Fantasy Football 2020: Sorting out the New England Patriots backfield

As Damien Harris makes a case for a big role, how should fantasy football owners sort out the New England Patriots backfield?

Patriots, Sony Michel, Fantasy Football
NFL Analysis Network

Fantasy Football 2020: Patriots RBs

Let’s start with Michel, who has topped 200 carries in each of the last two seasons (456 total carries, 10th-most in the league over that span). As Benjamin Solak of The Draft Network notes, Michel is the only Patriots running back in the last decade to have back-to-back 200-carry seasons. He finished 2019 as RB24 in standard scoring and RB31 in full PPR.

White’s role as a passing-down back is unthreatened by Michel, who has 19 catches in his two seasons. White has at least 60 catches in three of the last four seasons, and even in standard scoring, he was RB29 in fantasy last year (RB18 in full PPR).

Harris looks like a threat to Michel’s early down role, and in a lesser fashion he may take some passing work away from White.

Burkhead and Miller are strictly wild-cards at this point, worth a roster spot in very deep fantasy leagues but nothing more. Newton will certainly take away some goal line work, with the most direct impact on Michel (86 red zone carries over the last two seasons) there.

Fantasy ADPs

Via Fantasy Football Calculator or Fantasy Pros, here’s where the average draft positions are for the Patriots running backs (scoring format noted, 12 team leagues).

Full PPR (FF Calclator: Michel (RB46, pick 9.12), White (RB32, pick 6.12)
Full PPR (Fantasy Pros): Michel (RB43, No. 119 overall), White (RB31, No. 81 overall), Harris (RB55), Burkhead (RB78), Miller (RB87)

Standard (FF Calculator): Michel (RB34, pick 7.08), White (RB42, pick 9.05), Harris (RB50, pick 11.01), Miller (RB69, pick 14.06)
Standard (Fantasy Pros): Michel (RB36, No. 89 overall), White (RB38, No. 96 overall), Harris (RB57), Miller (RB59), Burkhead (RB84)

The most stable role in the Patriots’ backfield is White’s. Despite a reputation that might say otherwise, Newton showed he can feed pass-catching running backs. Michel’s ADP will probably rise now that he’s on the practice field, possibly into low-end RB2 territory. Harris is shaping up to be a nice late-round flier, as if he’s able to beat out Michel double-digit touchdowns are possible for him.

With everything in mind, here’s the fantasy pecking order for the Patriots running backs right now.