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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL CRISIS POINT: LAMAR MILLER RB HOUSTON TEXANS

While far from a proven commodity, there was more than a little bit of hype surrounding the arrival in Houston of free agent running back Lamar Miller last offseason.  Freed from Miami where he was criminally underutilized despite hinting at big-time ability, Miller seemed to strike gold both in the bank account and with the opportunity in Houston with a Texans team that was searching for a bellcow back to ride throughout the season.  Possessing both the ability to break big runs with above-average speed and also helping as a pass receiver out of the backfield, Miller almost overnight turned into a mid-first round pick in 2016 fantasy football drafts.  With Bill O'Brien adding to the hype during training camp when he spoke about how much work Miller would get, visions of a fantasy football MVP campaign began to dance in his owners' heads.

Fast forward to present time and what we have now is a hobbled and vastly disappointing Miller who has fallen way short of his massive preseason expectations.  In fact Miller has been downright miserable at times, with both he and the Texans offense as a whole bearing some responsibility.  As far as the numbers are concerned, Miller goes into Week 11 with 720 yards on the ground at a good but not great 4.3 per pop.  Even more disappointing is the fact Miller has scored just two touchdowns on the year and also has not made much of a dent in the passing game with 22 catches for 124 yards and one score.  Miller also has suffered some shoulder and leg/knee injuries over the last three weeks, which has given both Alfred Blue and the explosive Akeem Hunt up to half of the workload during that span.  With Miller being so much of a letdown, Blue and Hunt's increased usage might be a sign O'Brien is looking for another solution at running back and that could be a huge hit to Miller's fantasy football outlook going forward.  Ultimately what we get the sense of is that Miller is reprising his good but not great numbers during his years with the Dolphins despite all of the extra work he has gotten.  Also it could be that Miller is starting to get banged up after the Texans ran him almost into the ground with a crazy workload in September.  Finally, the awful play of QB Brock Osweiler has allowed opposing defenses to load up the box to stop Miller and so he can't be totally blamed for his shoddy numbers this season.  Ultimately however, Miller has fallen well short of the mid-first round price tag he carried to say the least.  Turning things around for the better doesn't look like it is a given either by the looks of things given what we have seen in Miller's recent work.





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