Sony Michel's Fantasy Value Murkier After Patriots Add Alabama RB Damien Harris - Roto Street Journal
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Sony Michel’s Fantasy Value Murkier After Patriots Add Alabama RB Damien Harris

Just when you think the Patriots backfield is safe for fantasy football… (palm-to-face emoji). After the 2019 playoffs, Sony Michel looked locked into the New England bellcow role. In only three contests, Michel was fed 71 carries (24 per game), amassing 336 yards and 6 TDs. Alas, this is the Patriots, and their backfield can never be certain. Despite being seemingly set at RB, the Patriots selected Alabama RB Damien Harris with the 87th pick. Though “unsexy,” Harris flashed the reliability and versatility that the Patriots crave, both in the run and pass-game. As such, Patriots insider Ryan Hannable told the Fantasy Fullback Dive this is more than just a “Michel injury policy,” leading to a steep downgrade for the sophomore’s 2019 fantasy outlook.

Although the Patriots leaned on Michel during playoff crunch-time, Hannable does not expect the same in 2019, especially with Harris added:

“They don’t trust him to produce like he did last year from a durability standpoint… he has an injury history at Georgia, missed time last year, they don’t trust him to carry the load… Michel will be the number 1 back, but Harris will take some of his carries for sure.”

In fact, Hannable suggested the thick Harris could steal volume where it matters most: the goalline. Though Michel should remain a yardage beast in this offense, he’ll be losing invaluable receiving work to James White and now could be a TD-liability if Harris carves out a role at the stripe. Potentially trapped in “between-the-20s purgatory,” Michel takes a significant fantasy hit.

On my latest 2019 Fantasy Big Board and Rankings, Miche falls from the mid-20’s, “High-RB2” tier all the way to 53 alongside the more flex-style backs. Meanwhile, Harris drips in some stash-and-see upside considering Michel’s injury history alongside a potential goalline role in a scoring-heavy attack.

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