Pats Beat: RB Mike Gillislee could have big impact

Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss was asked which New England free agent signing could produce the most fireworks in 2017:

Reiss: I narrowed my choices to Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead because both project to be significant parts of the team's running back corps. I'll go with Gillislee.

Spring practices weren't the best showcase for Gillislee, whose forte isn't necessarily catching the football. So his role on the team, and his potential impact, will be better assessed when the pads come on and there is hitting and the running game can be worked on with few restrictions.

Related players: James White, Dion Lewis, D.J. Foster

Fantasy Impact: 

Reiss wonders Gillislee will be an upgrade over LeGarrette Blount. If that answer turns out to be yes, it could be a huge fantasy story in 2017. Keep in mind the Patriots will still have James White, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead and possibly D.J. Foster at running back, so it won't all fall on Gillislee. But Gillislee projects as the most likely running back to fill the void left by Blount, who is now with the Eagles. It's a big opportunity for him, Reiss went on to say.

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