The Patriots backfield has had its fair share of injuries this season, leaving the backfield rotation to be a bit of a revolving door all year. However, no matter the injuries at hand, the Patriots backfield seems to remain a three headed monster regardless. If you consider Cam Newton’s inclination to rush more than most quarterbacks, it becomes a four person rushing game. Can fantasy relevance be found within this convoluted situation in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams? We break down the fantasy analysis below.
Fantasy Football analysis: Patriots RBs Damien Harris, James White, Sony Michel
Damien Harris seemed to maintain a stronghold on the title of the Patriots lead back in Week 13, as he rushed 16 times for 80 yards and added one reception for 15 yards. He was unable to find the end zone for the second week in a row, finishing with 10.5 PPR points. Cam Newton was right on Harris’ heels in terms of rushing attempts, finishing with 14. The difference was that Newton thrived in the red zone, punching in two touchdowns on the ground. The Rams have allowed the 8th fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Damien Harris may possess a decent workload which provides him with a good floor, but his value takes a hit by the frequency with which Cam Newton vultures touchdowns. When this is combined with a tough match-up, Harris is relegated to flex territory. Feel free to start him accordingly with tempered expectations.
James White has always held his fantasy value due to his involvement in the passing game, but, to his owners’ dismay, there weren’t many passes to go around last weekend. White was left with only three catches for one yard. White is competing for targets in a low volume offense, limiting his upside and providing him with bust capability on a weekly basis. He is a low end flex consideration at best, but belongs on the bench in most leagues this weekend.
Sony Michel was the third leading rusher on the Patriots offense in Week 13, as he had 10 carries for 35 yards. It goes without saying, that the third leading rusher on any team is unlikely to be a person anyone will be clamoring to insert into your starting lineups. The Rams are a tough match-up, and as the third option on the ground with low involvement in the passing game, Michel should be kept on the bench this weekend.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start Damien Harris as a flex
Start James White as a low end flex
Sit Sony Michel