New England has one of many backfields where the roles are not clearly defined. Since running back is one of the most important positions in fantasy football, it's wise to get as clear a picture as possible on every backfield.
With almost 28 backs on the roster, New England's running game is a big unknown. Veterans Rex Burkhead, James White, Mike Gillislee, and Jeremy Hill have produced in the past when given the opportunity. Sony Michel was selected in the first round, so it would be reasonable to expect the Patriots to want to get that much draft capital on the field. Can all five of these players even make the 53-man roster?
Chad Parsons: The value play is Rex Burkhead, a two-way sturdy option which fits well with keeping the Patriots multiple on offense. At this point, we know what James White is, which is limited to what-the-heck-flex consideration weekly. Jeremy Hill is interesting from a reclamation project standpoint as New England has fostered in the past. If he makes the roster, consider him in final roster spots in leagues of depth beyond the typical sub-20-player rosters for 2018.
The elephant in the room is the incoming rookie and first-round pick Sony Michel. By his profile Michel was overdrafted, fitting more as a mid-Day 2 pick than up in the first round. Michel. Coincidentally, Michel's middle ground comparable prospect is Shane Vereen, a former Patriots selection. Cost is key with Michel and his RB3 price point is palatable especially for owners drafting two or three backs before Michel is an upside option on the bench. The concern is Rex Burkhead (or Mike Gillislee or Jeremy Hill) siphoning short-range touchdowns from Michel and James White soaking up receptions. Considering the Patriots' track record, both are reasonable possibilities despite the draft capital investment in Sony Michel for the long term.
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