With the trade, New England cements Damien Harris as their RB1 to go along with James White, J.J. Taylor, and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson. Meanwhile, the Rams are bolstering their running back depth chart after they lost Cam Akers earlier this summer to a torn ACL.
Michel should be a solid compliment to third-year running back Darrell Henderson in Los Angeles, who had a solid 2021 season, where he rushed for a career-high 624 yards on 138 carries and 5 touchdowns. Below we are going to discuss the fantasy football implications for the Rams’ backfield.
Michel is leaving one crowded backfield in New England and joining a backfield in Los Angeles, where he might be splitting carries 50/50 with Henderson. Last season, we saw the Rams do a lot of damage with the three-headed monster of Akers, Henderson, and Malcolm Brown.
The Rams do not have Akers or Brown anymore, but Michel should be able to slot in nicely with Henderson. In nine games last season, the former first-round pick had 449 yards on 79 carries and a touchdown. He also added 7 receptions for 114 receiving yards and a score.
Michel only had two games where he scored double-digit fantasy points, which is a far cry from what he did in 2019, where he posted 7 double-digit fantasy performances. If he can stay healthy and do what he did in 2019 (912 rushing yards, 7 TDs) that will help the Rams’ running game tremendously.
When Cam Akers went down with a season-ending injury, it appeared as if Henderson was in line to the Week 1 starter. Henderson recently suffered a thumb injury, but it should not impact his availability to start the season. The former Memphis running back had a bounce-back 2020 season after a disappointing rookie season.
Henderson posted career-highs across the board with 624 yards (138 carries) and five touchdowns, to go along with 16 receptions for 159 yards and a touchdown. The 24-year-old running back had a three-week stretch, where he was averaging 14.6 carries per game. But it would Akers, who took the starting job by the horns and ran with it, leaving Henderson as the backup. Henderson likely won’t be in this same spot this season due to Michel having to learn the offense and should be a viable RB2/3 early in the season in fantasy.