The curious case of the disrespect towards Lamar Miller

The curious case of the disrespect towards Lamar Miller
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Draft Lamar Miller in your league and you will be sure to get a reaction.


Lamar Miller is the only RB with at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage each of the past 5 seasons. Yes that stat is true and correct. For some reason, Lamar Miller keeps getting overlooked and disrespected. Despite continually being a proven, reliable, running back it’s just the way it is, a very curious case. Lamar Miller doesn’t possess any one elite trait and maybe this is the reason for the disrespect. Miller is an above average running back in the NFL. There are things that Miller is very good at, one of those things is constantly outperforming his ADP.

*Editors Note: Duke Johnson was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Houston Texans after the author had finished this article but before publication*

Behind one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league and on an above average NFL team, Lamar Miller should be a top fantasy asset on paper. Not only does he possess above average talent, he has the opportunity as his teams undisputed RB1. Fantasy is all about talent and opportunity after all.

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Upon leaving Miami, expectations were sky high for Miller at the Texans

Texans Career

Optimism was high when he escaped Miami that he would truly break out. However, that hasn’t been the case. The opportunities he has been presented with are seemingly endless, two seasons of over 210 carries yet he can’t break that glass ceiling and crack the top echelon of fantasy running backs. Still, he has shown to be a capable running back.

Lamar Miller was a bellcow in his first season with his new team’s colors. With 268 touches, he topped 1,000 rushing yards for the second time in his career, finishing with 1,073 yards at 4.0 YPC. Miller also finished the season with 31 receptions for 188 yards, 1 receiving and 5 rushing touchdowns. This was good enough to finish as RB 16 in standard scoring leagues.

Miller in his second season regressed in his rushing stats. Finishing with a stat line of 238 touches for 888 yards, 3.7 YPC and 3 touchdowns was disappointing. Miller had an uptick in receptions and receiving yards, finishing with 36 receptions, a handy 327 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns propelling him to finish as RB12 in standard scoring leagues. For such a disappointing season rushing, Miller still finished as a low end RB1 in 12 man leagues.

This was followed by an improved 2018 season. Miller quietly improved on his previous two seasons efficiency in Texans colors with of 210 touches for 973 yards at a very efficient 4.6 YPC, with 5 rushing touchdowns. Despite missing a game in week 16 against the Eagles with a minor ankle injury, Miller still finished as an RB2 in 2018 standard scoring leagues.

Despite averaging an impressive 4.6 YPC last season and a top 12 RB finish to his name in 2017 in the same colors, he is currently an afterthought. The past 5 seasons, in term of pure rushing yards, Miller has finished 12th in 2018, 16th in 2017, 10th in 2016, 13th in 2015 (at Miami), and 10th in 2014 (at Miami). Point being Miller is a near lock to put up solid numbers.

Lamar Miller has proven to be no slouch as a pass catcher

Competition

D’Onta Foreman was meant to provide a real threat to Miller after his season of 4.0 YPC but a devastating achilles injury has seemingly nipped that notion. As I am writing this article, sleeper app has sent me a notification (god bless) and Foreman has been waived. Clearly, he was unable to come back effectively from that achilles injury.

Given Karan Higdon and Damarea Crockett are a pair of UDFA, they seem unlikely to threaten. They now appear to be in a 2 man race for the number 2 spot on the depth chart. Both would be worthy dynasty additions for the future. My expectations, however, are low for the pair in 2019. Josh Ferguson rounds out the depth chart. Bill O’Brien will seemingly trade for another running back or sign a free agent who becomes available or sign one off waivers.

D’Onta Foreman was waived by the Texans this week

Karan Higdon above could be a valuable dynasty addition

ADP

On paper Miller should be a top fantasy player but, just like most of his career, he is an afterthought. A current ADP of 63 on fantasy pros is criminal. The 27th ranked running back, yet every year he finishes as an RB2, Hell, in 2017, as previously mentioned, he finished as an RB1. Still most people will view him merely as a weak flex play. Fantasy writers, experts and players are simply over Lamar Miller.

With a career average of 4.3 YPC, people should be higher on Miller but they simply are not.

At 28 the time is seemingly over for Miller to truly stamp himself as one of the most dominant running backs in the NFL. This isn’t to say he can’t be relevant and put up solid numbers, He has for his whole career.

In 12 man Leagues if his available after the 4th just take him. He is bound to outperform his ADP and finish as an RB2. It may be unspectacular but he does it on a consistent basis every season.The draft capital Houston invested in the offensive line should cause for some added optimism.

Good signs, Lamar Miller looking sharp early in training camp

Value

His trade value in dynasty comps is nil to non-existent. In dynasty competitions, even for competing teams, I doubt anyone would be willing to cough up even a late 2nd round pick for Miller, this is insane.

The starting running back for the Texans who will get over 200 carries should be more respected. Miller should be going for at least two second round picks but he simply isn’t. I’m imploring you, if you are competing and have a hole at flex or RB2, message the Lamar Miller owner and inquire about his price. It won’t be sexy but Miller can more than plug a hole this season. His stocks due to his name are low, BUY BUY BUY!

In Lamar Miller, you have a player who is likely to come off your league’s fantasy boards multiple rounds later than a player of his production should. As already stated Lamar Miller is the only RB with at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage each of the past 5 seasons!!!!!!

A gentle reminder Miller can take it to the house anytime

Final Words

Barring a remarkable trade for Melvin Gordon, Miller will be a steady but unspectacular RB2, he always is. Just remember, Lamar Miller is the only RB with at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage each of the past 5 seasons. Don’t be the guy who doesn’t draft value when you see it just because his last name is Miller, first name Lamar.


Thanks for reading my article guys I hope it was helpful. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @dynastyboyd and on Instagram @boydkillingworth.