Fantasy Impact of the Rams trade for RB Sony Michel

The Rams have traded for the only player to score a TD against them in Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots and Rams agreed to a deal for running back Sony Michel early Thursday morning in exchange for two late-round conditional picks. 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first broke the news:

The Patriots had been shopping the former Georgia star for a couple of months and were able to get a 5th and 6th round pick in the 2022 draft. That pick will convert to a 4th round selection if the Rams get a 4th round comp pick for losing John Johnson to the Browns. Yes, that’s overly complicated.

Here’s the simple breakdown: The Rams got a RB to split time with Darrell Henderson. The Patriots will get a 4th round pick. Advantage, Patriots. 

We’ll see if Michel, a former first round pick, can find success in Los Angeles. He’s gotten a bit lost on the depth chart for the Patriots and they never found his perfect role on the team. At Georgia he was a good receiving back who was great outside the numbers. In New England, Michel seemed to be utilized as a north and south RB who was there to get the tough yards. 

By giving up a 4th round pick, the Rams are admitting that they were in desperate need of a second RB and did not want Darrel Henderson to take the bell cow RB role that Cam Akers would have had. 

I would not give up on Henderson and actually think in some ways this helps his fantasy outlook. He may get less volume, but I think he’ll be more productive with less touches. If his ADP drops significantly due to this news, and it may, he could turn into a real buy. 

The two backups RBs in Los Angeles right now, Xavier Jones and Jake Funk, probably become fantasy irrelevant for awhile with this news. What a wild ride for Jones, who literally three days ago thought he could have been the top back if Henderson’s thumb injury was deemed more severe. 

Lastly, let’s get to Michel. If the Rams utilize him as a pass catching, third down back I think he has a real role here in fantasy as a flex starter. Regardless you should try to roster him as a very good backup on a team where the lead RB always scores in fantasy.

Can Michel turn into a pass catching back once again? Or is he simply the second RB for the Rams who will get 30% of the touches? We’ll see.