RB Lamar Miller - Houston Texans
|5-11, 212||Born: 4-25-1991||College: Miami (FL)||Drafted: Round 4, pick 2012|
2018 Week 1 vs NE (20 / 98 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)
Knocking on the door step of rushing for a 100 yards, Lamar Miller had one of his better games for the offense. Ripping off a 31 yard run to get the Texans out from deep their own territory, Miller looks much stronger and quicker this season. He showed the ability to break tackles and more importantly gain positive yards. Still the Texans top back, Miller's 20 carries are right in his sweet spot of when he is most effective. Add in 1 reception for 11 yards, it was a good showing for Miller and the running game.
2018 Week 2 vs TEN (14 / 68 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)
Not as successful day as last week but Lamar Miller is still doing good things on the ground. With the Texans behind the entire game, they have to go away from the running game and that means going away from Miller. His longest run was 18 yards but he was doing a good job of getting to open grass to eat up yards. Miller is showing a much better knack for breaking tackles. Miller was averaging 5.8 yard a carry through the first half and it is clear the Texans working the outside zone is right in line with Miller's strengths. Miller also had 2 receptions for 2 yards, one was a screen pass the other was a check down that were shut down immediately.
2018 Week 3 vs NYG (10 / 10 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 41 / 1 rec)
It was a terrible day for the Texans lead back. Lamar Miller has 13 yards on the ground and 5 receptions for 41 yards and a late garbage time touchdown reception with 1 second left in the game. He lost a key fumble in the game after the Texans were driving into Giants territory. The Texans abandoned the run game but used Miller in the passing game. If it wasn't for the fumble it might have not been as bad of day it ended up being for Miller.
2018 Week 4 vs IND (14 / 49 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Another tough day for Lamar Miller on the ground, only putting up 49 rushing yards and no targets in the passing game. Miller's best run was 15-yard but he was sandwiched in-between to defenders and he did not return to the game. The loss of Miller is not considered serious but it was enough to keep him out of the game for the remainder of the day.
2018 Week 6 vs BUF (15 / 46 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 25 / 0 rec)
Back after missing last week's game with a chest injury and it continues to be up and down for Miller as a running back. 71 total yards on the day, Miller was rusty and struggling to make a difference in the run game. He did have some runs that looked solid and that was when he put his head down and hit the hole with a purpose. Miller's longest run was 11-yards but the biggest development was him getting some screen pass looks thrown his way. He turned one of the screen passes to a 16-yard gain and another check down for 9-yards. Miller continues to try and find his way in the offense and after a strong start the first two weeks he has been anything but that.
2018 Week 7 vs JAX (22 / 100 / 1 rush, 3 / 1 / -1 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller broke a 22-game streak on not rushing for 100-yards in a game. Against the Jaguars, Miller hit 100 on the head on 22 carries. If anything Miller looked spry and with some solid blocking up front he was able to eat up yards on the ground. He had a 5-yard touchdown run to score he first touchdown of the game. Miller only had two rushes for 10 yards or more but he was knocking holes in the Jaguars defense with small chunks. Miller only had one rush go for a negative gain the entire day.
2018 Week 8 vs MIA (18 / 133 / 1 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The emergence of Lamar Miller has been huge for the health of Deshaun Watson and the winning streak the Texans have put together. Miller rushed for 133 yards which marked his second 100--yard game in a row. Miller even was able to show the explosion with the ball in his hands with a 58-yard run that saw him make defenders miss and use his speed to get into the secondary. Miller had a 2-yard touchdown run to start off the scoring for the offense. Miller also had runs of 19 and 15 to cut into the Dolphins defense which eventually opened up the passing game for Watson.
2018 Week 9 vs DEN (12 / 21 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 27 / 0 rec)
Talk about a rough day for Lamar Miller, 12 carries for 21 yards and 9 yards being his longest run of the day. Miller struggled to get anything rolling on the ground. He did have 2 receptions for 27 yards and a key first down catch for 16 yards to get the Texans out of the hole in terms of field position.
2018 Week 11 vs WAS (20 / 86 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)
It was a tough task for the Texans against the Redskins defensive front and Lamar Miller was able to rush for 86 yards on the day. His longest run was a 21-yard dash on an outside zone play that saw him not break stride until the safety got the angle on him. He had some strong runs for the Texans and he was able to chip in three receptions for 22 yards giving him over a 100 plus all purpose yards on the day. Watson is starting to trust Miller in the passing game more and taking what the defense is giving him. Bigger things could be on the horizon for Miller in the passing game for the coming weeks.
