The New England Patriots have always gone with a rotational method when it comes to the running back position. Bill Belichick and company are known to switch things up literally at any point throughout the game. And for fantasy football owners, it can be incredibly frustrating.
Fortunately, it seems we may have some clarification on the Patriots’ gameplan ahead of Week 1 at running back, and it seems that it’ll feature quite a bit of Rex Burkhead.
As NESN’s Doug Kyed revealed, Burkhead will be the team’s “top ball-carrier” against the Houston Texans. It’s positive news for fantasy football owners this week, but it doesn’t change the concern over his long-term outlook as the 2018 season gets underway.
Rex Burkhead’s 2018 Fantasy Football Outlook
The fact that Burkhead will get the nod in Week 1 and likely see a big workload is positive news for daily fantasy football players and owners who need a strong flex option. But there are certainly a few reasons to avoid going all-in on the Burkhead hype, and one key thing holding me back is rookie running back Sony Michel.
In the opener against the Texans, Burkhead and Jeremy Hill will likely handle the bulk of the early-down work since Michel is not expected to play. While NESN revealed that Belichick stated Michel is currently “a little bit behind,” it remains to be seen how much time he’ll miss, but it seems unlikely to be an extended stretch.
When the team’s first-round draft pick does return to the field, though, it will cut into the workload of every Patriots running back. In turn, it’s going to leave fantasy football owners frustrated on a weekly basis. So ideally, if you manage to get a big showing from Burkhead in Week 1, it could be a smart decision to try to trade him while his stock is high.
Reap the benefits of this situation while you can, but the Patriots running back could prove to be the definition of a “sell high” candidate.