Projecting Lamar Miller's Fantasy Impact After Being Named Starter by Dolphins
Whoever picked up Lamar Miller in their fantasy league got some good news on Monday.
Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reported that the second-year running back is the starter for the Miami Dolphins going into Week 1.
Dolphins depth chart lists Lamar Miller as the starter for Week 1.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) September 2, 2013
Miller came into preseason with Daniel Thomas as his main competition for the job after Reggie Bush signed with the Detroit Lions. Thomas had been largely underwhelming in the Dolphins' four preseason games, rushing for 52 yards on 19 carries, whereas Miller had 72 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
Hearing that he's the starter will come as little surprise to fans.
Now that he is penciled in as the Dolphins' No. 1 running back, it's appropriate to gauge what his fantasy value will be in 2013.
Where do you see Lamar Miller's fantasy value?
The Miami Dolphins remain very much a pass-first offense. They drafted Ryan Tannehill eighth overall in the 2012 draft and have spent a lot of money this offseason to surround him with weapons in the passing game. Mike Wallace got a five-year, $60 million deal, while Brian Hartline was re-signed for five years and a little over $30 million.
This is not say Miller won't get his touches. He has too much potential to think that Miami won't find ways to get him involved in the offense in a big way. Reggie Bush was able to be a reliable fantasy option, and there's no reason to think Miller can't be the same.
The former Miami Hurricane doesn't offer anywhere near the same kind of fantasy impact with his pass-catching. He'll be lucky to get any more than 30-35 receptions in 2013.
Miller's best asset is his speed. While he lacks the kind of agility and elusiveness to match that quickness, he will be very hard to track down when he hits the outside. As he's yet to be on the field very much in either the college or pro levels, defenses might have a hard time handling Miller this season as they don't have a lot of research from which they can determine the best way to stop him.
Since Miller is more of an outside runner, Thomas might end up stealing some carriers, especially near the goal line, which will hurt the former's fantasy value a bit. Although, having Thomas in the fold might actually help Miller in the long run, as Joe Philbin won't be using Miller in situations where he's going to have to be that physical inside runner. He'll only be used in situations where he can get positive yards and help the offense.
If you haven't drafted for your fantasy team, Miller is still a player you want to watch out for. You don't want to reach for him too early, but if you're looking for a No. 2 guy, it's worth taking a risk on the Dolphins running back.
Once you get past all of the top options, you've got the likes of Darren Sproles, Montee Ball, David Wilson, Eddie Lacy, Ryan Mathews and Darren McFadden. None of these guys really scream out being a reliable fantasy player at this stage, so you might as well hitch your wagons to a guy who has a high ceiling like Miller.
In order to win your league, you have to take some gambles. Drafting the Dolphins running back early is one such gamble. Or you could just ignore him and go with somebody safe. With an attitude like that, you can enjoy finishing in the middle of your league.
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