If you have already drafted your Fantasy Football team roster and had added any LA Rams running backs, then you are likely in a bit of a fix. After all, based on last night’s late injury to running back Xavier Jones, the LA Rams have now recorded injuries to four of their six original running backs. The only two untarnished are rookie Jake Funk and Otis Anderson Jr.
Fortunately for you, there may be a new day dawning for your Fantasy Football team this year. How so?
Well, as you know, the LA Rams just got running back Sony Michel off the plane, and I’ve already got some news for you. Grab him for your fantasy football team. Seriously. He has the perfect storm to produce big numbers for the LA Rams. Here’s why:
Reason I: Sony Michel will be a touchdown vulture.
That’s right. Of the three likely running backs to make the LA Roster of Darrell Henderson, Jake Funk, and Sony Michel, only Michel is the true power back. While that may not mean much now when the season starts it will translate into both red zone and short-yardage carries. It will be a similar fashion to that enjoyed by Malcolm Brown.
Brown scored ten touchdowns in his final two seasons with the Rams, despite getting just 35.9 percent of the work. That occurred during the presence of Todd Gurley, Darrell Henderson, and Cam Akers. This year, the Rams feature Darrell Henderson, Jake Funk, and Sony Michel. With this backfield, I expect head coach Sean McVay will send in Sony Michel when the Rams get to the red zone.
Reason II: Sony Michel is a multi-purpose offensive weapon
The LA Rams will be doing everything in their power to preserve the health of running back Darrell Henderson. But as we’ve seen the past three years, Henderson has an uncanny knack of being a bit… brittle. While that may be more perception than reality, it is enough of a factor for the coaching staff to take extraordinary precautions to ensure Henderson is available for the season opener.
Los Angeles Rams
Michel, although he struggled in 2018, will not have similar limitations. For starters, the Rams have him for just one season. That means that there will be no snap count limits to his availability. And since he is a power-back who runs downhill, the Rams can insert him into virtually any down and distance scenario. He can run to the outside, between the tackles, catch a pass on a wheel route, or even catch a screen pass. The longer the season progresses, the more valuable and flexible Michel will become in the LA Rams offense.
Reason III: Sony Michel is on a one-year contract year
Some question why the LA Rams would trade a sixth-round plus a fourth-round draft pick to the New England Patriots for a running back who is in the last year of his contract. But, think about it, can you imagine any better scenario that would give a former first-round running back an incentive to optimize his opportunity?
Truth be told, the LA Rams have just hitched their rushing attack wagon to a player who is smoldering and quite motivated to prove just how good he can be to the NFL. And in the Rams offense, he will have that chance. Michel was not acquired to sit on the bench. He is not some cached emergency provisions to use in the direst of circumstances. No. He is the guy who fixes the Rams’ squeeze on their running options. He is neither a Plan B nor a Plan C option to the rushing attack.
Rather, he is a swap-in for the role originally intended for second-year rusher Cam Akers. While he will take a few weeks to get up to speed, he is not going to sit for long. Not when he has the ability to turn 320 offensive snaps into 209 carries into 931 yards and six touchdowns. While he has not been overly used in the New England Patriots receiver in the past, he can catch a pass. He will get more looks coming out of the backfield as a receiver in the Rams offense this year.
Are there other Rams players to target for your fantasy football team? You bet. But don’t miss out on grabbing Sony Michel as a running back. He has a golden opportunity to be among the top NFL performers at the position this year.