The Facts: Gillislee, barring an injury to others, is fighting for a roster spot after opening last season as the team's No. 1 running back.
Diehards Line: First-round draft pick Sony Michel, six-year veteran Rex Burkhead and "passing back" James White are locks, which leaves Gillislee, Jeremy Hill, Brandon Bolden and undrafted free agent Ralph Webb as the next layer on the depth chart vying for one or two spots. As ESPN.com's Mike Reiss suggests, that's an unexpected turn for Gillislee, who signed a two-year, $6.4 million contract as a restricted free agent last offseason, costing the Patriots a fifth-round draft choice when Buffalo didn't match the offer). Part of the reason Gillislee's spot on the roster isn't a guarantee is that the Patriots could cut him with no dead money on the salary cap, which is another important layer to consider. So Gillislee, who totaled 383 yards and five touchdowns on 104 carries last season and lost the top spot on the depth chart to Dion Lewis in Week 6, is one of the fascinating personnel storylines heading into 2018.