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RB Sony Michel - New England Patriots

5-11, 222Born: 2-17-1995College: GeorgiaDrafted: Round 1, pick

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Photo: Brian Fluharty, US Presswire

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News you need to know

General News (Mon Jan 28): has received some advice for playing in his first Super Bowl from two-time champion and Super Bowl XXXII MVP Terrell Davis. "Try not to make this game any different than the ones you played," David relayed to Michel via TMZ Sports. "A lot of times, what happens is players assume, 'It's a Super Bowl, so I gotta do something different. I gotta prepare more, I gotta do something that I'm not used to doing. And, that's when they get in trouble."

General News (Tue Jan 22): is the first rookie running ever to run for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns in a championship game.

Week 21: at Los Angeles Rams

All RB vs LAR

FBG says: Tough matchup. The Patriots bring in a running game that is seemingly humming along led by the late-season emergence of Sony Michel. Michel has been a volume workhorse this postseason as he has 53 carries in his last two games and Rex Burkhead has complimented Michel nicely with an additional 16 carries over those two games. This is an offensive line that struggled for most of the first half but has become a unit that is working together to becoming one of the top units in football. Guards Shaq Mason and Joe Thuney have been dominant for the Patriots in the second half of the season and have been a big factor into the success that has allowed Michel to rush for over 100 yards in three of his last four games with the only game that he did not accomplish this was Week 17 in which he only had 14 carries. The Rams rushing defense has stepped up when they need them to as they have faced the Cowboys and Saints in consecutive weeks and shut down both teams holding them to just 2.5 yards per carry in those two games. The defense has played up to their potential after struggling for most of the season as linebacker Cory Littleton who has struggled for most of the season has stepped up in a big way over the last two games with 19 tackles. This is Littleton's first year as a regular starter, and while he struggled early on this season has played up to the potential that allowed the Rams to trade Alec Ogletree in the offseason.

Recent Stats and Projections

17 vs NYJ 25 14 50 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
19 vs LAC 36 24 129 3 1 1 9 0 0 31.8
20 at KC 34 29 113 2 0 0 0 0 0 23.3
21 at LAR 0 18 94 1 2 0 0 0 0 15.4
21 at LAR PROJ-Dodds * 17 * * 1 * * * *
21 at LAR PROJ-Tremblay * 18 * * 0 * * * *
21 at LAR PROJ-Bloom * 20 * * 0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

Sony Michel's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2018 Week 20 vs KC (29 / 113 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The running game hummed on all cylinders against the Chiefs, with a strong game from Michel and wonderful blocking all around. Michel had several chunk plays of 7 to 10 yards and fought hard on his runs, which included two short touchdowns. Rex Burkhead was very involved in the run game as well, or Michel could have had even more scores. His second touchdown was actually a 4th down run from about the 10 yard line which was blocked well by the line once again. He will be the lead dog once again against the Rams in two weeks.

2018 Week 19 vs LAC (24 / 129 / 3 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)

Sony Michel alpha-dogged his way to 3 touchdowns on the game and gaudy rushing totals, including a 40 yard burst of a carry. Two of his touchdowns were of the short variety, while one featured a nice cut and speed to dive at the pylon for a narrow score. His long run featured nice blocking and a nice slice through a small hole for added yardage. Speaking of nice blocking, it was a huge reason why Michel piled up the yards, as the run blocking against the Chargers defense was stellar. As usual, Michel ceded some snaps to Rex Burkhead and the passing game to James White, but he still performed well when it mattered most.

2018 Week 17 vs NYJ (14 / 50 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

With the passing game firing on all cylinders, Michel wasn't needed much against the Jets. Surprisingly, even though the Pats had a heavy lead most of the game, the passing game was still on display deep into the 4th quarter, a sign that the coaching staff saw the secondary as exploitable. Michel is still the primary guy for rushing totes.

2018 Week 16 vs BUF (18 / 116 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Sony Michel was the lead back for the New England Patriots against the Buffalo Bills. Michel was leaned on early as the Patriots game plan called on attacking the Bills on the ground. Michel benefitted from a strong performance from his offensive line, repeatedly reeling off successful interior runs. Michel scored a 4-yard touchdown on the second series of the game, a series when Michel had five successful runs. While Michel benefitted from interior running holes, he also showed the ability to make defenders miss, including a chunk gain where he strung together multiple cuts. James White scored a late red zone touchdown, but the carry was on a drive where he dominated, so it was not a threat to Michel's red zone role.

2018 Week 15 vs PIT (13 / 59 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The three headed backfield in New England can limit the playing time another player can see. In Week 15 the Patriots were never leading and therefore Michel's playing time was limited. In Michel the Patriots have a runner who gets exactly what is blocked for him and does not display much creativity on his runs. Michel's longest run of the day was 13-yards. Michel was close to have a bigger day if it wasn't for a 20-yard run called back due to a holding penalty.

