Cover Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images


The New England Patriots backfield is a mess right now, which means the NFL season has officially started. 


Jeremy Hill was lost in Week 1 to an ACL tear, Rex Burkhead started in Week 2, and the Pats most recently had James White and Sony Michel splitting carries in Week 3. Now we've got the unenviable task of trying to decipher which of the two is the more valuable back. 


First, let's look at what White and Michel have done in their first three games:


James White: 13 rushes, 66 yards, 14 receptions, 125 yards, 2 touchdowns

Sony Michel: 24 rushes, 84 yards, 2 receptions, 6 yards


What's astounding here is the fact that White nearly has nearly as many yards as Michel on 11 fewer carries. He also dominates the passing game and is featured as the third-down back. Michel may be the "starter" at the moment, but White is much more effective while on the field. 

There's nothing certain when it comes to Patriots running backs and fantasy production, but the consistency of White getting targets (and the .5 PPR) makes him the more appealing play here. Michel may very well turn into a solid starting running back, but his 3.5 yards per carry aren't enough to put him in your starting lineup for fantasy.

White is clearly the guy to have over Michel at this point, especially in PPR leagues. 


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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.