaps someone, @Biabreakable maybe, who has watched and charted his carries a little closer could chime in on this. 

Sorry I don't have much too add as far as ball security goes. I do chart that giving a minus one if they fumble, otherwise it is just 1 positive point every 10 plays without incident. I am looking for a lot of different things so how the player is handling the ball would be something I would need to go back and focus on exclusively.

As far as Dane Buglers numbers I have confidence in their accuracy and he has charted the games as well. I have seen players with worse fumbling frequency than Michel has but its not a good list to be on.

Michel had 5 fumbles in 2015 on 244 plays. It is a bit high and something he needs to work on. He had 2 fumbles in 2016 and 2 in 2017 although he also had fewer touches. 

From the 5 games I charted of Michel and just looking at ball security I note that he had zero against Auburn 2017 but that is because Auburn spanked Geogia in this game and Michel didn't even have 10 plays. In his game against Auburn 2015 he only has one point for ball security. I would have to watch that game again I guess, but he may have fumbled in that one thus the minus one leading to his low score. I don't have that detail specifically in my notes though.

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19 hours ago, menobrown said:

I can't understand how Kamara would have been available till the last round.

redrafts in early-mid August that's totally reasonable.  Ingram and AP were two bellcow types ahead of him in the pecking order.

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14 minutes ago, Hankmoody said:

redrafts in early-mid August that's totally reasonable.  Ingram and AP were two bellcow types ahead of him in the pecking order.

also a lot of redraft leagues have short benches.  My redraft is 12 teams/16 man rosters.  Kamara went undrafted.  

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19 minutes ago, Hankmoody said:

redrafts in early-mid August that's totally reasonable.  Ingram and AP were two bellcow types ahead of him in the pecking order.

AP was never ahead of him. Might be what people thought but was never the case.  I usually took him in the 10-11 round range but had several drafts where people beat me to the punch and took him before I could in round 10. ADP in leagues I was not drafting was probably 11-12th range so to me it's pretty odd to see him not get drafted but in a 16 roster size league it's somewhat reasonable.

Not being after the fact jack but I thought it was pretty obvious on an offense where Sproles averaged 15 PPR points a game on under 5 carries and Reggie around 16 PPG a game on 8.5 carries that the best pass catching RB on this team was going to have value.

 

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5 minutes ago, menobrown said:

AP was never ahead of him. Might be what people thought but was never the case.  I usually took him in the 10-11 round range but had several drafts where people beat me to the punch and took him before I could in round 10. ADP in leagues I was not drafting was probably 11-12th range so to me it's pretty odd to see him not get drafted but in a 16 roster size league it's somewhat reasonable.

Not being after the fact jack but I thought it was pretty obvious on an offense where Sproles averaged 15 PPR points a game on under 5 carries and Reggie around 16 PPG a game on 8.5 carries that the best pass catching RB on this team was going to have value.

 

AP didn't have to be ahead of him, just his presence along with Ingram was enough to make it a mess to avoid.  I did a bunch of mocks and took Kamara in the last round or two of all of them.  I bet I did 100 on FFC and not once was Kamara taken ahead of me.  AP wasn't taken often either. 

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On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 9:04 AM, TripItUp said:

Burkhead can't handle lead back roles, that's why they drafted Michel.  There is a reason Burkhead has never had 80 carries in a season.

 

Burkhead is a complimentary piece, nothing more.   

 

I think you are right that they draft Michel because they were concerned that Burkhead could not handle lead back responsibilities, but I think that was the product of durability, not skill.

Burkhead is Belichek's personal selection (rumor is he used his personal trump card to bring Burkhead in as an FA over the objections of others).  Burkhead is the epitome of "the Patriot way" in his approach to football.  Belichek loves his composure in high stress situations.

It is my opinion that a healthy Burkhead gets a lot of touches, to include red zone touches.  Of the current stable of Patriot RBs, he may not have the most upside, but if he is healthy  I think he is the safest bet to get 150 touches.

That said, his health/durability is a major concern.  I could not see paying his current market price given those concerns.

Full disclosure, I am a Bengals fan that hated that we let Burkhead go.  Marvin never understood the gem they had. 

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1 minute ago, Hankmoody said:

AP didn't have to be ahead of him, just his presence along with Ingram was enough to make it a mess to avoid.  I did a bunch of mocks and took Kamara in the last round or two of all of them.  I bet I did 100 on FFC and not once was Kamara taken ahead of me.  AP wasn't taken often either. 

