Sony Michel Fantasy: Start or Sit Patriots RB on Thursday Night Football?

Getty Sony Michel of the New England Patriots

New England Patriots‘ Sony Michel found the endzone in Week 5 for the third time this season. In return, it was only the second time the running back had eclipsed 7.10 fantasy points through the first five weeks of play in 2019.

Is the running back a touchdown-dependent play heading into a Thursday night showdown with the New York Giants? Or does his workload make him a more reliable option than many may perceive him as? Let’s take a look.

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Sony Michel Fantasy Outlook vs. New York Giants

Sony Michel had been an utter fantasy disappoint through much of the first month of the 2019 season. That all changed in Week 5 when Rex Burkhead was ruled out with a foot injury.

Michel has been a literal non-factor in the passing game since arriving in New England. Not because he can’t be, but because the Patriots have a plethora of running backs to fill each singular role within the offense. Still, this has been disheartening to fantasy owners of Michel, a player who was likened to Alvin Kamara coming out of college for his ability to affect the game in multiple facets.

Without Burkhead at the Pats disposal last Sunday, they finally called upon Michel to be a pass-catcher. The workload was certainly light, but it showed flashes of what Michel could be when given the opportunity to be more than a one-trick pony out of the backfield. Michel caught his first three passes of the 2019 season in the team’s victory over the Redskins in Week 5.

The added possibility certainly helps Michel’s case as a fantasy starter in PPR-formats, especially with Burkhead battling against a short week to get game ready.

However, when it comes down to it, Michel makes his money on the ground for the Patriots offense. While many would perceive Michel as a disappointment this season, New England doesn’t seem to think that way. In an offense that normally features different running backs on a per-game basis, or at other times on a per-drive basis, Michel has dominated the touches in the run game this year. Excluding an outlier Week 3 blowout of the New York Jets, Michel has averaged more than 17 rushing attempts per game in 2019. The reasoning behind New England’s continued faith in their former first-round pick is pretty evident when you dig a bit deeper. In Michel’s one-plus seasons as a pro, the Patriots are undefeated when he scores a rushing touchdown.

The New York Giants have been abysmal on the defensive side of the ball this season, but one thing they can hang their hat on is their ability to defend the run, at least that was the case before last week’s performance. While the Giants still allow an average of just 65.8 yards rushing to opposing starting running backs this season, they were absolutely gashed by Dalvin Cook in Week 5. Cook racked up 132 yards on 21 carries as the Vikes ground out a 28-10 victory over the G-Men.

Should You Start or Sit Sony Michel in Week 6?

New York seems like a team ill-prepared to take the field on Thursday, some of which is due to poor management and personal decisions. Other reasons are out of their control, reasons such as their three most lethal offensive weapons dealing with injuries.

New England’s top-ranked defense should be able to put a clamp on the G-Men’s talent-deprived offense. In return, Michel becomes a prime candidate to be featured in the ground game as the team tries to chew up the clock . Michel is a super flex play, however fantasy owners should feel safe starting Sony Michel as a RB2 on Thursday night.

READ NEXT: Giants Dealing with 3 Major Injuries

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