Lamar Miller’s first two NFL seasons have not been outstanding, due to a limited role as a rookie in 2012 (51 carries) and a failure to assert himself as the Miami Dolphins’ No. 1 running back last year. The addition of Knowshon Moreno in free agency this offseason further pushed Miller off the radar of fantasy football owners heading into this year, but early reports out of OTAs suggest Moreno’s status atop the depth chart may be tentative.
After running the ball just 21.8 times per game in 2013 (29th in the league), the Dolphins are fairly certain to run the ball more with former Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor taking over as offensive coordinator. That should mean there will be carries to go around, even if Moreno is theoretically the team’s lead back.
Miller averaged a solid 4.0 yards per carry last year, and Miami has made an effort to upgrade their offensive line this offseason. In the seven games in which he had 11 or more carries last season, Miller averaged 4.7 yards per carry (531 yards on 113 carries).
Miller had 26 receptions last season, and if he sees the field enough that number could rise a fair amount this year. He is seeing time with the first-team offense during OTAs, which is a positive development even at this early stage.
The Dolphins have a lot running backs in the mix for playing time and roster spots, with Daniel Thomas and 2013 draft pick Mike Gillislee around. A poor training camp and preseason could push Miller far down the depth chart.
As long as Moreno stays healthy it’s hard to envision Miller being the lead back for the Dolphins. In a best-case scenario, with both guys in uniform, a 50-50 split of playing time and touches may come.
The news is positive surrounding Miller right now, due in part to Moreno reportedly already showing up out of shape. That makes him a potential value pick in fantasy drafts, with some upside potential if the Dolphins commit to running the ball more. Owners in deep leagues could do worse with their final pick or auction dollar, as long as Miller continues to build positive momentum.
Bye Week: Week 5
Projected Round: 12th Round
Auction Value: $2 (ESPN.com)