Rank's 11 offseason sleepers: Being Christine Michael


The NCAA approved unlimited meals for student athletes and I guess you can say that the one-and-done problem that has plagued men's hoops is officially over. Am I right? I mean, the allure of millions for being a lottery pick is nice, but ... hey look! Free Big Macs in the training room! You don't think Anthony Bennett would rather be eating some Raising Canes in Las Vegas instead of being a world-class bust in Cleveland? Actually, he's making so much money, he probably couldn't care less.

But this is great news for the NCAA. A cheap alternative, too (although maybe not for the University of Colorado).

This is probably the time you would figure there would be some sort of fantasy lesson here, right? Nope. Actually there is one, but first, all of this reminds me that I love NCAA football. Actually, I've known that for quite some time. But it does inspire me to play a little EA Sports NCAA Football on the Xbox (KickedBoar591).

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I love that game. I love to build dynasties. My typical progression is to take over a small school like Utah State as offensive coordinator before moving on to take over my own program. Normally a school like UNLV or San Jose State I can mold into the pride of the West Coast. Then I take on some of those bloated SEC schools and embarrass them like Nick Saban posing with a volleyball team. And then a school like Tennessee will try to pry me out of Vegas, but why would I leave? Why would I want to face that type of heat when I can become a legend -- like the football version of Jerry Tarkanian? Because unlike Tony Bennett, the avatar Adam ain't being paid the big bucks.

But fine, let me get into the fantasy football. Seeing that I do a lot of my uh, film study, by playing EA Sports NCAA Football, I end up attached to the players I use on the game. Maybe a guy like Bobby Turbin. Yes, I can call him Bobby because I nearly helped him win the Heisman when we were together in Logan, Utah. (Fictitiously, of course. Or simulated, or whatever.)

But even though I'm a huge fan of Turbin (I coached, played him or whatever), I have to believe Christine Michael is poised to be the sleeper back to watch in Seattle. And his name is pronounced CHRIS-TEN. Stop reading it wrong in your heads, because I totally know that you are. And stop smirking.

But let's get to the brass tacks. Marshawn Lynch is going to have a bit of a letdown after 400 touches last season. And before you go ape (expletive) Seahawks fans, I did not say the Seahawks were going to fall off. You guys will be awesome. Stop being so touchy. You're not Jets fans for (expletive) sake. Lynch, though. Running backs don't get 400 touches and return to dominance the next season. The statistics say it's tough to do.

So Lynch is going to be a huge risk in the first round because of all the excessive work. And even if Lynch doesn't fall off himself, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell knows he's got to get Tubrin or Michael into the mix. My money is on Michael.

We didn't get to see a lot of Michael last year, but he dominated in preseason. And yes, as I read that last sentence to myself I do realize that in a column where I talked about scouting football players on a video game, that seems excessively stupid. But he was dominant in preseason. And of course, rocked when I used Texas A&M for one season on EA Sports NCAA Football. Yes, I started a dynasty as the offensive coordinator for the Aggies, sue me.

In any event, we'll keep a key eye on the Seahawks' offensive workouts. And I'm confident Michael is going to emerge as the understudy and is even going to have some great weeks for fantasy enthusiasts next year.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.