Fantasy Football 2012: Why Dolphins Rookie Lamar Miller Is Worth Late-Round Pick

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Fantasy Football 2012: Why Dolphins Rookie Lamar Miller Is Worth Late-Round Pick
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

For Lamar Miller, being drafted by the Miami Dolphins in April was a dream come true. Miller was born and raised in Miami, and attended high school there as well, before ultimately signing a scholarship to play for the U. Miller is also one of the youngest players in the NFL; the University of Miami standout turned 21 less than two months ago. 

So now with a firm grasp of his bio, Let's examine Miller from a fantasy football perspective. Why should you, as a fantasy football team owner, draft Lamar Miller? He'll likely be relegated to the No. 3 spot at RB for Miami.  

Therefore, on the surface it appears that he'll be relatively useless on your fantasy football squad. However, Miller is one of the deep sleepers of this draft, and if he's available in the late rounds, he's entirely worthy of you taking a shot with him. Here's why.

 

The Two Backs Ahead of Him Are Injury Prone 

Miller may wind up being the No. 3 back for the 'Fins, but there's an excellent chance he sees serious playing time at some point in the season. Miami is a team that likes to use two running backs in various situations, so all it would take is veteran Reggie Bush or sophomore Daniel Thomas getting hurt for him to move up and get some significant touches. 

Bush has been injured constantly throughout his career, only playing the full 16-game season once in six years (per ESPN), so he's a virtual lock to miss some games this year, especially considering he's not getting any younger. 

Daniel Thomas also missed time last year due to injury, and although he isn't as likely as Bush is to miss time, his brief NFL history suggests a minor lack of durability. If Thomas gets banged up, look for Miller to step in and possibly steal some goal-line carries and score some cheap touchdowns for you this season. 

 

He'll Get Fantasy Points in More Ways Than One

According to the Sun Sentinel, the Dolphins coaching staff has been impressed with Miller, specifically with his 4.4 speed, fluidity and ability to weave his way through the defense. His ability to catch the football also hasn't been overlooked by the coaching staff. 

The 'Fins are so impressed that there's a chance they'll use Miller in the slot to gain a mismatch against the LBs who would be forced to cover him. This will give him openings to use his speed and agility, and if he gets into the open field, he'll be a problem for any defense. Since Miller could get you catches as well as points on the ground, he's especially worthy of a look in the late rounds if you're in a PPR league. 

Miller also is being looked at to contribute on special teams. There's a chance that Miller could return punts and kicks, which would be yet another way he could score fantasy points. If Miller returns punts,and kicks, gets a few touches on the ground and plays out of the slot to grab a few receptions, he could wind up being a solid flex-option in a lot of deep fantasy leagues. 

 

He's a Better Option Than Other Potential Late-Round RBs

According to FFtoolbox.com, Miller is currently rated as the NO. 77 RB, meaning that in most leagues he'll go undrafted. However, there are numerous names above him that I feel he's a lot better than. And considering how he's going to be utilized by Miami, he's a much better option than most of the RBs who fantasy owners will be considering when the 15th, 16th, and 17th rounds come, especially if you're in a 12-person, 17-round draft like I am. 

Miller is a deep sleeper, but he's the cream of the crop of the deep sleepers. His upside is enormous. If Miller is able to be utilized in both the running and passing game, as well as on special teams, he's much more worthy of being drafted than players similar to him in the current rankings. If Miller can impress us on HBO's Hard Knocks,, and I think that he will, I could see him potentially moving up rapidly and getting inside the top 60 RBs. 

I guess the moral of the story is that if you're in the 17th round and are looking to take a chance on a guy that no one else is looking at, take a shot on Miller. He may just turn out to have a great fantasy season and make you look like a genius come playoff time.

Follow me on Twitter: @rlongo924 

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