2013 Fantasy Football Week Four Dark Horse: Heath Miller

By Dustin Manko
Heath Miller
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been banged up. Injuries have taken a toll but players are starting to get healthy. It seems to me that you could use that sentence pretty regularly over the course of the last few seasons. Pittsburgh’s offense has struggled due to losses like Maurkice Pouncey, Le’Veon Bell and Heath Miller. Pouncey will be out for the season, Bell is expected to start Sunday and Miller returned last week. Miller could be a dark horse candidate to break out this Sunday in England against the Minnesota Vikings for fantasy football owners.

Miller caught three of four targets last week while playing just over 50 percent of the offensive snaps in his first game action of the season. He excels in blocking and pass protection, and with Pittsburgh struggling to keep Ben Roethlisberger upright, Miller will be on the field for the vast majority of snaps this weekend.

The Vikings have been destroyed by tight ends this season, especially in the end zone. They allowed a touchdown to rookie Joseph Fauria in week one. They allowed two to Martellus Bennett in addition to 76 yards in week two, and 66 yards and three touchdowns to Jordan Cameron last week. That’s six touchdowns allowed to tight ends in three games for you non math majors out there. You couldn’t really ask for a better matchup as the Vikings are allowing the second most points to tight ends this season in standard formats.

While Jared Allen only has one sack on the season, the Steelers should still respect his ability, especially considering the matchup against mistake prone Mike Adams. Adams has the physical ability to challenge Allen, but frequently makes mental errors like missing assignments. Due to that, expect Miller to be utilized often in both pass protection as well as his ability to provide Roethlisberger a short yardage, reliable target for a quick out when the pressure does come.

When I started writing this, Miller was owned in only 37 percent of Yahoo! leagues, largely due to his coming off the injury. This stat will rise quickly as Miller is coming off a career high 71 catch, 816 yard, eight touchdown season in 2012. Last season Miller also got five or more targets in 12 games, with an 11.5 yards per reception average. He is one of Roethlisberger’s favorite targets and is needed on a Steelers team that needs its playmakers to start stepping up. He should be in line for somewhere in the area of 5-8 targets at least, which gives him a solid chance to grab a minimum of 50-80 yards. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds the end zone.

Given the fact that he has been Roethlisberger’s security blanket and the choice matchup, Miller could very well leave England as the King of Wembley.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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