Sony Michel
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Sony Michel Has Huge Fantasy Upside With The Rams

Sony Michel has been traded from the New England Patriots to the Los Angeles Rams. It was first reported by Ian Rapoport that Michel was being dealt for two late-round picks. Later on, we found out that it was a fifth and a sixth-round pick for this year’s draft. The details get a little weird because the picks can end up being a fourth-round compensatory pick, but the Rams currently don’t have a fourth-round pick. Rapoport explains it better than I could:

The Rams needed a running back, which was evident when Cam Akers went down for the season. Michel is only 26 years old and is a solid NFL running back. As a Patriots fan, I am still upset they took Michel over Nick Chubb, but I digress. Michel was instrumental in the Patriots’ 2018 Super Bowl run as he provided a consistent burst out of the backfield. With a chance to be the lead back, Sony Michel has big fantasy upside for the Rams.

I said a couple of months ago that I would not go near Michel or any of the Patriots’ running backs in fantasy as the backfield was just too crowded. But as Michel assumes the lead role in Los Angeles, his value just dramatically increased.

Ever since Cam Akers got hurt, the Rams have been looking for his replacement, and many fantasy owners tried to convince themselves on one of the Rams’ backups, whether that be Darrell Henderson (who should not be ignored) or Jake Funk (who might be worth a look), I really like this trade for both parties. On the one hand, the Rams essentially just traded a fourth-round pick for a former first-round running back and filled a massive hole on their roster. On the other hand, the Patriots saved some money by trading Michel, and now rookie Rhamondre Stevenson should have an expanded role.

Michel has been fairly productive in New England. In 2018 and 2019, when he got over 200 carries, he rushed for more than 900 yards and six touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. He now gets to play under Sean McVay, whose offense, like Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur, is predicated on a heavy rushing attack. With Darrell Henderson missing time with a thumb injury, Michel has a chance to be super productive very early in the season.

Without Henderson to start the season, Michel has a chance to be the goal-line back as well as their speed back. He has the power and quickness to play both roles well. Michel could be a nice mid-to-late round pickup in 2021 fantasy. I am targeting Michel, and so should you.

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