Like I said it was not a mess to avoid and I'd target him in round 10-11 range and about 20% of the time someone beat me to the punch, in real drafts.

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4 hours ago, Brisco54 said:

I think you are right that they draft Michel because they were concerned that Burkhead could not handle lead back responsibilities, but I think that was the product of durability, not skill.

Burkhead is Belichek's personal selection (rumor is he used his personal trump card to bring Burkhead in as an FA over the objections of others).  Burkhead is the epitome of "the Patriot way" in his approach to football.  Belichek loves his composure in high stress situations.

It is my opinion that a healthy Burkhead gets a lot of touches, to include red zone touches.  Of the current stable of Patriot RBs, he may not have the most upside, but if he is healthy  I think he is the safest bet to get 150 touches.

That said, his health/durability is a major concern.  I could not see paying his current market price given those concerns.

Full disclosure, I am a Bengals fan that hated that we let Burkhead go.  Marvin never understood the gem they had. 

Couldn’t agree more 

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I just got Michel at the 1/06 and am quite pleased. The Pats can be a dominating running team when they want to be. After the loss of their LT, Cooks and Edelman being suspended early in the season, is this the year the transfer from a pass happy team to a running team.

 

Very odd selection of Michel in the 1st if they don't plan on him being an integral part of the offense.

 

 

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7 hours ago, twood said:

I just got Michel at the 1/06 and am quite pleased. The Pats can be a dominating running team when they want to be. After the loss of their LT, Cooks and Edelman being suspended early in the season, is this the year the transfer from a pass happy team to a running team.

 

Very odd selection of Michel in the 1st if they don't plan on him being an integral part of the offense.

 

 

I am sure they were planning on it when taking him but sometimes it just doesn't work out as planned. 

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17 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I am sure they were planning on it when taking him but sometimes it just doesn't work out as planned. 

Agreed...but if that happens it will be due to a talent issue not an opportunity issue...

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20 minutes ago, Boston said:

Agreed...but if that happens it will be due to a talent issue not an opportunity issue...

Probably, but again people aren't always rational. Have you ever bought something thinking you would use it all the time and then rarely do? Not because the item is broken or doesn't live up to your standards, but just because you were wrong about how much you really wanted/needed it? 

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50 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I am sure they were planning on it when taking him but sometimes it just doesn't work out as planned. 

people seem to forget that these teams draft in April. They've been scouting these guys for years, but in college in a different system. 

when these guys show up for rookie camp they get to see them in person, running their drills and their plays. Also other players return for training camp. maybe they took a step in their offseason. maybe their draft pick turned into a pumpkin since April. a lot can change in 3-4 months, a draft pick can easily fall out of favor, or the plan in April isnt looking feasible in August.

I've had buyers remorse immediately following a well thought out decision. I dont think professional franchises are any different

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Just now, Dr. Dan said:

people seem to forget that these teams draft in April. They've been scouting these guys for years, but in college in a different system. 

when these guys show up for rookie camp they get to see them in person, running their drills and their plays. Also other players return for training camp. maybe they took a step in their offseason. maybe their draft pick turned into a pumpkin since April. a lot can change in 3-4 months, a draft pick can easily fall out of favor, or the plan in April isnt looking feasible in August.

I've had buyers remorse immediately following a well thought out decision. I dont think professional franchises are any different

Exactly, these are organizations are run by human beings so they are subject to the same pitfalls that all people are capable of falling into- even a well run organization like the Patriots. They have made plenty of bad player personnel decisions. So much of their success is really just built on the fact they happened to get lucky on drafting one of the best QBs in league history with a late pick and then that player has been very selfless in his demands for money. 

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Just now, Ilov80s said:

Exactly, these are organizations are run by human beings so they are subject to the same pitfalls that all people are capable of falling into- even a well run organization like the Patriots. They have made plenty of bad player personnel decisions. So much of their success is really just built on the fact they happened to get lucky on drafting one of the best QBs in league history with a late pick and then that player has been very selfless in his demands for money. 

I don’t think anyone feels any player is bust proof just because they were a first round pick. So to @Boston ‘s point - if Michel shows that he isn’t very good then he won’t see the field much but if he’s as talented as they thought he was when they used a first round pick on him then he will be a major part of the offense.

If he’s truly a first round talent then Rex Burkhead or Mike Gillislee aren’t going to be huge obstacles to his playing time. 

Teams that use RBBCs generally do so because they don’t have one great option. Now it’s possible Michel doesn’t prove to be a great option when all is said and done, but the plan when they drafted him is the same as the plan now - play your best players.

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10 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

I don’t think anyone feels any player is bust proof just because they were a first round pick. So to @Boston ‘s point - if Michel shows that he isn’t very good then he won’t see the field much but if he’s as talented as they thought he was when they used a first round pick on him then he will be a major part of the offense.

If he’s truly a first round talent then Rex Burkhead or Mike Gillislee aren’t going to be huge obstacles to his playing time. 

Teams that use RBBCs generally do so because they don’t have one great option. Now it’s possible Michel doesn’t prove to be a great option when all is said and done, but the plan when they drafted him is the same as the plan now - play your best players.

Maybe. I mean if he is as good as Bell or Gurley, than ofcourse he's not leaving the field. I don't think anyone considers Sony anywhere near that level of talent. If he was, I would have thought he would have even blown away a post injury Chubb to dominate the touches at Georgia. Maybe Georgia staff didn't know what they had ala the Vols with Kamara?

Also, I don't know if teams use RBBC just because they don't have 1 great option. I think sometimes they just like using specific guys in specific ways. There are only a handful of RBs that really are the best at everything on their team. The great thing about Michel is that he doesn't need much volume to be a great fantasy asset- he just needs a reasonable share of receptions and the GL work. 

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15 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Maybe. I mean if he is as good as Bell or Gurley, than ofcourse he's not leaving the field. I don't think anyone considers Sony anywhere near that level of talent. If he was, I would have thought he would have even blown away a post injury Chubb to dominate the touches at Georgia. Maybe Georgia staff didn't know what they had ala the Vols with Kamara?

Also, I don't know if teams use RBBC just because they don't have 1 great option. I think sometimes they just like using specific guys in specific ways. There are only a handful of RBs that really are the best at everything on their team. The great thing about Michel is that he doesn't need much volume to be a great fantasy asset- he just needs a reasonable share of receptions and the GL work. 

I'm not saying he'll never leave the field but he doesn't have to be Gurley or Bell to be a feature back. I'm not sure why anyone would hold the fact that he split carries with Nick Chubb against him. For one thing many colleges use multiple backs - which helps them recruit the top talents and on top of that Chubb was just drafted at the top of the second round. He's pretty good.

And when I say RBBC, I'm not necessarily talking about teams that use a main RB and 3rd down back - I'm talking true RBBC.

I think Michel should (in theory) step into the role Dion Lewis had when he was healthy during the second half of last season. That role is more than enough to make him a fantasy asset. If he shows better than that, then he has a ton of upside.

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1 minute ago, Dr. Octopus said:

I'm not saying he'll never leave the field but he doesn't have to be Gurley or Bell to be a feature back. I'm not sure why anyone would hold the fact that he split carries with Nick Chubb against him. For one thing many colleges use multiple backs - which helps them recruit the top talents and on top of that Chubb was just drafted at the top of the second round. He's pretty good.

And when I say RBBC, I'm not necessarily talking about teams that use a main RB and 3rd down back - I'm talking true RBBC.

I think Michel should (in theory) step into the role Dion Lewis had when he was healthy during the second half of last season. That role is more than enough to make him a fantasy asset. If he shows better than that, then he has a ton of upside.

Agree. And I’m not ruling out Michel being an elite talent at this level. I like him more then I liked Bell at this point in the process. If his game translates he could absolutely be one of the better backs in th league. 

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39 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

I'm not saying he'll never leave the field but he doesn't have to be Gurley or Bell to be a feature back. I'm not sure why anyone would hold the fact that he split carries with Nick Chubb against him. For one thing many colleges use multiple backs - which helps them recruit the top talents and on top of that Chubb was just drafted at the top of the second round. He's pretty good.

And when I say RBBC, I'm not necessarily talking about teams that use a main RB and 3rd down back - I'm talking true RBBC.

I think Michel should (in theory) step into the role Dion Lewis had when he was healthy during the second half of last season. That role is more than enough to make him a fantasy asset. If he shows better than that, then he has a ton of upside.

No one wanted to hold it against Perine that he split carries with Mixon either. I remember people were over the moon for Perine. 

