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Sony Michel 2019 Outlook


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The top backs on my waiver wire right now are Dexter Williams, Dare Ogunbowale, and Gus Edwards. Not sure what kind of leagues you guys play in but Michel is not waiver wire fodder. He's still the sta

Sony Asiata

It really is funny at this point... 2018: Rex-5th round, Michel-8th round, White-11th round (if I remember correctly).  White finished highest in PPR, Michel close behind and better in standard.

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2 minutes ago, Rickydragon said:

Whoops.  Is this guy just slow and a poor fit?  It’s like he got fat or something since college.  He was the shifty speed back at Georgia.  Burkhead and White are better fits here now that they have a rejuvenated air attack.  

Pittsburgh was among the upper tier of defenses against the run last year. So, this wasn't shocking. Sony's line was shocking, yes, but it was only the first game. He'll get it going. Obviously the Steelers couldn't stop the air raid, so they focused on what they could and got blown away.

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Every other runner was very effective. Since RB coach Ivan Fears said he looks even better than last year and BB started him, I say it's not an issue with Sony as a runner. I'm guessing the key is how the defense is able to play when he's in the game due to his more narrow utility. Burkhead had 8 carries but also 8 targets. White had 4 carries and 7 targets. Michel had 15 carries and no targets. When he's in there, the front seven just goes right at the LOS. They need to work him into the pass game to open up the field for his running.

I'm not panicking yet but I am picking up Burkhead. Rex was studly two years ago when Gilly flopped and looks back to 100% now. Burkhead is a double-handcuff with flex standalone value. If Sony gets hurt Burkhead's carries will jump, if White gets hurt his targets may jump.

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3 minutes ago, rex_bulkhead said:

Every other runner was very effective. Since RB coach Ivan Fears said he looks even better than last year and BB started him, I say it's not an issue with Sony as a runner. I'm guessing the key is how the defense is able to play when he's in the game due to his more narrow utility. Burkhead had 8 carries but also 8 targets. White had 4 carries and 7 targets. Michel had 15 carries and no targets. When he's in there, the front seven just goes right at the LOS. They need to work him into the pass game to open up the field for his running.

 

This is it. When Sony was on the field, Pittsburgh was anticipating the run. Belichick and co. are too smart not to realize this, so I doubt it will be a season long issue.

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30 minutes ago, Trip McNeely said:

Is he anything more than what Gilislee was? I mean if you're 0-1 it's gotta be hard to trust him in your lineup in a game you have to win. Worst performance of the week.

 

Psssh.  Sony is a super legit beast of a running back.  I'd buy low on him all day long and reap the rewards later.  This is a Patriots offense that is going to run and run a lot.  Yes they have AB now....does not matter.  Patriots are a run first offense every single time.  Michel had 15 carries!!!!!  15!!!!!  He did nothing with them but the Steelers sold out to stop the run and couldn't stop anything else.  

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2 minutes ago, dudewithabadcat said:

 

Psssh.  Sony is a super legit beast of a running back.  I'd buy low on him all day long and reap the rewards later.  This is a Patriots offense that is going to run and run a lot.  Yes they have AB now....does not matter.  Patriots are a run first offense every single time.  Michel had 15 carries!!!!!  15!!!!!  He did nothing with them but the Steelers sold out to stop the run and couldn't stop anything else.  

IMO. The Pats "were" a run first offense because they had to be. Now, you can expect them to be more balanced. The Pats will go back to being an opportunistic offense of exploring whatever weaknesses the opposing defense has. This will spell inconsistent performance for Michel especially if we are watching the 2017 version of Burkhead.

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6 minutes ago, nonstopfan said:

IMO. The Pats "were" a run first offense because they had to be. Now, you can expect them to be more balanced. The Pats will go back to being an opportunistic offense of exploring whatever weaknesses the opposing defense has. This will spell inconsistent performance for Michel especially if we are watching the 2017 version of Burkhead.

 

I disagree.  If you go back into the history of Patriots football with BB and Brady - this is a run first offense when they have the ability to run first.  They throw when they can't run.  Let's think it through.  If I am running the ball, I am keeping the defense on the field, I am running down the clock, and I am working the play action.  Check, check, check, check.  Furthermore, let's review the Corey Dillon years.....not actually going to review it but you know the story.  Brady is the best game manager we have ever seen.  He does not care how many times he throws.  Michel is going to beast out.  

