The Patriots, with the help of Mike Gillislee, have resolved their running back hierarchy.
White and Burkhead do the work. Gillislee scores the touchdowns.
It took Mike Gillislee six games to score three times last season in Buffalo. After joining the Patriots, he did it in three quarters.
It’s reminiscent of LeGarrette Blount, who scored 18 touchdowns in a similar role last year. That role now clearly belongs to Gillislee, and he is now officially on pace for 48 touchdowns.
Despite his on-field success, many fantasy owners were unable to enjoy it. A mere 48 percent of CBS fantasy owners started Gillislee, and less than 20 percent of owners had him starting in ESPN leagues.
It was the most carries Gillislee has ever had in a game, and the first three touchdown game of his career. But Gillislee is one of several backs in New England, and the fantasy relevance of the others is now shaky.
James White had 10 carries and three catches, but his overall numbers were unimpressive. Rex Burkhead did see a target in the redzone, but he was a virtual non-factor. These guys were expected to produce, but what’s the point if Gillislee is the man inside the five yard line?
The strength is that the Patriots run more plays than any other team. The looks are there, especially in PPR leagues, but the ceiling needs to be lowered. Gillislee is the vulture, and that’s all there is to say.
For now, he’s the number one Patriot to own in fantasy.