Bust Alert: Why We Wouldn’t Target Lamar Miller As A Fantasy Starter

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Texans’ Lamar Miller is just a year removed from a 1,073 yard campaign, and that came in just 14 games in 2016.  However he just never was able to get going last season, failing to average more than 3.9 yards/carry in any month and managing just 405 yards over the final eight games of the season.

Just to really hammer home the point, his season high was 75 yards (which came on October 1).  He only had two games all season where he topped 65 yards, and both of them came on October 8 or earlier.  It was a rough season all around, and the second time in the past three years where he failed to top 900 yards.  The last time you could argue that it was due to a lack of carries (872 yards on 194 carries), but last season he was 12th in the league with 238.

At least Miller was chipping in through the passing game in the early going, though there was a distinct split from when Deshaun Watson was on the field and when he wasn’t:

  • With Watson at QB – 2.6 receptions/game, 27.7 yards/game, 2 TD (in 7 games)
  • Without Watson at QB – 2.0 receptions/game, 14.8 yards/game, 1 TD (in 9 games)

Of course even the numbers with Watson under center wouldn’t make him a PPR force, though he never has been throughout his career (47 receptions in 2015 is his career best).  Maybe he can get 2-3 catches per game, but he’s never going to project to be a 60+ catch performer out of the backfield.

Then you have to worry about last year’s first round pick, D’Onta Foreman, taking on a bigger role.  Foreman’s season ended prematurely after tearing his Achilles, though all reports have him on track to be ready for the start of the season.  He was clearly the more productive back last season (4.2 yards/carry) and was viewed as a potential starter when he was selected in the third-round.  While the injury could slow his ascent, it may not take long for a change to come.

Whether you want to point towards the downward trend in production (he’s gone from 5.1 yards/carry in ’14 steadily down to last year’s 3.7) or the potential loss of his lead back duties, either should give fantasy owners concern about selecting him.  Is there enough upside to consider him as a WR3/4?  Perhaps, but he shouldn’t be selected as a starter or within the first five or six rounds of your draft.

Source – ESPN

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 preseason rankings:

Position
Date Updated
Quarterback08/31/18
Running Back09/02/18
Wide Receiver 08/29/18
Tight End08/24/18
Kicker08/28/18
Defense08/09/18
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