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What to do with James White, Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead in Week 15 fantasy football

Sony Michel had his worst showing of the season last week in a relatively good matchup against the Chiefs. Is there any reason to believe he’ll finally come through for owners this Sunday?

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel carries the ball against Washington at FedExField. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine you’re walking into a sparsely populated room on a weeknight. Think elementary school library or the basement of a community center. You open the door and a few things quickly stand out amongst your surroundings. There’s the unmistakable stale aroma of coffee that’s been brewing just a little too long, while a circle of chairs has been set up carefully towards the left side of the enclosed area. You sit down in one of the few empty seats remaining, take off your jacket and look up only to notice that everyone else in the room is now staring directly at you. So, at that moment, you open your mouth and say “Hi, I play Fantasy Football, and I’m addicted to Sony Michel.”

Can’t relate? Well, maybe its just me, but I live in constant fear of ever fully quitting on the former first-round pick. It truly feels like when I finally eject the underperforming RB from my life, that’ll be the week he goes off for three touchdowns. Still, last weekend’s flop against the Chiefs has seemingly brought me to a place of acceptance. Not only has Michel been consistently awful throughout most of 2019, but now those results are costing him opportunities. After logging a then season-low 17.4% of the Patriots’ offensive snaps in Week 13, Michel hit a brand new rock bottom in Week 14’s loss, playing a mere nine snaps and seeing just five carries for eight measly yards. However, for anyone out there clinging to a final shred of Michel-based optimism, it is meaningful to note that the sophomore’s three worst performance since Week 1 have come in contests New England has lost. While Kansas City was a great matchup on paper, a two-score halftime deficit certainly didn’t help Michel’s cause. That negative script is unlikely to be a factor against the lowly Bengals this coming Sunday.

Fantasy Football Analysis, New England Patriots RBs James White, Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead

No team in the NFL has surrendered more opponent rushing attempts per game (32.2) or more opponent rushing yards per game (156.7) than Cincinnati. There’s no denying that the team represents a very tantalizing matchup, but sometimes we have to accept that there isn’t always going to be a player waiting to take advantage of every positive situation. Since Rex Burkhead returned from injury in Week 8, Michel’s averaged just 5.5 fantasy points per contest, sharing the backfield with the Nebraska product and also occasional vulture Brandon Bolden. I think its safe to say that outside of James White’s RB2 status in PPR formats, none of New England’s running backs are viable in any setting.

Start/Sit Recommendation

Start White. Sit Michel. Sit Burkhead.