Fantasy drafters are confident that Mike Gillislee will operate as the Patriots' early-down back this season. He's going in the early 6th round of recent MFL10 drafts. Rex Burkhead, meanwhile, is lasting into the 17th. While we're still betting on Gillislee producing more fantasy points, the situation isn't as clear as those price tags would suggest. In fact, Burkhead has been receiving goal-line reps in training camp -- as well as impressing as a pass-catcher. He might just be the most well-rounded back on New England's roster. Insider Phil Perry went as far as predicting that Burkhead will lead the team's RBs in snaps this season. He's well worth a look late in drafts.

Recent Shark Bites

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (neck) is active for today’s game against the Vikings. He shouldn’t be in fantasy lineups in his 1st action since Week 3, but we’re curious to see how much work he steals from Sony Michel and James White.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (neck) returned to practice on Thursday, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. Burkhead appears on track to play when 1st eligible in Week 13. He figures to be 3rd in the backfield pecking order, though, behind James White and Sony Michel. We'd leave Burkhead on the waiver wire for now outside of deep fantasy leagues.

The Patriots will place RB Rex Burkhead on IR with the neck injury he suffered in Week 3, according to the Boston Globe's Jim McBride. No word yet on Burkhead's exact injury or whether he's a candidate to return after 8 weeks. We'll look for more details, but Burkhead can be dropped outside of deep leagues and leagues with an IR spot. New England's once deep backfield has now lost Burkead and Jeremy Hill to injuries. That leaves Sony Michel as the clear lead ball-carrier and James White as the primary pass-catching back. Both guys look like weekly fantasy starters at this point.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead injured his neck in the 4th quarter of Sunday night's game against the Lions and did not return. He played just 7 snaps before exiting, carrying 0 times and catching 2 of 3 targets. He's fallen behind Sony Michel and James White in the backfield pecking order.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (concussion) is active for today’s game against the Jaguars. He remains the best bet to lead New England backs in touches after handling 19 of them in the opener.

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