This backfield is messy, but we can see a trend. We have to identify which of these guys are reliable, and which aren’t. As of right now, it doesn’t look like Mike Gillislee is who we thought he was going to be. The Patriots used four RBs out of the backfield, and the snap count went like this:
- Dion Lewis – 26
- James White – 22
- Rex Burkhead – 14
- Mike Gillislee – 13
Lewis’ touch counts have been going up since Week 3. From Week 4 on, his touches have gone up from 5 to 9 to 11 to 14 this week. The Patriots seem like they want to get him involved, and he’s looked great doing it. He can be used in the passing game, although James White stills seems to have that role. Lewis has even been used as their goal line back in the last 2 games. Mike Gillislee, the assumed goal line back, had a season low 13 snaps this past week against the Falcons, even while having a lead throughout that game. Lewis was dynamic and a RB1 in PPR leagues in 2015 before he got hurt. If the Patriots start giving him 14-17 touches per game and start using him in the passing game, he can be more than a sneaky stash on your bench.