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They were a run first offense last year with Edelman who was suspended 4 games, Gordon who missed the 2nd half of the season, and a hobbled Gronk. This year they have Edelman, Gordon, and Brown. They wont be a run first offense anymore. That's the thing about Belicheck. He does what his personnel allows him to do. If they are a good pass blocking/poor run blocking unit with a HOF QB and 3 stud WRs they will then be a passing offense. Im selling high after Miami game.

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44 minutes ago, Trip McNeely said:

Is he anything more than what Gilislee was? I mean if you're 0-1 it's gotta be hard to trust him in your lineup in a game you have to win. Worst performance of the week.

 

They play the dolphins this week. Equally hard not to start players going up against that squad after their week 1 performance 

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They will be balanced throughout the year but they will also not expose Brady to drop back 35-40 times a game for the hell of it.  A lot of it still has to due with game planning and adjusting to what the defense gives them.

With Michel, you start to become a bit predictable when he is in and it showed - the Steelers knew the run was coming.  He still received 15 touches and you would have to think he will be much more productive in this offense if given that opportunity.  They did run some play action with him where he slipped for a screen but Brady went to his WRs instead.  The Steelers sold out to stop Michel then got exposed big time in the passing game.

Better days ahead, that is for sure.  You just have to roll him out there vs MIA and hope for the best but that seems like a game where he should thrive.

But the identity is to always be able to control the clock and run the ball - that just sets/opens up the passing game much more and once the weather shifts, they really start to pound the rock on the ground.  This is not new and there is no reason to make that shift if the offense still works with this much efficiency.

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20 minutes ago, dudewithabadcat said:

 

Psssh.  Sony is a super legit beast of a running back.  I'd buy low on him all day long and reap the rewards later.  This is a Patriots offense that is going to run and run a lot.  Yes they have AB now....does not matter.  Patriots are a run first offense every single time.  Michel had 15 carries!!!!!  15!!!!!  He did nothing with them but the Steelers sold out to stop the run and couldn't stop anything else.  

 

12 minutes ago, nonstopfan said:

IMO. The Pats "were" a run first offense because they had to be. Now, you can expect them to be more balanced. The Pats will go back to being an opportunistic offense of exploring whatever weaknesses the opposing defense has. This will spell inconsistent performance for Michel especially if we are watching the 2017 version of Burkhead.

 

The Patriots are not a run first offense lol and they weren't last year either despite what ESPN might tell you....

 

EDIT: Back to Sony. It's one week. He is going to be fine.

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Each rb sets up a different part of their offense...michel sets up the playaction deep shots and white is the more pass happy spread offense...i own white but i think michel will be ok...probably wont catch many passes though

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Over their last 5 games last year, coming out of there bye week, the Pats ran the ball 201x, passed it 200x.  The Patriots work with what they got.  Historically they pass more than they run by at least a 5% margin, usually more.  Most teams do.  Only 2 teams ran the ball more than 50% of the time last year, and 10 teams passed it over 60% of the time.  It's a passing league so a 50/50 split down the stretch for the Pats last year has us all seeing them as run first, or run heavy.  That being said, with the return of Gordon, and the addition of AB & DT, I see the Pats going back to their 55% to 45% ish split.  They have the weapons to pass and I think they will.  They run so many plays that the running oppos will still be there.  So I'm not entirely worried about Michel just yet.  What does worry me a little bit is the fact that more passing centric means more snaps for White, and a healthy Rex Burkhead will consume his fair share of snaps.  He's simply too good a football player to sit on the bench.   

As bad as Michels stats were Sunday night he still got 15 or so carries.  I'd imagine he will be getting that many, or more, this week vs Miami.  I'm starting him where I own him.

Last point, when you invest in a Patriots RB you're buying with it a certain level of frustration.  It simply part of the deal.  The Pats can use anyone at any time in any situation.  It's how they do it, and it's been successful needless to say.  They have 3 capable RBs and all 3 are going to get some run.  As Michel owners we have to hope that our guy gets the majority of the carries, a couple targets, and all the goalline there is.  That or one of the other backs needs to get a multi-week case of the runs and can't play.

