5 Reasons Mike Gillislee is Fantasy Fools Gold
7 Jun, 2017
Happy June, everyone! It's your old friend, Jimmie Maverick, and I am just waiting with baited breath for the 2017 Fantasy Football season to kick off! Today I want to talk about a player that may seem like a fantastic choice for your team, but will only bring you heartache and pain. This week I want to head up to the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots to talk about their newest acquisition, Running Back Mike Gillislee.
Last year was an amazing season for Legarrette Blount in New England. Blount was a fantastic late round draft pick(ADP #99 in 2016) who ended with 1,161 rush yards and 18 Touchdowns. Now that Blount has moved to Philly, the Patriots brought in LeSean McCoy’s backup, Mike Gillislee, to take over Blount’s role in their offense. Gillislee also had an impressive season with 101 totes for 576 yards and 8 TDs, mostly in relief of McCoy. On the surface, this seems like a sure fire home run to get Gillislee on your fantasy team, but hold on because you will regret taking him in very short order and here’s why:
- Blount was in an almost perfect situation last season, Gillislee is not. One of the big reasons why I targeted Blount was because Brady was suspended for the first 4 games. I knew they would be leaning on the run game in his absence, and they did (90 carries, 350 rush yards and 4 TDs in those games). He was also helped by Dion Lewis missing the first 11 games of the season due to an injury, so even after Brady came back, he was basically the only guy in the backfield and he got most of the work as a result of it.
- There are now FOUR viable running backs in the Patriot backfield. Along with Gillislee, they also added Rex Burkhead in the offseason. Burkhead is making $3.5 million, which is more than any of the other RBs in New England so you know he’s not going to just be a bench warmer. Likewise, Dion Lewis is amazingly still upright so he’ll have a role. Finally you have James White, who really came into his own last season during the Super Bowl (14 receptions for 110 yards and a TD) and appears to be the top pass catching back on the team heading into the 2017 season. Running Back By Committee (RBBCs) are always frustrating from a fantasy perspective and I’ve seen two and three man backfields, but this is the first time I’m seeing a legitimate four back committee.
- Good Luck guessing which one of these guys is going to get used. Here’s how hard it’s going to be. Last season during the playoffs, Lewis was the guy you wanted to own in their playoff game against Houston (41 rush yards, TD). The next week, against Pittsburgh, Blount got most of the work (47 rush yards, TD). Finally, as I mentioned above, you wanted to start White during the Super Bowl game. This is what it’s going to be like every single week this season and you will never know if it’s a good idea to start Gillislee. I'm guessing Gillislee has 3 or 4 good games but damned if I know when they will happen!
- This team has too many mouths to feed. Along with this super deep running corps, you also have Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and newly added Brandin Cooks and Dwayne Allen all fighting for targets. Unless Tom Brady is able to mastermind a season not unlike Peyton Manning’s historic 2014 performance (5,500 passing yards and 55 touchdowns) none of these guys are going to be fantasy viable.
- Bill Belichick hates your fantasy team! I’m always extremely wary of drafting any runner from New England because of the coach. The most important thing to remember is that Belichick will gameplan to undermine your fantasy team EVERY SINGLE WEEK! In fact, the only guy I trust to roster on the New England Team this season is the maestro, Tom Brady, because he’s the one who will get the numbers regardless (even though his is quite expensive at his current #40 ADP).
The pundits are estimating a 190 carry, 900 yards, 8 TD for Gillislee, which would make him a great bargain at his current ADP of #93. However, I’m betting that this production is split between him and Burkhead, so I have him projected with a 130-500-6 line which actually makes him the absolute worst choice at this level of the draft. Now I see him climbing up the draft board (current ADP #63) and everyone has stars in their eyes for what they think will be a Blount repeat performance. Don't bet on it!
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