Fantasy Football Injury Reaction: How do the Patriots cope without Sony Michel?

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UPDATE: Reports on Monday indicate the injury to Michel is not thought to be as serious as feared. It is still unclear whether Michel will miss time or how much time he'll miss. What is written below could still largely apply for however long he is out and it is worth mentioning this is the knee Michel had problems with in college. It does seem less likely the Patriots will make a significant addition, but we'll get more news as the week progresses.

In the first half of the New England Patriots game against the Chicago Bears, Sony Michel was carted off after suffering a knee injury. It's too early to diagnose the injury, but it did not look like minor, with Michel's knee getting trapped under a lineman and then twisted. So where do the Patriots go from here?

Currently, there are only two options, give James White a feature role in the offense or give Kenjon Barner more work. Neither is ideal. While White is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, he has never had more than 43 carries in a season. Barner has never topped 30 carries in a season and has just three touchdowns in four-plus years in the NFL

In other words, there is not a feature back on the roster if Michel joins Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill on injured reserve. It's possible they could pursue a free agent and then turn that player into a starter (Mike Gillislee, anyone?),  or they could give more work to Barner. In either case, that player would be close to a must-add but no sure thing as a starter. 

I would expect a small increase in White's workload, and he was already a borderline No. 1 running back. Without Michel, White would be a top-10 option weekly in PPR and not too far behind in non-PPR. 

The hidden story here may be that New England just throws the ball more. Short throws to White and Julian Edelman can largely replace the running game, and we've seen the Patriots do that before. This could elevate Brady to No. 1 overall at quarterback and push Edelman close to top-10 status in PPR.

For now, watch the Patriots' transactions. If they haven't added anyone by Tuesday it either means Michel is going to be OK or Barner is a must-add. If they sign someone like Gillslee, you'll want to take a shot on him as well. This is the Patriots, so the situation will stay fluid, but a long-term absence for Michel likely means a significant boost for Brady, White and Edelman.

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Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

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