Sony Michel Landing Spots: Dolphins, Rams, and Falcons make sense

With Sony Michel set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2022, where are some potential landing spots if the Rams RB leaves Los Angeles?

The 2021 fantasy football season is officially in the rearview mirror, but the grind never stops! As soon as one season ends, we immediately start looking ahead to the next. With Los Angeles Rams RB Sony Michel set to be an unrestricted free agent, let’s take a look at some potential landing spots and analyze the fantasy impact his arrival would have on those teams.

Sony Michel landing spots

Michel had a strong finish to the 2021 season after taking over for an injured Darrell Henderson. Over the final six weeks of the season, Michel averaged 21.5 carries for 90 yards with a 90% snap share. He’s certainly done enough to earn himself a relevant role somewhere in 2022.

It’s unlikely Michel will end up in a three-down role. He’s established himself as more of a two-down grinder. However, he can still end up in a fantasy-relevant role as a primary rusher and goal-line back.

Los Angeles Rams

There’s always a chance the Rams bring Michel back. We can safely assume they want to turn their backfield over to Cam Akers, but that will depend heavily upon how he looks during this postseason run and whether they feel he can return to his pre-injury form.

It’s entirely possible Michel could return to form a duo with Akers. However, that would conflict with head coach Sean McVay’s general approach to his backfield, where he has one lead back.

Earlier this season, Henderson was clearly the guy, dominating snaps and touches. Henderson is under contract for another year, but he only costs the team $1.3 million. They can easily go back to pushing Henderson aside as they’ve done his entire career since drafting him in 2019. The only scenario in which Henderson saw significant work is when the Rams were literally out of alternatives. He is not a threat to Michel.

If Michel returns to the Rams, his fantasy value will depend upon his role alongside Akers. We could see Akers as the lead back and Michel as just a backup like he was earlier this year. Akers could also struggle to regain his previous form, and Michel could check in as a high RB2. Ultimately, Michel is still more likely to leave the Rams, but it’s worth discussing what his return would look like.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins enter the offseason with the most cap space in the NFL. They also have quite an uncertain backfield. At various points this season, we’ve seen Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed, Duke Johnson, and Phillip Lindsay matter. The Dolphins are not committed to any of them long-term and can easily replace them with a guy like Michel.

Additionally, the Dolphins are more likely to try and address their backfield through free agency than the draft. They haven’t drafted a running back earlier than Round 7 since Kalen Ballage in 2018. The last time they took a Day 1 or 2 running back was Kenyan Drake in 2016. This just isn’t a team that drafts RBs.

In Miami, Michel would immediately become their primary runner. I wouldn’t expect him to be a three-down back, though. We should still see someone else handle passing-down work.

As a result, Michel’s fantasy value would be capped as a touchdown-dependent RB2. That’s still a useful asset and far better than where his career was headed following his 2020 campaign.

Atlanta Falcons

With the sixth-fewest cap space available, the Falcons aren’t necessarily in the best position to sign a running back. Nevertheless, they still may need to address the position.

Mike Davis totaled just 762 yards on 182 touches this season. He comes with a $3.25 million cap hit in 2022 but would only cost the Falcons $750k in dead cap if they release him. I would say he’s more likely to be cut than not. Would they want to sign a guy like Michel as opposed to spending a third- or fourth-round pick on a running back?

The last time the Falcons signed a former Rams running back, it didn’t go so well. Fortunately, Michel has way more left in the tank than Todd Gurley did.

If Michel does join Atlanta, his value will depend heavily on what the Falcons’ offense looks like. Matt Ryan is coming off the worst season of his career and is no guarantee to return in 2022. Fortunately, we have plenty of time to wait and see how things play out and determine Michel’s value for the 2022 season.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles