Patriots rookie RB Sony Michel will require a "procedure" for a knee injury he suffered in practice Wednesday, according to The Athletic's Jeff Howe. The recovery is expected to cost Michel the entire preseason and might keep him sidelined "into the start" of the regular season. That's obviously terrible news for the fantasy outlook of a rookie back, especially one competing with Rex Burkhead and James White for backfield snaps and touches. We'll see how sharply Michel's ADP falls. He'll likely need to get to the Round 8 range or so in 12-team drafts to be worth the risk. Burkhead, meanwhile, should climb from an ADP that has already been ascending. Don't be surprised if we start to see him regularly go in Round 4.

Update: ESPN's Mike Reiss reports that Michel had fluid drained from the knee and that the situation "is not expected to affect Michel's availability for a significant portion, if any, of the regular season." We've moved Michel down our RB rankings and Burkhead up, but we'll keep watching for any further updates on this issue.

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11:12am EST 12/29/19

Patriots RB Sony Michel (illness) is active for today’s game against the Dolphins. He was added to the injury report on Saturday, but we’ve heard nothing about him being limited today. Michel boasts plenty of upside with the Pats big 17-point home favorites.

Patriots RB Sony Michel was added to the injury report on Saturday as questionable with an illness. We'll get his official game status by noon ET today. If active, Michel will be worth sticking with in an ideal matchup at home for the Dolphins' 25th-ranked RB defense.

"There isn’t much mystery regarding the Patriots running game," the Boston Herald's Kevin Duffy writes. "The preseason has made this much clear: The Pats are going to feed Sony Michel the ball early and often." It was a shaky spring for Michel, who was sidelined after another knee surgery. But he's been healthy throughout training camp and looked excellent in New England's 3rd preseason game. Michel figures to open the season as a workhorse on the ground -- and we've even heard that his role in the passing game might expand this season. He's a fine value at his current 5th-round ADP.

The Boston Herald's Kevin Duffy writes "it's pretty clear" that RB Sony Michel remains the Patriots' lead ball-carrier. Rookie RB Damien Harris drew some early-summer buzz but "hasn’t received many practice reps over the past week," per Duffy. Michel, meanwhile, has avoided a setback with his troublesome knee and even flashed improved pass-catching ability. He's turned into a nice value at his recent RB26 ADP.

Patriots insider Evan Lazar notes that RB Sony Michel has been seeing more work in the passing game in camp over the past few days. "The second-year running back ran routes out of the backfield and motioned out wide a few times as well," Lazar adds. Michel caught just 8 of 14 targets in 16 games (including playoffs) last year. But he turned in 22- and 26-catch seasons at Georgia. If he can even get up to 20 to 25 catches this season, it'd help his weekly reliability in fantasy lineups -- and obviously boost his PPR value.

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