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6 minutes ago, Dr. Dan said:

No one wanted to hold it against Perine that he split carries with Mixon either. I remember people were over the moon for Perine. 

The NFL scouts were not as over the moon which is why he ended up as a 4th round pick and not a low-end #1 or high end #2 like Michel and Chubb...

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56 minutes ago, Concept Coop said:

Agree. And I’m not ruling out Michel being an elite talent at this level. I like him more then I liked Bell at this point in the process. If his game translates he could absolutely be one of the better backs in th league. 

Good point- Bell was a bit of a miss by the draft community. Maybe I remembering incorrectly, but I thought people saw him as maybe a Kerryon Johnson level talent. Good, dependable between the tackles but not likely to be a 3 down feature. 

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36 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

I think Michel should (in theory) step into the role Dion Lewis had when he was healthy during the second half of last season. That role is more than enough to make him a fantasy asset. If he shows better than that, then he has a ton of upside.

IMO, you should be substituting COULD for the work SHOULD in this statement for several reasons.

- Lewis last year became the defacto primary back after Gillislee proved to be unworthy of being on the active roster and, more importantly, got a huge bump in workload after Burkhead got hurt and couldn't play down the stretch. Dion at the end of the regular season saw some weeks with 30 touches when he was pretty much the last man standing.

- Burkhead is still around, re-signed for a decent amount of money, and is one of BB's favorites. I think it is unlikely that Burkhead takes a backseat to Michel and becomes little more than a backup or a guy that comes in when Michel needs a breather. BB lobbied to sign Burkhead and again is said to have wanted him back which may have not been what management wanted.

- Burkhead scored 8 times in 10 games last year. When you consider that he literally was knocked out of 2 games early, Burkhead's workload saw him getting about 12 touches a game and he scored pretty closed to a TD per game. We may not ever see him be the lead back, but he should get enough work that it negatively impacts Michel (especially if the Pats continue to use Burkhead as the back around the red zone).

- James White is still around, and he will also take snaps away from Michel. NE will probably carry Gillislee or Hill for either depth purposes or very short yardage situations. Whoever wins that role will probably be the RB that gives Burkhead and Michel some in game rest on occasion.

- As far as Michel goes, he already has had troubles in camp fumbling. That could be the kiss of death if that doesn't get rectified. We won't know for awhile if he can handle blitz pick up at the NFL level, but suffice it to say that NE will not let Brady get hammered because a rookie missed his assignment.

- And the history of BB with rookies is not great. Across the board, he really hasn't had rookies play big roles and has brought skilled position players along slowly.

- Every year and every NE team is different, but here are all the rookie fantasy totals (0 ppr leagues) for RB rookies in the BB era:

2000 JR Redmond - 71
2006 Laurence Maroney - 136
2008 BenJarvus Green-Ellis 61
2011 Shane Vereen - 12
2011 - Stevan Ridley - 51
2014 - James White - 6

- Michel likely is their most skilled RB and that can net him more yardage or breakaways than the other backs. However, they may not take the training wheels off for awhile. And the other factor is that BB showed last year that he is not adverse to limiting player's snaps and workload. He made a concerted effort to limited Lewis in an effort to have him available and fresh for the post season and for much of the year kept his workload light. He likely would have seen more carries any as the year progressed, but once Burkhead was out for almost the entire second half of the season Lewis had to take on more work.

- IMO, Michel has a lot of long-term potential but I think he will have fewer opportunities this year compared to future years. Burkhead and other backs could get hurt (one of the traits of being a NE RB), so Michel might have times where he sees a bigger workload. But I would temper my enthusiasm and expectations some for him for this season. His fantasy value this year might reach its peak in the fantasy playoffs, but early on he may be a bit of a disappointment. At MFL, his redraft ADP is RB18. I am not sure I would want him at that price, as owners could need someone else to start for him until he gets his seas legs.

- By comparison, Burkhead is getting drafted at MFL as RB41. Given that NE uses him near the end zone and his propensity to catch passes (was on pace for 50 receptions last year), the shark move may be to take Burkhead to use early in the year and potentially get consistent RB2 production for a discount while Michel gets acclimated to the offense and the NFL.
 

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Just now, Anarchy99 said:

BB is not upper management (ie, he is not one of the Krafts).

Splitting hairs but they are the Owners obviously. You think they are getting involved over a personnel decision such as whether to bring Rex Burkhead back? Come on now. BB does what he wants. 

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