2018 Week 12 vs TEN (12 / 162 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Talk about a resurgence for the veteran running back, Lamar Miller rushed for 162 yards and with just 6 carries in the first half, it saw him rush for 21, 12 and 11 yards on three carries to open up the game. His biggest run came from the Texans own 2-yard line where he broke one tackle on a power play then outran every Titan defender to the end zone to cap off a 97-yard touchdown run. Miller's 13.5 yards per carry were eye opening especially with the amount of yards he was ripping off. It continues to be a solid second half of the season for Miller.
2018 Week 13 vs CLE (19 / 103 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller has now rushed for 100-yards in 4 of his last 6 games and it continued to be a productive day for the veteran back. Miller rushed for 103 yards and his longest rush was for 32-yards to get him over the century mark. Again, Miller was able to break down the the Browns and the cut back was there for him in the zone game. Miller remains the bell-cow for the Texans offense but they are being careful with him not to overload him with work running the football.
2018 Week 14 vs IND (14 / 33 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 19 / 0 rec)
It was an ugly day for the Texans running game and Lamar Miller struggled to get going on the ground. The offensive line was getting consistently beat forcing some poor runs for Miller. His longest rush of the game was 13 yards and coming out in the second half, the Texans opted to use Alfred Blue instead. Miller did have a 1-yard touchdown plunge on a direct snap to open up the scoring on a key 4th down play in the game. Miller also had 5 reception for 19 yards, with his longest reception for 5 yards.
2018 Week 15 vs NYJ (3 / 8 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It was a down day for Lamar Miller. Not only was he held to 3 rushed for 8 yards but he was injured in the 1st quarter after he was tackled by two Jet defenders. Millers leg was caught under the defenders and the team called it an ankle injury. He did not return to the game after he exited with his injury.
2018 Week 17 vs JAX (17 / 56 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 0 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller's 14-yard run was the longest for a Texans running back since early December and it was a refreshing sight to see the run game start up again. Miller rushed for 56-yards and his best run came on his 7-yard touchdown run on a zone read in the red zone. He dropped his pads and bullied his way into the end zone to get the score.
2018 Week 18 vs IND (5 / 18 / 0 rush, 10 / 8 / 63 / 0 rec)
The Texans running game has been a mess for the final month of the season and Saturday night was no exception. Miller only rushed for 18-yards and his longest run was only 8 yards. He did help out in the passing game hauling in 8 catches for 63 yards with his longest catch of 12 yards. Will the Colts packing the intermediate to deep routes with coverage, Miller was open to catch whatever he wanted as Watson's check downs.
2017 Week 1 vs JAX (17 / 65 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 31 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller was one of the few offensive players who had a strong day. 65 yards on the ground and 31 through the air. Miller did have a 26 yard receptions that he should have put into the end zone but was tackled with ease by the safety. Miller actually had more success with Watson in the game running the football and doubled is yards per carry with Watson. It was a solid day and he might be a better fit with Watson in the running game.
2017 Week 2 vs CIN (18 / 61 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 26 / 0 rec)
It was the first time since Miller arrived in Houston that he looked fresh in the 4th quarter due to help from D'Onta Foreman. Miller looked like his Miami version with his ability to make defenders miss. Miller created at least 5 missed tackles on the game and his most impressive run came on a 19-yard run that saw him put a spin move on three defenders to get an extra 8 yards. He also added 3 receptions for 26 yards in the passing game. Miller is showing a much better ability to break tackles and that is a big plus for him not being able to do that last season.
2017 Week 3 vs NE (14 / 56 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Miller remains to be getting the bulk of the touches and even more in important situations on the field. Miller had a decent day on the field rushing for 56 yards and his best run came on a 12 yard rush where he was patient and bounced his run outside for the nice gain. He did have one catch for 7 yards but he is getting the most touches of any offensive player to this point.
