After several disappointing seasons, running back Knowshon Moreno was able to live up to his hype in 2014. With 1,039 rushing yards, 10 rushing touchdowns, 548 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns, Moreno seemed ready for a few more successful years with Peyton Manning. After the Denver Broncos decided to not re-sign Moreno and put the running game on Montee Ball‘s back, however, the dual-threat runner found himself a home with the Miami Dolphins. Now that he won’t have Manning leading the offense, will Moreno still be fantasy relevant?
For an offense that ranked 20th in passing yards and 26th in rushing yards, Moreno will be able to bring a new element to the passing attack for Ryan Tannehill. Since he was able to protect Manning, Moreno should remain on the field often to protect his new field general, who was the most sacked quarterback in 2013. With several key additions through the draft, there should be new holes and lanes that open up for Moreno that weren’t available for the Dolphins’ backs last year.
Moreno is apparently out of shape, and Lamar Miller has taken a large amount of reps with the first team in OTAs. Even though Miller never had the big season that analysts projected him to have, the hype train is once again behind him in 2014. Moreno wasn’t highly targeted in free agency, and teams could be worried that his stats were severely inflated because of his elite quarterback and talented teammates. The 26-year-old back has only rushed for 1,000 or more yards in one season, and he has only played two complete seasons since 2009 because of injuries and performance concerns.
He won’t repeat his numbers from last season, but Moreno is being severely underrated. The Dolphins have struggled running the ball since the departure of Reggie Bush, and Moreno is capable of being an offensive spark. With 286 rushing attempts between Miller and Daniel Thomas, Moreno is set to cut into their workload. Neither Miller nor Thomas is known for their pass protection, and the goal for Miami in 2014 is to protect Tannehill. Moreno won’t finish in the top 10, but there is no reason he can’t be a top-15 back in 2014.
Bye Week: 5
Projected Round: Sixth
Auction Value: $4(fftoolbox.com)