Fantasy Football 2013: Mike Gillislee Could Be Dynasty Gold

By Adam Pfeifer
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t look now, but current starting running back Lamar Miller might not even be the most talented of the Miami Dolphins runners.

You’d be hard pressed to find another fantasy columnist that is higher on 5th round draft pick Mike Gillislee. I constantly watch tape and talk about this guy, and now, it’s time for me to write about him.

A huge part of Fantasy Football is the dynasty or “keeper” leagues, which are very fun if I may add. They allow fantasy owners to hang onto a few guys heading into the next season who they think will be valuable. Of course, the younger guys are heavily favored in this format, as they are more likely to stick around longer. Gillislee is one of those guys who I believe has the skills to stick around and be a wise investment for dynasty league players.

The Player

Let’s look at Gillislee as a player. He isn’t blazing fast, nor is he an overpowering force. However, he is good in pretty much every facet of the game. One of his best qualities is his patience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched him play at Florida. He waits for the holes to open up and uses blockers to his advantage. Sure, he doesn’t have one out-of-this-world attribute, but like I said, he is an excellent overall player who can give you a little bit of everything. His 23 career collegiate catches don’t indicate it, but Gillislee is a strong catcher out of the backfield. He has strong hands and can run well in space. I was also impressed with his lateral quickness, a guy who can run side to side and makes strong, clean cuts. However, his strongest skill is in pass-blocking, which should allow him to see the field quite often in his rookie campaign. In my eyes, Gillislee is arguably the most underrated player in this year’s draft class and has all the tools to be a three-down back in this league.

For those interested, below are his collegiate statistics at Florida:

Year Attempts Yards Average TD Receptions Yards TD
2009 31 267 8.6 1 1 6 1
2010 58 325 5.6 7 6 17 0
2011 56 328 5.9 2 0 0 0
2012 244 1152 4.7 10 16 159 1


The Opportunity

There is a lot of excitement about Gillislee in Dolphins camp, and there should be. Though Miller will more than likely enter the season penciled in as the team’s number one rusher, Gillislee could be the darkhorse to land a starting job. Miller, though extremely talented, is still unproven himself, and Daniel Thomas hasn’t exactly panned out thus far. It may not be this season, but I truly wouldn’t be surprised if Gillislee was the starting back for this Dolphins team. I just feel like he is already a more complete back than anyone else on the roster. Miller is more of a home run hitter than complete runner, while Gillislee can possibly run on all three downs more effectively. Maybe it’s just me, but I think this kid is being overlooked far too much and will make a name for himself before you know it.

The Verdict

Unless you are selecting him as a late round flier (me) or handcuffing him with Miller, Gillislee won’t likely be drafted in many redraft leagues this season. But in dynasty leagues and rookie drafts, he is a very intriguing option. Right now, I’d probably rank Gillislee as the 5th best rookie running back (from a fantasy perspective) going forward. I have him behind guys like Montee BallLe’Veon BellGiovani Bernard and Eddie Lacy. These guys have better current situations than Gillislee, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are better backs.

Dynasty league addicts need to keep this guy towards the top of your list. Will he a be a household fantasy name in the near future? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure. I’ll be watching Gillislee exclusively over the course of the next two seasons.

I’m hopping on the bandwagon before anyone else can.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.



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