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2 hours ago, ThreadKiller said:

 

 

The Patriots are not a run first offense lol and they weren't last year either despite what ESPN might tell you....

 

EDIT: Back to Sony. It's one week. He is going to be fine.

 

I disagree wholeheartedly.  I can see the argument that they are a passing team and, that, by many cases is because of the personnel shortages they have had at the RB position over the past decade.  With Michel, Burkhead, and Harris - this is a stocked running group and they are going to use it.  Having followed the Patriots my entire life, there are typically three types of drives: 

1. Play-action setup - run run run run and pop a pass, maybe a second pass and then run run run.  This is typically 75% of their drives. 

2. The Edelman or White drive - four to five plays in a row where they just feed one or two of these guys (Gronk use to have a Gronk Drive too).  Lots of screens, slot passes, etc..  At least one of these will occur every game.  More often than not, it is before the half or just after the half. 

3. The all throw drive - These are becoming rarer and rarer as 2007 fades into the rear view mirror.  I'd say that these types of drives make up 10% of their drives. 

Estimate the Patriots have 10 drives a game.  That leaves you with 1 Edelman/White drive, 1 all throwing drive, and the rest are play action set up drives.  That is your Patriots offensive in a semi-coherent nutshell. 

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3 hours ago, dudewithabadcat said:

 

I disagree wholeheartedly.  I can see the argument that they are a passing team and, that, by many cases is because of the personnel shortages they have had at the RB position over the past decade.  With Michel, Burkhead, and Harris - this is a stocked running group and they are going to use it.  Having followed the Patriots my entire life, there are typically three types of drives: 

1. Play-action setup - run run run run and pop a pass, maybe a second pass and then run run run.  This is typically 75% of their drives. 

2. The Edelman or White drive - four to five plays in a row where they just feed one or two of these guys (Gronk use to have a Gronk Drive too).  Lots of screens, slot passes, etc..  At least one of these will occur every game.  More often than not, it is before the half or just after the half. 

3. The all throw drive - These are becoming rarer and rarer as 2007 fades into the rear view mirror.  I'd say that these types of drives make up 10% of their drives. 

Estimate the Patriots have 10 drives a game.  That leaves you with 1 Edelman/White drive, 1 all throwing drive, and the rest are play action set up drives.  That is your Patriots offensive in a semi-coherent nutshell. 

 

I’ve followed the Patriots my whole life too. Not sure why your comment had to be prefaced with that or why it would make what you say any more valid?

Week 14 against Buffalo last year was run heavy and the AFC game against KC was barely more rush than pass (nearly 50-50). The Buffalo game was unique bc they clearly respected Buffalo’s pass defense and the AFC game where they wanted to keep Mahomes off the field. Other than that, they were in line with previous years. And in previous years, they had games like this too. They are a game plan specific team and people clinging to this bs that they are a run first team now bc of two recent games is just dumb.

Anyone who follows football knew the game plan against Pit would be pass heavy (Pitt has a strong run defense).

The Patriots last year were BETTER in obvious running plays than they were in previous years. But that doesn’t mean their philosophy changed to a run first team lol. Again, look at the numbers.

Also, having a stocked RB core doesn’t mean anything besides them having a stocked RBs core. Again, look at the numbers. They pass more than they rush with 1-2 outliers at end of 2018 that people are using to skew the numbers. There is no disagreeing because it’s a fact lol.

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I was big on Michel in my FF draft, but seeing the first game, I remember all the frustration that comes with owning someone on the Pats not named Brady or Edleman. You just never know what you're going to get because it's all part of the master plan. I wouldn't doubt that BB is specifically calling lame run plays for Michel just to set things up for Miami and future matchups.  He's playing chess while everyone else plays checkers. 

What does that mean for Sony? 

It means one game he'll go off and get your 1 or two TD's, and other games will be just like last night. 

Is that gamble better than the gamble of a AP or Chris Thompson? I don't know...or even handcuffing with Malcom Brown or Samuels. There will be no "league winning" with Sony...and with AB there, I would expect even more of a gamescript to pass.

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