The Rams got some badly needed depth for their running back room while the Patriots cleared out a glut in theirs when New England sent Sony Michel over Tuesday in exchange for what will likely end up being a fourth-round pick. Michel is a former first-round pick and the Rams might have a role for him, but is this enough to change anyone's value in either backfield? 

Let's take a look at what it means for both sides:

Rams: How does Michel fit?

Since Cam Akers' season-ending Achilles injury, the Rams have been pretty consistent that they weren't looking to add a veteran to the backfield. Whether that was just bluster or whether what they've seen changed their mind, the end result is Michel is here and figures to share time with Darrell Henderson. But what will that actually look like?

I'm leaving Henderson as the lead back, but Sean McVay has also made it clear he doesn't view Henderson as a one-to-one replacement for Akers, and the acquisition of Michel seems to confirm that. Maybe it's because the thumb injury Henderson suffered in practice recently is more serious than initially expected, or maybe it's because the Xavier Jones/Jake Funk combination wasn't doing enough to make the team confident in its other options. 

Whatever the explanation, I'm expecting Michel to take on a decent workload in the rushing game, but still behind Henderson. That's bad news for Henderson's value, as he drops from RB19 to RB27 for me in my updated rankings. I'm actually giving Michel a slight upgrade in usage from what I expected in New England, because a fourth-round pick is an awfully high price to pay for a guy you won't lose. Still, he's just RB49 for me, so I'm not saying to get too excited. 

Ultimately, the biggest question here is what the passing game roles look like. Michel was never used much as a pass-catcher in New England with 29 receptions in 42 games, including the playoffs, so the expectation should be that he won't have much of a pass-catching role. Henderson was a pretty good receiver in college and has been effective when asked to do it in the NFL, but he's also played just 50 snaps on third down in his NFL career, so it's not clear if the Rams trust him in that role.

So, does that mean this will be a three-back committee, with Xavier Jones handling some of the more obvious passing downs? If so, this is probably a situation we'll want to avoid, at least in the first five or six rounds on Draft Day. Because we could be looking at a situation like the one in Tampa, with a split early down role and then a third-down back.

However, if the Rams do trust Henderson to handle passing downs mostly, while splitting early-down work with Michel, he could still be a must-start Fantasy option. It's hard to project that right now, but we'll see what the team has to say in the coming days and what reports we get from practice before closing the door on the possibility. 

And, I'll also add that there is at least a chance Michel ends up the lead back here. He's been largely written off by the Fantasy community as a boring plodder, and maybe that's all he'll ever be. But he actually looked pretty good for the Patriots last season, rushing for 449 yards on just 79 carries. He had a career-high in yards after contact per carry and broken tackle rate, and had six plays of at least 20 yards on just 86 touches; he had seven such plays on 475 touches in his first two seasons.

Michel is a fine target around the 120th pick as a bench RB with a little bit of upside in an offense that could create plenty of goal-line opportunities. 

My projections for the Rams backfield:

Darrell Henderson2004.3861541298.3239227
Sony Michel1424.4627424168.3137149
Xavier Jones534.3230341297.4213163

Patriots: What does the depth chart look like?

We know Damien Harris is going to be at the top of it, and we know James White has his pass-catching role locked in. The question is, who steps up as the primary backup/complement to Harris? 

Smart money seems to be on Rhamondre Stevenson, who has been the star of the preseason so far, rushing for 193 yards on 25 carries with four touchdowns. The rookie fourth-rounder has shown  surprising speed and agility in addition to his expected physical rushing style, and you have to think his performance helped make Michel expendable. However, he has been targeted just twice, catching one pass for 8 yards, so that part of his game may not be there.

Second-year back J.J. Taylor has been impressive in his own right, rushing for 103 yards on 14 carries while adding eight catches for 49 yards, and it's the potential as a pass-catcher that might make him the more interesting option here. Last season, the most productive Patriots running back in Fantasy on a per-game basis was actually Rex Burkhead, who bridged the gap between Harris' early-down role and White's pass-catching role. If Taylor carves out a similar role, he could have some appeal as a late-round option.

My assumption is that Harris remains the lead back, and my expectations for him are largely unchanged -- I just have Stevenson stepping into Michel's vacated role for now. And, given that it's the Patriots, I don't expect to get much clarity on this situation until the games actually start to count, so take everything here with a grain of salt.

Except for this: Harris isn't a great target even as the lead back. He's struggled to stay healthy even without a huge role so far in his NFL career, and that's why I have him projected for only around 220 carries. That might be low, though it's enough to get him to 1,000 yards in my projections. The problem is, he's still just RB37 in PPR, because he isn't likely to be used much in the passing game and will have a lot of competition for touchdowns if Cam Newton is starting. And, if Newton isn't starting, I would expect Harris' rushing efficiency to take a hit, because Newton's running ability helps open rushing lanes that wouldn't necessarily be there otherwise. 

Which is to say, while it's important to know who will fit in where in New England's backfield, the stakes are probably pretty low stakes, given the situation. Harris can be a decent low-end starting option, but it would take a lot for him to be a must-start Fantasy player. If anyone is going to emerge as that in this offense, it would be White, though he would need a much larger role in the passing game than he got last season with Newton. 

My projections for the Patriots backfield: 

Damien Harris2094.6963514107.573037
Rhamondre Stevenson934.34002968.349069
James White374.1153265468.7397245

So which sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen's huge season, and find out.