Fantasy Impact: Miami Dolphins Select Mike Gillislee
Dynasty owners of Lamar Miller barely had time to celebrate his apparent ascendance to starting running back before the Dolphins added a potential wrench with the selection of Mike Gillislee. Miller showed promise in his limited opportunities as rookie, rushing for 4.9 yards per carry over 51 total carries. Gillislee has a really similar size to Miller–both are between 5’11 and 6’0 and 208-212 lbs., but I think there are enough differences there that Gillislee could find a role other than Miller’s backup and potential successor.
I really like the fit for Gillislee in Miami, where new head coach Joe Philbin, formerly the offensive coordinator in Green Bay, will be introducing a zone-blocking scheme. Gillislee only had one year as a starter, but he was tremendously productive in that season. He showed patience as lanes developed in front of him and has the speed to dart through holes as they open, two skills that typically thrive in that system.
Both Gillislee and Miller are on the smaller side for an every-down player, which is why I think Gillislee may find more of his 2013 work on third downs. Gillislee may be the best pass blocker in a very strong pass-blocking class, and despite inexperience as a pro-style route runner, Gillislee has the hands and quickness to be effective in that role.
|Year||School||Rushes||Yards||Avg.||TD||Rec .||Yards||Avg .||TD|
College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.
Fantasy Impact with the St. Louis Rams
I probably like Gillislee more relative to many of the other backs and this draft and relative to his overall draft position than most, and Miami has the potential to be an excellent landing spot for his fantasy outlook. Miller is a talented player, but he has struggled with some injuries in college and as a professional, and I think Gillislee is already better in pass protection, which I think increases his long-term chances of becoming an every-down back.
Despite being the 13th running back selected, I think Gillislee deserves consideration as the fifth rookie back in fantasy leagues. Gio Bernard, Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball, and Le’veon Bell should all be in the mix to start as soon as week 1, but Gillislee is in that next tier of guys with talent and a shorter path to becoming a starter.