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Fantasy Updates: Questions about Sony Michel, James Robinson, Cam Akers, more impact drafts, Week 1 rankings

Fantasy Updates: Questions about Sony Michel, James Robinson, Cam Akers, more impact drafts, Week 1 rankings

Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season has arrived, and that means that fantasy owners are starting to set their lineups for the first time while making tough start ’em, sit ’em decisions (or making tough late-round sleeper picks if they haven’t had their drafts yet). That means sifting through some injuries but also trying to figure out the pecking orders in some of the league’s most unpredictable running back depth charts without having seen anybody play in preseason action. If you have Sony Michel, Damien Harris, James Robinson, Devine Ozigbo, or Cam Akers, it’s going to be tough to make a decision, but the latest injury updates impacting fantasy RB rankings should help owners make better judgment calls.

For updates on key WRs, including Brandin Cooks, A.J. Green, and Golden Tate, click here. For all the latest fantasy injury news and updates, check back here and on Twitter @SN_Fantasy

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2020 cheat sheet

Sony Michel, Damien Harris injury updates

Heading into the 2020 season, there is quite a bit of uncertainty at the running back position for the Patriots. They have a lot of talent at the position, but the way that Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels would split the carries remains a huge question mark.

Ahead of Week 1, there is a bit more clarity in the Patriots’ backfield due to a key injury. Damien Harris suffered a hand injury that landed him on IR. He will miss at least three weeks as a result of the injury. Harris had been viewed by some as a sleeper RB that could become New England’s lead back, but now his path to doing so will be put on hold.

In Harris’ absence, the assumption by many fantasy owners is that Sony Michel will resume lead back detail for the Patriots. However, ESPN’s Mike Reiss is reporting that the Patriots “figure to ease Michel into the mix” as he returns from offseason foot surgery. So, while Michel has long-term upside and TD potential, it’s hard to know exactly how much the team plans to use him.

Because of the injury to Harris and Michel’s return from an injury of his own, the Patriots figure to use a frustrating committee approach to kickstart the season. Michel will likely split carries with Rex Burkhead while James White handles most of the pass-catching work out of the backfield. Of the group, the only one with a sure-fire role is White. The other touches out of the backfield could be split in any number of ways.

White figures to be an RB2 in PPR and potential flex play in standard. Michel could probably be a standard flex play, but you’d be banking on a TD by playing him. As such, he is a risky play even in a favorable Week 1 matchup against the Dolphins.

WEEK 1 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Fantasy Sleeper: James Robinson

After the Jaguars’ release of Leonard Fournette and the subsequent placement of Ryquell Armstead on the COVID-19 list, the Jaguars have a lot of questions in their backfield. And at the moment, it seems that they might be rolling with an undrafted rookie as their top RB.

According to Rotoworld, the Jaguars’ first official depth chart of the season featured Robinson as the team’s RB1. Second-year man Devine Ozigbo came in as the top backup, while Chris Thompson was listed as the RB3.

How much should we read into this development? It’s hard to say. Without a preseason, it’s tough to know exactly how Robinson, Ozigbo, and Thompson acclimated to the Jaguars’ offense. What we do know, however, is that Robinson totaled 1,917 yards and 18 TDs on the ground last year for the FCS Illinois State. That’s obviously a couple of rungs down from NFL-level competition, but he could emerge as the team’s lead back if he proves explosive enough.

For now, the safest Jaguars RB is Thompson, as he will play a role as a receiving back and put up solid numbers each week if healthy. As for Robinson and Ozigbo, neither is a recommended start this week, but both should be scooped off the waiver wire or added late in the remaining fantasy drafts that are yet to happen. We’ll soon see how the rotation shakes out.

WEEK 1 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Will Cam Akers be the Rams starting RB in Week 1?

The Rams may have spent a second-round pick on Akers, but it doesn’t appear that they are ready to trust him yet. As reported by Kevin Modesti of The Orange County Register, Sean McVay is planning on using a three-back rotation involving Akers, Darrell Henderson, and Malcolm Brown.

Obviously, this will hurt Akers’ value, at least early in the season. The rookie who ran for over 1,100 yards at Florida State should eventually overtake the other two backs, but for fantasy purposes, relying on Akers as anything more than a low-level RB2 would be a risk.

That outlook could change if Henderson (hamstring) can’t play in the opener. That said, McVay said that he’s “optimistic” that Henderson, a third-round pick in ’19, will be able to see the field, so it will likely take time before we know just how big Akers’ role with the team will be.

WEEK 1 DFS CASH LINEUPS:
Yahoo | DraftKings | FanDuel

AJ Dillon sleeper update

The Packers may have spent a second-round pick on Dillon, but it doesn’t appear that he is ready to contribute in a big role for the team yet.

According to The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, Dillon is expected to be the third RB on Green Bay’s depth chart behind Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. This isn’t a huge surprise, as Jones was one of the best backs in the NFL last season (and in fantasy) while Williams has proven to be a nice receiving complement to Jones.

Dillon may eventually work his way into the rotation more as the season goes along. For now though, it’s tough to trust the rookie as anything more than a potential handcuff stash.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

About the author

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Christine Watkins

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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