TE Zach Miller, Free agent
HT: 6-5, WT: 255, Born: 11-12-1985, College: Arizona State, Drafted: Round 2
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Zach Miller spent his first four seasons with the Raiders, and during his time in Oakland, he was a borderline fantasy starter from about midway through his rookie year on. When he got to Seattle in 2011, however, his role in the passing game was reduced and he's been of little fantasy value since. Seattle's run-heavy offense isn't designed to get the tight end the ball with any regularity. Miller's skills fit what the Seahawks want in a tight end: he is a smart, disciplined player, a solid run-blocker, and a reliable pass-catcher on short and intermediate routes. But he is not the downfield receiving threat that fantasy owners covet. Consider him only a weak backup in standard fantasy leagues.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Millerís three catches showed that he hasnít lost anything Ė he is still a threat as a pass-catcher Ė but, his opportunities in this offense will remain at a minimum. Pocket protection is the priority here, and so Miller doesnít break free often enough to become a threat very often. He did have a red zone catch, but on 3rd and long, it was almost a checkdown look that the Panthers simply allowed in their prevent defense.
Week 2 - Miller again proved to be a reliable target, pulling in two short catches on four targets. This is actually significant, because itís the same amount of targets that he received in week 1, but in this game, the running game took over, and the Seahawks only threw the ball 19 times all day.
Week 3 - Miller opened some eyes with a double-TD game. His first catch was a brilliant diversion (play action) which left him wide open in the end zone for the easy grab. On the second one, he showed very impressive concentration, staying in bounds on the sideline, just across the goal line. Miller continued to see targets, and even was thrown to on a deep crossing pattern, but the pass was off. The Seahawks are clearly making him a target and not an afterthought.
Week 4 - Millerís only catch was in the second half, an option-pass for a short gain. He was then targeted on a short screen, but the throw was hurried and Miller dove but couldnít get to it.
Week 7 - Miller, now back from injury, seems to be gaining prominence in the offense. Or, at the very least, he definitely has the confidence of his QB. Miller made an athletic, diving catch over the middle for his touchdown. The beauty of it also was how he positioned himself between the safeties Ė there was no margin for error, and the ball showed up exactly in the spot he needed it to. He made another diving catch as he went after a sudden low throw from Wilson as he was being brought down by a heavy blitz. Even though Miller looked great, his fantasy line is still a crapshoot on the best of days. Between himself, Doug Baldwin, and Jermaine Kearse, the Seahawks have three excellent secondary options. But sadly, no one of them is likely to string together two good games in a row.
Week 8 - Miller caught a short pass underneath, but was tackled pretty quickly. In the second half, he made a similar catch, showing how much Wilson is relying on him as a safety valve these days.
Week 9 - Miller looked great catching a ball over the middle early on. He didnít have much room, but showed good hands as he was able to catch it in stride while getting hauled down almost immediately after. He was targeted on a similar play in the second quarter, but the pass was a little off. In the second half, he made a good catch in traffic from a scrambling Russell Wilson for the first down. Miller was quiet until the fourth quarter on the game-tying scoring drive, with his third catch of the day, another touch catch in traffic, as Wilson rolled right.
Week 11 - Miller simply did the job when called upon, never looking fancy. He first got open as Wilson scrambled, reminding everyone that while he doesnít see the ball often, he has receiver instincts and great hands, too. His second catch was a quick ten yard button that moved the chains near the end of the half. Mainly though, when his number was called, it was as an outlet option. As the Vikings got (ever so slightly) better at defending the deep ball, Millerís number was called more often on short routes. Donít expect him to lead the team in receiving again in the near future, however.
Week 13 - Miller quietly had a very big game. Most of the action happened early on as he first had a 60 yard gain. He was wide open on a corner route as the entire defense was caught looking the other way, and was downed at the 3 yard line. Three plays later, Miller lined up outside and ran a quick slant for the 3 yard TD. He was also targeted in the end zone once, but was overthrown. Miller has become a more frequent target later in the season, but also has been battling injuries from week to week, so has not found any consistency.
Week 14 - Miller was covered pretty tightly the whole game, and the result was that a lot of balls went to the other tight end. Miller did catch a short underneath pass and turned upfield for an easy first down, but that was the extent of his yardage contribution.
Week 15 - Miller was ignored in the passing game for the most part. He did have a red zone opportunity, and got open in the back of the end zone, but the ball was just a bit too far and though he caught it gingerly, wasnít able to keep both feet in bounds. He took a shovel pass for a 6 yard gain. And his third chance was another red zone target, but was overthrown.
Week 16 - Millerís first couple of targets, he had no chance on the ball. Between those and his TD catch, he was ignored in the passing game, as he was needed to quell the heavy blitz the Cardinals kept sending. He made the TD catch look easy, as Wilson found him open in the corner of the end zone and placed the ball perfectly.
Week 17 - Miller played the checkdown option this game, and delivered when called upon. Thatís not saying much though, as most of the time, he was blocking.
Week 19 - Millerís only opportunity came in the fourth quarter, on a short catch that he bobbled, but luckily had time to bring it in before the defense was on him.
Week 20 - Miller was quiet, but he had a play that will not get the due it deserves in affecting this classic game. Miller took a dumpoff for 15 yards on third and 22 that was enough to convince the Seahawks to go for on 4th and 7, which led to a long Jermaine Kearse score that gave Seattle control of the game for good.