Mike Gillislee is a 5th year pro out of Florida (my alma mater) and was a low 5th round pick by the Dolphins. He was on the practice squad of several teams over his first 3 years and finally got his chance after Karlos Williams showed up to the Bills training camp in 2015 over-weight and out of shape. Gillislee moved into the RB2 role behind Lesean McCoy and found some success late in the season. He then carried that over to last season where as a backup again he had 577 rushing yards and 8 TDs to go along with 50 receiving yards and 1 TD. As noted in several outlets, he was one of the most efficient running backs last year, with 5.77 yards per carry. On Monday, the Bills declined to match the Patriots offer sheet on Gillislee so he will officially join the Patriots and the Bills get compensated with a 5th round pick.
The Dynasty Winners:
Bill Belichick is collecting consistent, hard working, low-round running backs to mix and match depending on the game plan. He now has Gillislee, Rex Burkhead, James White, Dion Lewis, DJ Foster & Brandon Bolden. Gillislee was efficient with only 101 carries and his arrow is pointing up on carries in this offense. Many believe he will take LeGarrette Blount’s role in the offense and that could be true, although Rex Burkhead and Brandon Bolden could share it too.
I believe this is a win/win for two backs actually, Gillislee and Jonathan Williams who at the moment stands to take up the slack in Buffalo. Gillislee’s output should increase though I would warn that he is not a RB1 stud type back and will be playing in a notoriously hard to predict RBBC. So, While Gillislee’s star shines a bit brighter, he’s going from an RB3/4 to an RB2/3 role in my mind. I believe based on the replacing LeGarrette Blount talk he will be over-drafted and over-traded for in many leagues. He’s good, and he’ll have some decent production as a borderline starter in fantasy leagues, but don’t bet the farm on him either.
Jonathan Williams now moves up into the lucrative RB2 role in that Karlos Williams and Gillislee formerly held. Though Rex Ryan is gone, I believe Sean McDermott will play to the strength of this offense and that strength is in the backfield. While McCoy will get the bulk of the carries Williams will get his share too, assuming he doesn’t get drafted over in the NFL draft coming up. Williams is also a 5th round RB that had a bit better production and a bit better athleticism coming out of Arkansas. He fell in the draft due to missing his final season with an injury. After this Gillislee transaction was complete, I took to Twitter to find out who was more like in dynasty, Williams or Gillislee…
I agree with this poll, Williams has the better long term outlook. McCoy is 29 in July, has not played a full season in several years and has an out in his contract after 2017. If Williams doesn’t get drafted over and performs well in the RB2 role, he could be a fantasy starter sooner than you think.
The Dynasty Losers:
LeGarrette Blount is by all intents and purposes out of New England. At 30 years old and a solid group of RBs coming into the league this year, it will be hard for him to find anything beyond a committee role. James White, Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead get notched down a bit too as they have another RB to share carries with and most likely will only be relevant in PPR leagues.