2014 Fantasy Football Handcuff: Christine Michael
It is no secret that Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch is slowly starting to fall down fantasy football drafts boards this summer. He has received a beating in recent years and it seems inevitable that he will finally miss time this season.
Lynch has only missed one game of those three years, but he has constantly been listed on the injury report an frustrated owners to no end. Lynch hasn’t received much work this preseason and he likely won’t be in full game shape by the time the season opens.
Even worse, Lynch has been abused by the Hawks. Since heading to Seattle, Lynch has received an insane number of touches. He has rushed the ball 901 times over the past three years, which is the highest total in the entire NFL over that period. He even received 87 touches through the passing game. These are simply too many touches for a back in today’s league and this type of workload will only lead to more injures for the All-Pro back.
One popular handcuff occupying late rounds of the draft this summer has been RB Christine Michael. Michael is rumored to be behind Robert Turbin on the depth chart, but that still remains to be seen. Both backs are still unproven and have struggled at times, so the job is still up in the air and my money is on Michael to eventually win out the job down the stretch.
Michael is a very tough inside runner and knows how to finish out runs around the goal line. He shined last preseason and proved he is a very punishing back. Even though he didn’t transition it into yards in the 2013 regular season (18 carries, 79 yards), Turbin was similarly unimpressive last year (77 carries, 264 yards). Lynch’s backup job is completely up in the air at this point.
Michael is a must-add handcuff this summer. Even if Turbin is drafted earlier and ends up winning the backup job temporarily, Michael is still worth the gamble for any Lynch owner. He is just as likely to win the backup role and could develop into a strong handcuff by the middle of the season.