2017 Week 4 vs TEN (19 / 75 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 56 / 1 rec)
Bill O'Brien is going to stick with Lamar Miller and he is getting majority of the snaps for the Texans especially in critical parts of the game. Miller had 75 yards on the ground with his longest run being 9 yards. He was close to breaking one all game but was being taken down by the shoestrings early in the second half. Miller has been doing majority of his work in the passing game and he caught 4 balls for 56 yards with his longest being a 32 yard repletion in the flat s with no one around which allowed him to be off to the races. Miller had 23 total touches with 131 total yards from scrimmage. Miller is being used more as a pass catcher this season and it is clear that his comfort level is growing in year two with the offense.
2017 Week 5 vs KC (15 / 74 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)
Only one catch in the passing game, Miller did the majority of his work on the ground with 74 yards on 15 carries. His longest run came on an 18 yard run that saw him break some tackles and run over a safety in the process. Miller was one of the few Texans offensive players that showed some life the entire game. Miller continues to be the Texans top back and will continue moving forward.
2017 Week 6 vs CLE (15 / 41 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 40 / 0 rec)
It was the first time all season that Lamar Miller was not the leading rusher for the offense. Miller had 41 rushing yards and 3 receptions for 40 yards on the day. Miller continues to find holes and was used a little more in the screen game. He is getting his yards on good tough runs and his longest of the day was a 14 yard dash. More importantly he is always one tackle away from breaking one and if he can get that cleaned up there are more rushing yards for the taking.
2017 Week 8 vs SEA (21 / 54 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 19 / 1 rec)
It was tough sledding for Lamar Miller on the ground but carrying the ball 21 times for 54 yards and catching 3 passes for 19 yards but he did have 2 touchdowns on the day. One on the ground that say him slice through the Seahawks defense and another one where he caught a broken play touchdown pass for 2 yards. The Texans continue to trust Miller in high leverage spots during the game and he will stay being the Texans top option at running back for the foreseeable future.
2017 Week 9 vs IND (10 / 57 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 34 / 0 rec)
With the stress put on the offense, it was tough sledding for Miller in the run game with only 57 yards rushing. His longest rush was 14 yards and he also had a 20 yard run wiped out after a questionable holding call. Miller did provide some help in the passing game with 3 receptions for 34 yards and his longest was 19 yards. Miller continues to get touches and extend his streak of 60+ yards from scrimmage in every game this season.
2017 Week 10 vs LAR (11 / 60 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)
t was a strong start for Lamar Miller who had runs of 18 and 21 yards but after that he was passed over for a passing game to try and get the Texans back into the game. The Texans worked the running game early against the Rams and Miller was the beneficiary in that department. Averaging 5.5 a carry, Miller was the clear best offensive weapon the field. Miller also had a reception for for 14 yards that was a nice out route to beat a line backer to set the Texans up for a field goal attempt.
2017 Week 11 vs ARI (22 / 61 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 22 / 1 rec)
A team high of 61 yards rushing, Lamar Miller continued his streak his streak of 60-or-more scrimmage yards in every game this season and is one of three players with 60-or-more scrimmage yards in each of his team's games this year. Miller is getting more involved with the passing game with 4 receptions for 22 yards and made the play of the game on a 7 yard touchdown reception on a broken play off the arm of Tom Savage.
2017 Week 12 vs BAL (17 / 51 / 1 rush, 3 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
The streak was finally broken with 51 yards rushing on consecutive games with over 60+ yards on the ground but he did notch a touchdown run of 4 yards to start the game. Miller was banged up on a tackle on the sideline that caused him to miss a couple of series but he came in late in the game to help out on passing downs.
2017 Week 13 vs TEN (15 / 56 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 38 / 0 rec)
It was tough sledding for the run game and Miller only had 5 carries for 11 yards in the 1st half. The second half it was a different story when Miller put up 45 yards on the gourd and 38 more yards catching 4 passes. Miller continues to be the Texans 2nd best offense threat on the field. The Texans continued to run the football and it finally opened up some in the second half.
2017 Week 14 vs SF (17 / 53 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
The Texans have really struggled to run the ball especially the past few games and only 53 yards on the day. His longest run was 11 yards and he was being met in the backfield before most runs could get started going. He only had 2 receptions for 7 yards and one of those was for -1 yards. Miller is the Texans only true back in the offense with injuries around him and he escaped injury after taking a big hit that knocked him out of the game for a short time.
