Mike Gillislee could be the No. 2 running back for the Bills this season behind LeSean McCoy, and he's worth keeping an eye on in training camp. Gillislee was expected to be No. 3 on the depth chart behind McCoy and Karlos Williams, but Williams was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. That could allow Gillislee to move up on the depth chart, and he might be the handcuff for McCoy. Gillislee appeared in five games for the Bills last season and finished with 47 carries for 267 yards and three touchdowns and six catches for 29 yards. He would need injuries to McCoy and possibly Williams to see increased Fantasy value, but he's worth a late-round flier if he opens the season as No. 2 on the depth chart. He could also be someone to add during the year should McCoy miss extended action.
Gillislee will have some competition for the No. 3 running back role after the Bills picked Jonathan Williams in the fifth round, BuffaloBills.com reports. "He's a big back. He's going to help on special teams," Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos says. "He'll battle with Mike Gillislee." Gillislee came out of nowhere last season and ended up having a key role with the Bills down the stretch, averaging an eye-popping 5.68 yards per carry while popping off three touchdowns in just five games. Williams, however, was a stud at Arkansas and slipped in the draft only because he was injured for much of his senior season. Perhaps there's room for four backs once you consider LeSean McCoy has a lock on the top spot and Karlos Williams a near lock on the top backup role.
Gillislee signed a contract extension Monday, BuffaloBills.com reports. Gillislee came out of nowhere to play in the final five games of the season, scoring three times and averaging a slick 5.68 yards per carry. However, we imagine the team is eyeing him for the No. 3 role next season, given that LeSean McCoy will be healthy again and Karlos Williams fits the bill of a strong No. 2.
Gillislee rushed 24 times for 28 yards and failed to catch his only target during Sunday's 22-17 win over the Jets. Starting running back Karlos Williams, who got the start in place of the injured LeSean McCoy (knee), was knocked out of the game in the first half with his own knee injury, leaving Gillislee to lead the backfield. While he got plenty of touches, he was remarkably poor with them, especially considering nine of his 28 yards came on one carry. With McCoy and Williams both expected to be healthy well before the start of training camp next year, there likely won't be enough touches for Gillislee to make a fantasy impact.
Gillislee ran for 93 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and caught both of his targets for 16 additional yards in Sunday's win over the Cowboys. Gillislee saw 11 touches while Karlos Williams got 19 in the absence of LeSean McCoy (knee), but the former Florida product was still able to finish as Buffalo's leader in yards from scrimmage. Look for Gillislee to stay involved in the offense next week against the Jets, as his recent high level of play should earn the 25-year-old some extra burn. Gillislee now has touchdowns in three straight games, and an incredible 10.4 yards per carry average on 23 totes this season.
Gillislee's teammate LeSean McCoy (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cowboys, Vic Carlucci of The Buffalo News reports. Karlos Williams is listed as probable, so it looks like Williams and Gillislee will share McCoy's usual workload. The team isn't saying who the starter will be (yet), but Williams, when healthy, has been the backup to McCoy all season and if he's close to full health he'd probably be the slightly better fantasy play. That said, Gillislee has looked great in limited time and no matter what he'll get his chances Sunday as well.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/16||New York Jets||3||13.13|
|4||10/02||@New England Patriots||5||14.00|
|5||10/09||@Los Angeles Rams||23||18.50|
|6||10/16||San Francisco 49ers||32||22.88|
|8||10/30||New England Patriots||5||14.00|
|17||01/01||@New York Jets||3||13.13|
|3 Year Avg||18||96||1||2||10||0||16|