The NFL draft is almost upon us. After an entire off-season of speculation, hype, and mock drafts, we are almost there. Last season’s running back class was impressive, and this season’s looks to have some certain bright spots as well. Saquon Barkley is clearly the favorite running back from this class, but from there it gets murky as to who will fall to what spot in the draft.
There is no doubt that Sony Michel is going to hear his name called in the 2018 NFL draft. However, there has been plenty of speculation as to when the former Georgia Bulldogs standout gets picked and where he lands. The dual-threat running back has plenty to offer as a rusher and an excellent pass-catcher out of the backfield.
However, what’s most important to all the fantasy football junkies out there, is what teams improve the value of these prospects?
Best Fantasy Football Fits for Sony Michel
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers parted ways with feast-or-famine back, Doug Martin during the free agency period. While this move was not surprising for anyone, it does leave a gap in the backfield that needs to be filled. Peyton Barber had some decent fantasy games last season as a spot starter but didn’t truly impress. Jacquizz Rodgers has some ability as a change-of-pace back, or a passing back option, but doesn’t fit the physical profile of a three-down back.
Sony Michel would be a solid fit for the Bucs. He is stout enough to be a three-down back. He’s a strong runner with solid vision and burst that’s not afraid to lower his shoulders and pound his way for an extra yard or two. His ability to catch passes out of the backfield also provides a secondary look for quarterback Jameis Winston if the pocket collapses.
For fantasy purposes, Tampa Bay would be an ideal landing spot for Michel, who could win the starting role during training camp and never look back.
The Detroit Lions have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush, who barely cleared that mark for the 2013 season. Last season Ameer Abdullah finished as their leading rusher with 552 yards on 165 attempts. Abdullah and pass-catching back Theo Riddick combined for 838 yards rushing last season. The Lions made it clear last season that they’re losing their trust in him when they benched him after a couple of goal-line fumbles last season.
Michel is a strong enough north-south style of runner that he could make a positive impact for the Lions. His dual-threat capability bolsters that value, even with Riddick still available as a change-of-pace option. One of Michel’s biggest strengths is that he rarely makes bad decisions when running the football. He minimizes losses with his decisive nature, and typically finds a way to gain positive yardage.
The Lions offensive line is not built to open huge gaps for running backs. Michel would still find some success with his strong running and pass-catching ability. He would be an instant asset to the offense and take some of the pressure off of quarterback Matthew Stafford. While it may not appear to be the most ideal of landing spots, Michel could definitely make a name for himself in Detroit, and suprise some fantasy owners.
New York Giants
Let’s face it, abysmal is a word that comes to mind when someone mentions the New York Giants running game. If playing the blame game, their offensive line was one of the worst the NFL had to offer last season and their personnel wasn’t very impressive either. Paul Perkins finished the season with a 2.2 yards-per-carry average and zero touchdowns. Orleans Darkwa was their leading rusher last season and finished with less than 800 yards, but did manage five touchdowns.
The lack of an offensive line means that this would not be the most ideal of landing spots for Michel. He would be a solid back to build with, that is capable at excelling at multiple phases of the offense. Michel is an excellent pass-blocker and provides a safety blanket type of option for dump-off passes. His solid lower body aides him and his ability to break tackles and evade linebackers.
For fantasy purposes, Michel would receive steady volume in this offense but may struggle to succeed with it, hindering his fantasy upside. While the competition seems limited, he may get all the volume he could handle.
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