Fantasy Football Profile: Christine Michael

By Matthew Erickson on Thursday, June 20th 2013
Fantasy Football Profile: Christine Michael

 

The Seattle Seahawks have developed a reputation for surprising the NFL world on draft day, and 2013 was no exception. They didn’t have a first-round pick after trading it to the Minnesota Vikings for Percy Harvin, so they weren’t on the clock until the 25th pick in the second round. They traded that pick to the Baltimore Ravens, so they finally made their first selection with the final pick in the second round, and they shocked everyone by picking a running back: Texas A&M’s Christine Michael. Why would the team that already cuts checks to Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin draft a player Mike Mayock called “as gifted as any tailback in the draft”?

 

College Stats
Year Att Yds Avg TD's Rec Yds Avg TD's
2009 186 844 5.1 10 15 66 4.4 0
2010 126 631 5.0 4 13 174 13.4 0
2011 149 899 6.0 8 8 35 4.4 1
2012 88 417 4.7 12 8 48 6.0 0
Total 549 2791 5.1 34 44 323 7.3 1

 

Seattle drafted Michael because they prioritize running the football, and they put a high premium on great athletes. Michael was one of the brightest stars in the NFL Combine. He ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, broad-jumped 10’5”, and added a 43” vertical jump. He also had a 4.02 short shuttle and a 6.69 three-cone. Those are all seriously elite numbers, especially for a 5’10” 220-pound running back. He has feature-back upside, but he needs a couple years of seasoning, and Seattle was a team uniquely positioned to offer that to him.

As the current third back on the depth chart, Michael’s in-game involvement should be light throughout his rookie year. Leon Washington was cut after the 2012 season, so his 23 carries will need to be absorbed somewhere. Lynch likely won’t receive another 315 carries, but the majority of the touches he gives up will go to Turbin, so expect Michael to end up with somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 total touches, meaning he shouldn’t be considered draftable in redraft leagues.

However, he should be a solid mid- to late-round option in dynasty leagues, as he is likely the running back Seattle has tabbed to replace Lynch in a couple years. Lynch is under contract through 2015, but Seattle could cut him in 2014 without absorbing too much loss, and they would actually save money by cutting him after the 2014 season. Running backs’ careers typically peak around the ages of 28 or 29, and Lynch has borne a heavy workload. If he’s showing signs of decline, Seattle won’t hesitate to move on, and Michael should be perfectly positioned to replace him. His dynasty value will be significantly higher next year, so get him early if you want to get him cheap.

 

2013 Stat Projections: 46 carries, 216 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, eight receptions, 85 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown

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