2017 Week 15 vs JAX (9 / 32 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 1 / 0 rec)
The Texans couldn't run the ball and dealing with a knee injury, touches were limited with 11 for 33 yards. It was easily his worst output of the season but with the Jaguars defense there was not much going on offensively. Miller did have the longest run of the day for 11 yards but he wasn't giving much in the passing game and was eventually giving snaps to Alfred Blue by the end of the game.
2017 Week 16 vs PIT (10 / 55 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
The Texans are working to cut back on Miller's workload late in the season but he did produce 55 yards on the ground averaging 5.5 yards a carry and a long for 16 yards on the day. Miller also caught a screen pass that went for 10 yards which set up the Hopkins touchdown early in the 4th quarter.
2017 Week 17 vs IND (8 / 37 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The Texans moved to Miller in the second half and he was able to rush for 37 yards on the season with his longest run going for 16 yards. Miller has been pulled back some the final stretch of the season due to the workload he put in during the season.
2016 Week 1 vs CHI (28 / 106 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 11 / 0 rec)
High volume of touches but little real explosive plays from Lamar Miller in his first game with the Texans. His longest run was 12 yards on a well designed run but the Texans had him working inside the tackles which is not his strong suit. There was not much flash for Miller up the gut and it was a handful of 3 to 4 yard carries for the new feature back. Miller also had four reception in dump off fashion but he was tackled immediately. There were running lanes for Miller but running between the tackles is not his strong suit and how many touches he received is something to monitor moving forward.
2016 Week 2 vs KC (25 / 83 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
The Texans continue to depend on Lamar Miller to be a runner inside the tackles which is still a work in progress. Miller's longest run was 8 yards on the day but he did have runs of 11 and 12 negated due to penalties but the offense is hell-bent on making him an inside runner. Miller's best play of the day came on a 4th down conversion where they worked him out of the backfield for a 9 yard reception and a first down. Miller is still trying to get a feel for the Texans offense. With 25 runs, Miller is getting some decent blocking but just failing to see the holes and capitalize on his end as a runner. Miller continues to be a volume runner and it appears to be a patience game with Miller who is being asked to be a type of runner he has never been before.
2016 Week 3 vs NE (21 / 80 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 27 / 0 rec)
The Texans continues to push Lamar Miller and it came with 24 total touches on the day and him running the ball 21 times. His longest run of the day was 15 yards and another interesting day. Patience should be used with Miller because of him still learning the offense. The Texans have gone back to more inside zone to help him out and it worked later int he game with a handful of 5 to 6 yard gains. He is still working on his steps running the ball and and he is slow through the hole still trying to figure out how to read blocks. Miller's yards per carry went up each quarter, after Osweiler started taking check downs and not forcing the ball down field. There was room for Miller to work but he was not seeing the holes like most would expect.
2016 Week 4 vs TEN (19 / 82 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 26 / 0 rec)
Things are looking up for Lamar Miller and the Texans have finally adjusted their scheme to being a zone blocking team after failed attempts to be a power running team. Miller looked much decisive running the ball and hitting creases in a hurry. Runs early for plenty of five and six yards gains, Miller looked like the version of what made him threat in Miami. Miller also had at least three runs if he broke a tackle he would have broken some home run type runs. Also, the Texans finally ran a screen pass for Miller the resulted 10 yards. The Texans have also continued to use Miller as a check down option and caught a pass for 11 yards in a decent catch and run in the middle of the field. Miller's overall touches went down but his production went up under new play calling.
2016 Week 5 vs MIN (8 / 20 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
It was Lamar Miller's worst production of the season with only 8 carries for 20 yards, and his longest run was four yards. He had a screen pass for for four yards. Miller had three pass targets in all but they were desperation throws from Osweiler to save himself from being hit. Miller was a non-factor for the offense and the Texans getting behind quick they moved away from him in a hurry trying to play catch-up.
2016 Week 6 vs IND (24 / 149 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 29 / 1 rec)
It was Lamar Miller's break out game for the Texans and this was even with two runs to 10+ yards negated due to holding penalties. Miller was eating up chunks of yards on the field and had runs of 10+ yard multiple times and it was due to him getting out on the edges. He also showed a nose for running the ball in-between the tackles and had his first rushing touchdown on a one yard touchdown plunges in the 3rd quarter. Miller's play of the game came in the 4th quarter where he caught a dump off pass and turned it into a catch and run by making 6 to 7 Colts defenders miss him for a 10 yard touchdown reception. Miller has finally looked like the game breaker most thought he would look like and it is coming into settling into his offensive role with the team.