2018 Week 14 vs MIA (20 / 57 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Michel found absolutely no room to run against the Dolphins, who simply didn't allow many holes to open up for him. Smart back 7 play sealed off the second level routinely, meaning that despite 20 attempts, Michel's long run was 9 yards. James Develin did steal a touchdown again for a second week in a row, but the performance was the Dolphins simply beating the Pats when it came to the run game.

2018 Week 13 vs MIN (17 / 63 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

Perhaps the highlight of Sony Michel's day was that he was stuffed at the goal line a couple times, and subsequently had touchdowns vultured by James Develin. Two of them, in fact. The Vikings are a tough defense to run against, and this was no exception, as Michel found little room to run on several of his carries. Still, it was good to see him in a feature role even with Rex Burkhead back.

2018 Week 12 vs NYJ (21 / 133 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)

Though he came out of the game briefly with an injury, Sony Michel ran wild over the Jets defense, ripping off several big gains, including a tackle-shedding 30+ yard run as the highlight of the day. The run blocking was well above average, so major credit goes to the o-line as well. Michel's touchdown came from 1 yard out after getting barely stuffed on the prior play. It is notable that on some of his longer runs, Michel tried to barrel over defenders as opposed to use more elusive moves, especially in 1 on 1 situations. Still, tough to complain about his day.

2018 Week 10 vs TEN (11 / 31 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Michel found almost no room to run, and as the Titans went up big early and kept the lead, the run game was used much less than normal. Michel looked fine out there, but there were no explosive plays to speak of. Similar to the passing game, credit the Titans d while giving a thumbs down to the Pats o-line.

2018 Week 7 vs CHI (4 / 22 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)

On his 4th carry of the game, Michel's knee got twisted awkwardly and he remained out for the rest of the game. Early reports have said the injury isn't season ending, but it's looking likely he will miss games.

2018 Week 6 vs KC (24 / 106 / 2 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

As the clear lead back, Sony Michel had plenty of room to run, and carved up the Chiefs defense with a number of good gains. On his second play of the game he missed a big gain by running into a pile instead of cutting to his right after about 5 yards, but did make up for it with good patience otherwise. Both his touchdowns were short runs, though his 1 yard touchdown was partly a product of the Chiefs defense being so worried about a Tom Brady sneak. Expect Michel to continue to produce as the locked-in early down back, and don't be surprised if he starts to work into scripted passing plays more.

2018 Week 5 vs IND (18 / 98 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)

For the second week in a row, Sony Michel looked good. He ran with good vision and power, including his long touchdown that saw a nice running lane and stiff arm to boot. He did miss out on a second long touchdown, trying to barrel over a defender in a 1on1 situation instead of using his explosiveness to elude the defender. Still, Michel continues to improve, which is the most important point for his future role.

2018 Week 4 vs MIA (25 / 112 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

What a difference a week makes. Armed with better run blocking, Sony Michel ran all over the Dolphins defense, showing great patience for a rookie coupled with good, hard running. One of his first carries of the game, he followed right behind James Develin who paved the way for a 15 yard gain, which is just something you don't see many backs do early in their careers. Michel also had a few runs where he shed tackles for extra YAC, which was nice to see after last week's dud. His day could have been much bigger from a fantasy standpoint, as he was stuffed on the goal line twice in one particular drive. His touchdown was a toss from 10 yards out, and large credit goes to left tackle Trent Brown who cleared out the most threatening defender in Michel's way. It was a strong performance for the run game as a whole.

2018 Week 3 vs DET (14 / 50 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / -1 / 0 rec)

In what may have been the most ordinary running performance of the season, Sony Michel received 14 touches on the ground and did absolutely nothing with them. His long run was 12 yards, and he left more on the field. As an example, on a rush of about 8 yards to the right side, Michel barreled into an defender engaged with a blocker instead of making a cut that would have allowed him at least 5 more yards. Though he seemed to lack vision and concerningly, explosiveness, the run blocking was not good either. Josh McDaniels also seemed to be forcing the run game in odd spots, dialing up obvious plays - Michel always ran from under center, which telegraphed play calls for the Lions defense. It was a bizarre game from the coaching staff. Michel also dropped a couple passes, showing he's still not ready for a big passing game role. Whether this was more experimental or Michel has truly taken the rushing reins remains to be seen, but he and the line will need to be better going forward.

2018 Week 2 vs JAX (10 / 34 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

Operating as the primary ball carrier, Michel did nothing special of note on 10 carries. The Pats o-line was worked over fairly well, and there was very little running room. What is notable was that he saw more snaps than Rex Burkhead, who only saw playing time in the first and fourth quarters. If that continues, Michel will be worth deploying in fantasy lineups in the future just due to touch volume and a potentially potent offense.


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