A handful of New England Patriots likely will be popular picks early in fantasy football drafts this season.
Julian Edelman, obviously, is a receptions machine, while N’Keal Harry has the potential to be an impact player in his rookie season. Sony Michel also might appeal to fantasy players following his impressive debut campaign, but ESPN’s Mike Clay believes you should steer clear of the young running back.
As part of a fantasy football preview column, Clay explained why he expects Michel to be a bust in his sophomore season.
“Michel racked up a hefty 280 carries and 12 touchdowns in 16 rookie-season games (including the playoffs), but there are two primary reasons he may disappoint in 2019,” Clay writes. “The first is his shockingly small role in the passing game. Despite the massive carry total, Michel was on the field for only 36% of New England’s snaps and handled a grand total of 14 targets when active last season. There is little reason to expect that number to increase much (if at all) in 2019 with Damien Harris joining James White and Rex Burkhead in the backfield. The second reason is health. Michel had knee concerns entering last year’s draft, has had knee scopes each of the past two offseasons and was on the injury report often and missed games with knee issues last season.”
It’s tough to knock Clay’s line of thinking. The Patriots feature arguably the deepest collection of running backs in the league, which likely will prevent any of the bunch from being a bell cow in 2019. That said, there might be more overall touches to be had, as New England very well could lean on its backfield given its pedestrian pass-catching depth. And as far as goalline looks are concerned, Michel should receive the majority barring injury.
The 24-year-old will look to kick off his second season with a successful training camp, which begins July 25.
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