2016 Week 7 vs DEN (11 / 61 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 6 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller had another productive game but his snaps were cut in half due to taking a shot in his shoulder/neck area on his 25 yard run. Miller was eating up yards and was getting chunk after chunk running the ball. Miller is becoming more comfortable with his role in the offense and it is showing with his production. Miller also caught three passes for six yards, but his day was clouded by sitting on the sidelines dealing with his undisclosed injury.
2016 Week 8 vs DET (17 / 56 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
A shoulder injury cut into his his work on the field but he gutted out a game with 17 rushes and two receptions. He had a key drop early in the game but he was timid and left yards on the field. It was clear he was favoring his shoulder on the field but still had solid runs. His best run was a 10 yard gain late in the 4th quarter when the Texans were trying to ice the game. Miller had a one yard touchdown run where he had to break through a tackle to get into the endzone.
2016 Week 10 vs JAX (15 / 83 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
His shoulder issue is not going away and it limited him this week one again when the game wore on. Miller was slowed early then busted a 45 yard run that set the Texans up for their first score of the game. It was the first run all season that Miller was able to get into open field but a rare time when he was run down by a defender. Miller had a few runs of success but it was short gains for most of the game until he had an ankle grabbed during a tackle that caused him to miss some time on the field. There were no passes in his direction but his health is slowly becoming a concern.
2016 Week 11 vs OAK (24 / 104 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
The only back that was pretty much on the field for the Texans and he ended up rushing for 104 yards. His longest run came on a 33 yard run that was initially ruled a touchdown but replay showed Miller stepping out at the one yard line. Miller did have a one yard touchdown run mid-3rd quarter helping cap off a solid day.
2016 Week 12 vs SD (19 / 57 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)
It was tough sledding for Lamar Miller and the run game and even though he did bust some runs, it was a disappointed day. Miller's longest run was 20 yards but it ended in a fumble and it changed the momentum of the game. Early in the 1st quarter, Miller had a simple 6 yard run and if he would have cut where the play was designed, he would have been off to the races for a possible 70+ yard touchdown scamper with no defender there to stop him. Miller is a volume runner and his shoulder is taking its toll on how he runs the football. Miller did have 3 receptions for 18 yards with his longest being 11 yards on a dump off down the sideline.
2016 Week 13 vs GB (14 / 22 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -4 / 0 rec)
The Texans prized free agent at running back continued his struggles running the football and only averaging 1.6 yards a rush. What made the day worse was how many yards Miller left on the field due to poor vision. The Texans offensive line opened many holes on the field but the amount missed opportunities for big plays is concerning. Miller also left the game for a short time due to a rib injury. Miller's longest run of the day was only 5 yards which is a huge red flag. Add some pass protection mishaps also the Texans opted for more Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes late in the game.
2016 Week 14 vs IND (21 / 107 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller started slow on the ground but then woke up when it counted and finished the day with 107 yards on the ground and a two year touchdown run. He also had a key screen pass for 15 yards late in the game to set up a field goal. Miller kept pushing the pile and late in the game he started ripping off runs and broke his longest for 20 yards. Miller is playing with four different injuries according to O'Brien but he was a key factor late in the game when the offense started grinding it out.
2016 Week 15 vs JAX (22 / 63 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 26 / 0 rec)
It was tough sledding for Lamar Miller who is banged up with 4 different issues and now an ankle issue he suffered late in the game. His longest run was for 11 yards and his bigger plays came in the air when he caught a check down pass and turned it into a 16 yard gain. Miller did punched in a 1 yard touchdown run to put the Texans up late in the game but it is clear he will continue to be the bell cow for the offense.
2016 Week 18 vs OAK (31 / 73 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After sitting out two games, Miller returned to rush for 72 yards and a touchdown. His longest run came on a 19 yard dash where he cut back against the grain and outran defenders to the edge. His was tough sledding for Miller otherwise but most of it came from missed blocks from tight ends and wide receiver. He did punch it it from 4 yards after a key interception by the Texans to set up the lead early for the Texans.
2016 Week 19 vs NE (19 / 73 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 16 / 0 rec)
73 yards on the day, Lamar Miller had a normal day at the office. Miller missed some yards like usually on the field and his best run came off the left side of the offensive line for 17 yards. Miler also had 4 receptions for 16 yards but that did not amount to much in the passing game. Miller had tough sledding majority of the game but his game was much like what he put up during the regular season.
