All preseason, you probably read about Christine Michael’s “Awakening.”
Well, it’s finally time to see if the polarizing third-year running back has truly burst from his slumber.
After splitting snaps and touches to varying degrees with Thomas Rawls through the first two weeks, it appears as though Michael will get the backfield all to himself Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers, as Rawls, who is dealing with a shin injury, is being listed as doubtful:
Let me just get my official advice out of the way first: start Michael in all leagues–big, small, standard, PPR, DraftKings ($5,000), FanDuel ($6,900), all of ’em.
Outside of a costly late fumble against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2, Michael has looked as explosive as he did during the preseason, racking up 157 yards from scrimmage (126 rushing, 31 receiving) on 30 touches (25 carries, five receptions) despite playing behind a weak offensive line against two stout defensive lines.
Already showcasing the ability to be efficient with his touches, Michael is now set up to receive major volume against the ‘Niners.
Not only will he be the clear workhorse if Rawls is indeed sidelined, and not only are the Seahawks favored by 9.5 points, creating a game script for lots of running, but the ‘Niners run a fast-paced offense under Chip Kelly, which tends to result in extra offensive snaps for opposing teams. The Seahawks are averaging a healthy 74.5 snaps per game already, but that should go up against a team that allowed the Panthers to run 82 plays from scrimmage last week.
In other words, Michael has talent, he now has the opportunity for 20-plus touches and he has the right matchup, as Fozzy Whittaker ran wild for 131 total yards against San Francisco last week.
That’s the recipe for a must-start RB, especially during a time when so few workhorse ball-carriers are healthy.