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What to do with James White, Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead in Week 17 fantasy football

The Patriots will look to lock up a first round bye in Week 17. We break down the fantasy football implications for their trio of running backs: James White, Sony Michel, and Rex Burkhead.

Sony Michel of the New England Patriots runs with the ball during the first half against the Buffalo Bills in the game at Gillette Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The Patriots need to win in Week 17 to clinch a first-round bye, which makes James White ($5,900), Sony Michel ($4,900) and Rex Burkhead ($4,500) candidates to play their normal roles against the Dolphins. White has been the most productive fantasy back of the trio, averaging 13.5 DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP) per game, compared to 9.3 DKFP for Michel and 8.0 for Burkhead. White has seen the most playing time of the three, playing on 43% of the Patriots’ offensive plays, compared to 36% for Michel and 23% for Burkhead.

Fantasy football analysis: New England Patriots RBs James White, Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead

The Patriots’ usage of their skill players can be notoriously difficult to predict, but the matchup and flow of the game could lean towards Michel being the best fantasy play this week. White is best served as a pass-catching back, and with the Patriots facing a foul Dolphins team that comfortably ranks last in point differential, New England’s offense could see expanded rushing volume if the game gets out of hand. Michel was the most productive of the three in a Week 2 blowout win over the Dolphins, getting 21 touches and recording 13.3 DKFP. Miami has a poor run defense, ranking sixth worst in rushing yards allowed, which makes the matchup appealing for Michel.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Michel in DraftKings contests and seasonal leagues

Start White in seasonal PPR leagues