2015 Week 1 vs WAS (13 / 53 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 22 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller got off to a really slow start, carrying the ball just 3 times in the first half as the Redskins dominated possession throughout the game, but especially in the first half. However, towards the end of the 3rd quarter, Miller and the zone-blocking scheme started making some magic. On exclusively stretch runs to the right, Miller started breaking off chunk of yardage, ultimately finishing the game with a respectable 4 YPC on just 13 totes. He also broke a screen loose for 22 yards on his only catch of the game. With as little possession as the Dolphins saw, the 14 touches that Miller received look like the floor he will see during a particular game this season. Damien Williams spelled Miller for a handful of snaps, and received two touches, not impressing on either of them. If the Miami offense does start humming, as many expect it to, the touches and touchdowns will come in bunches for Miller.
2015 Week 2 vs JAX (10 / 14 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 28 / 0 rec)
Miller was ineffective for Miami before hurting his ankle during the fourth quarter vs. the Jaguars. His line wasn't pretty, but he was able to somewhat salvage his day (at least for PPR owners) with 5 catches. There simply weren't many lanes to run for Miller, and he had a number of negative gains that set his numbers back as well. Once Branden Albert was injured and the Dolphins tied the game at 20 early in the third quarter, Bill Lazor should've looked to get the ground game going with his array of misdirection, zone blocking schemes and other plays ripped from the Chip Kelly playbook. However, both offenses stagnated as the defenses finally started putting pressure on the quarterbacks. Miller was likely held out as a precaution with the running game not going anywhere, but he'll have to be monitored through the week. Joe Philbin will likely be looking to fix the running game going forward, but with matchups against the Bills and Jets, Miami may have to wait until Week 5 vs. Tennessee to get Miller going.
2015 Week 3 vs BUF (7 / 38 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
It really wasn't a bad day for Lamar Miller in terms of per touch numbers, however the game script went completely out of his favor and he saw the bench for good portions of the second half. Likely just a precaution as he was nursing a sore ankle this week, Miller didn't show any signs of it bothering him on Sunday. He took his first carry up the middle for a nice 4-yard gain, but that was the only carry he had in the game when the Dolphins weren't trailing. 65 yards on 10 touches is nothing to scoff at, but Jonas Gray definitely looked like a tough, rugged runner out of pro-style, QB under center sets. While that is not Bill Lazor's modus operandi as a Chip Kelly disciple, it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff starts writing some series or plays into the rotation for Gray. Miller isn't completely fried yet, but he's becoming less and less trustworthy until Miami finds their running game.
2015 Week 4 vs NYJ (7 / 26 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller too his first carry of the game on Sunday 13 yards on a well-designed zone stretch play. However, he only carried the ball 6 other times for 13 yards. It was the same old story for the Miller and the Dolphins offense as they refused to even try to establish a running game. After picking up a first down and then punting, the Jets scored on 3 of their first 4 possessions and never really looked back. It's interesting to see both Chip Kelly offenses (Kelly's actual offense in Philadelphia; and disciple Bill Lazor in Miami) struggle mightily so far this season. It certainly hasn't helped that the Dolphins defense has been unable to stop anyone. The game script really hasn't been Miller's favor in each of the first 4 games of the season, and with the clear lack of commitment to the running game, it's been really the worst case scenario for Miller owners. Joe Philbin is out, which doesn't necessarily mean there may be a stronger commitment to the run, but it certainly can't hurt. At this point, Miller is at his lowest point in value, so there's not much of a reason to sell low.
2015 Week 6 vs TEN (19 / 113 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 5 / 0 rec)
The Miami game-plan was very obvious coming out of the chute after a coaching change and bye week. Lamar Miller touched the ball on the first four plays of the game, and didn't really look back from there, as the Dolphins played with the lead for the entire game. With Branden Albert and Dion Sims back, the Dolphins decidedly went with some more pro-style sets in an effort to get Miller going. It worked, with the fourth-year back picking up chunk yardage mixed in with the steady 4-5 yard pickups that has become a staple of Miller's game over the past few years. While fantasy owners may not have had the greatest faith in Miller coming out of the bye, the ones who started him were rewarded with a TD near the end of the first half. Miller carried multiple Tennessee defenders into the end zone. After piling up over 100 yards and that TD on 15 first-half touches, and with Miami sitting on a 2-3 score lead for most of the second half, Miller was given some rest in the 4th quarter. Additionally, the Dolphins added a few touchdowns on the drives that he sat out, so he could've easily piled up some more yards and maybe another score. It's a strong reminder of how effective Miller can be when the Dolphins commit to running the ball and has their defense turned up. That combination has been effective for them when they've been successful in recent seasons. They'll have to continue that theme if they want to climb back into the AFC playoff race.
