For years, we wondered what the New England Patriots’ offense would look like without Tom Brady playing quarterback, and we saw that on Sunday. New England threw the ball just 19 times, though it didn’t result in a significant increase in carries for running backs Sony Michel and James White. The reason? The two combined for the same amount of carries as new quarterback Cam Newton.
What can we expect moving forward? Here’s a look at how you should handle the Patriots’ backfield heading into Week 2.
Fantasy Football analysis: Patriots RBs Sony Michel, James White
Michel and White split touches fairly evenly during Sunday’s win. Michel carried the ball 10 times for 37 yards and scored on a one-yard touchdown run. White received five carries for 22 yards but is known for his ability as a pass catcher out of the backfield. He added an additional 30 yards on three catches.
The flow of this game suited Michel more than White. The Patriots felt in control and never trailed the whole game, which likely resulted in less of a need to pass. Michel benefited from a goal line score, which will be something to monitor moving forward. How will the Patriots handle goal line work between him and Newton?
White may not wow fantasy players with the number of carries per game, though five is certainly a bit low. He does his damage in the passing game, so he still has value especially in PPR leagues.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
White can be trusted as a third running back with some flex consideration, though Michel should be on fantasy benches in standard leagues against Seattle.