2015 Week 7 vs HOU (14 / 175 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 61 / 1 rec)
It was another easy day for Lamar Miller at the office on Sunday, as he ate up chunk yardage against a Texans team that looked afraid to tackle the Dolphins for most of the day. With a huge lead, Miller was rested the entire second half. However, that didn't stop him from producing 236 yards on just 17 touches in the first half. Houston gave up big play after big play to the Dolphins, and while Miller got chance after chance against a defeated Texans squad, he did make the most of his opportunities. Before he busted out his big touchdown catch and run and later, run, he was finishing runs and piling up yards, helping to set up the three earlier Miami touchdowns. He exploded in the second quarter, catching a delayed screen and running untouched straight up the sideline for Miami's 4th TD of the day. Then, late in the half, Miami ran right at J.J. Watt and Dallas Thomas of all people, sealed him off. Miller turned on the jets and ran right by the deep safety for an 85-yard TD run. His speed never looks like he's running at top speed, but his straight line speed is deceptive. Behind Miller, the Dolphins offense looks like it has finally found its footing. However, they must take advantage of their out of division schedule, as there are still 4 more games in the AFC East (2 vs. NE, 1 apiece vs. BUF, NYJ), and none of those defenses have been very forgiving to the Dolphins recently.
2015 Week 8 vs NE (9 / 15 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 19 / 0 rec)
As has been the pattern for the first 4 games of the season before Joe Philbin's firing, once the Dolphins went behind, Lamar Miller was ultimately a non-factor for most of the game. Miller still saw 14 total touches in the game, so it wasn't a complete disaster. However, the Pats were keyed in on stopping Miller early, and by the time he may have had a chance to find some holes, the Pats were already ahead by multiple scores and the running game was all but abandoned. While his night was disappointing on the whole, Miller was able to find the end-zone after Tannehill worked them down the field on the drive to start the second half. By garbage time in the fourth quarter, Miller was out of the game for Jonas Gray, but he ultimately saved his fantasy day with the TD plunge. Much like the Dolphins on the whole on Thursday, it was always going to be tough for Miller going into New England. On the bright side, he still saw 14 touches and found the end zone. So, there will be better opportunities for Miller going forward, but it's a reminder that the games against the AFC East are always difficult.
2015 Week 9 vs BUF (12 / 44 / 2 rush, 7 / 7 / 97 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller, along with Jarvis Landry, was once again the focal point of the Miami offensive attack, and it's starting to become glaringly obvious that Joe Philbin was allergic to getting Miller the ball when he was in charge. Despite losing for the entirety of the game, Miller still saw 19 total touches, with the majority of his damage coming in the passing game. There weren't many running lanes to find throughout the game, but Miller was lucky enough to capitalize on his two goal-line carries after Dion Sims and then Jay Ajayi were tackled at the 1-yard line on two separate occasions. It was the screen game where Miller ate up yards, as Bill Lazor devises some misdirection screens that had the Buffalo defense funneling one way and Miller leaking out for a screen on the other side of the field. This resulted in three separate big plays for the resurgent running back. After tallying 0 touchdowns in his first 4 games and not recording over 100 total yards in any of those contests, Miller has exploded for 132 total yards per game and 6 total TDs in his last four games. In his one dud yardage game against the Pats, he still salvaged the day with a TD. Locked into large workloads under Dan Campbell, Miller is an RB1 for the rest of the season, especially with his pass-catching prowess.
2015 Week 10 vs PHI (16 / 43 / 0 rush, 8 / 6 / 50 / 1 rec)
Lamar Miller found very running lanes against a stouter than average Eagles run defense on Sunday. It's likely some Philadelphia defensive coaches were familiar with some of Bill Lazor's run schemes, as Lazor himself was a coach in Philadelphia with Chip Kelly during his first season in the NFL. There weren't many running lanes available for Miller, but since the bye, efficiency hasn't mattered for Miller. When he hasn't been efficient in games, he's made up for it with volume, receiving numbers and TDs. He's become a better than average receiver in four seasons in Miami. His first catch was when he was lined up as a receiver wide right and ran a straight go route. Although he tallied just 15 yards on 5 other catches, one was a well devised natural rub route where Rishard Matthews picked his man and the LB covering Miller, leaving the Miami RB to saunter into the end-zone. While he will undoubtedly lose work to the impressive Jay Ajayi, Miller is locked into a very strong weekly workload (15-20 touches at least) and is a strong weekly bet to find the end-zone.
2015 Week 11 vs DAL (7 / 44 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller was able to rattle off big runs on his first two plays of the game, but was mostly a forgotten man on Sunday against the Cowboys, tallying just 9 touches total. It's not for a lack of trying though. Those 9 touches represented almost 25% of Miami's 41 offensive plays. With Tony Romo back under center for the Cowboys, Dallas owned the clock with long drives, primarily on the back of Darren McFadden and the offensive line. Miller ran with his usual aplomb, getting downhill, as the Miami offensive line and scheme has looked legitimate (for the most part) since the bye week. After working his way into the weekly RB1 conversation with his pass-catching in recent weeks, the catches, receiving yards and TDs dried up for Miller against Dallas. He was never going to average 6 catches and 70 yards per week, but he's been able to mitigate the lack of production in the running game in certain weeks by piling up catches and yards through the air. Far more worrisome than Miller's lack of catches on Sunday was Jay Ajayi's increasing workload. Miller out-touched Ajayi 9-6 on the day, and given the lack of plays for Miami, it's reasonable to expect 8-12 touches from Ajayi going forward. While Miller is still the clear-cut starter, Ajayi is beginning to handle entire series himself and is very much being featured. The close of the fantasy season for Lamar Miller owners may not be too kind.
2015 Week 12 vs NYJ (5 / 2 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)
Similar to a few weeks early in the season, Lamar Miller was a bust against the Jets in Week 12. While the New York run defense is no slouch, the 58-9 pass-to-run ratio was mind-numbing. It probably ended up getting Bill Lazor fired too. It's obviously not Miller's fault, the Jets have a fierce run defense. He did catch a 17-yard pass early in the game, but proceeded to give all of those yards back on a screen later in the game. With Miller headed toward a free agent year, it will be interesting to see how high his usage is with interim offensive coordinator Zac Taylor. With Ajayi having a checkered injury past, and the possibility that chronic knee issues could shorten his career, the Dolphins will have to figure out if they want to resign Miller and have a committee-based attack. While he's not the slam dunk RB1 for the rest of the season that he was even just 3 weeks ago, Miller will remain the starter, and with a favorable schedule down the stretch, should be able to post some decent numbers.
2015 Week 13 vs BAL (20 / 113 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller received just 20+ carries for the second time in his career and for the first time in nearly 2 years. Against a traditionally stout run defense and one that has been very strong again this season, Miller found running room from the 1st quarter onward. He was decisive in his running, getting downhill as soon as possibly, often finding the second level. However, he was really the only way the Dolphins could move the ball, as Ryan Tannehill struggled for a rhythm and consistency all day while operating a run-first conservative game-plan. This really limited Miller's upside on the day, as the Dolphins never made it into the red zone. Despite never trailing in the game and being up 15-0 at one point, the Ravens had a nearly 2-1 time of possession advantage, which also hindered Miller's potential. The way he was running, Miller probably would've seen around 30 carries if the Dolphins had been able to sustain any drives. In a potential disaster with time winding down in the 4th quarter, Miller lost his awareness at the end of another strong run, allowing Courtney Upshaw to strip him. However, the Miami defense stood up and Justin Tucker missed his 5th consecutive FG of over 50 yards. What's a good sign going forward, Miller wasn't relegated to the bench at the end of the game. He was back out there on the next drive and helped the Dolphins pick up a few first downs to put the game on ice. Miller will hold off Jay Ajayi for most of the rest of the season, besides in game-plan specific situations, and Sunday's performance should have Miami locking him into 15-20 carries, at least, per game.
2015 Week 14 vs NYG (12 / 89 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller looked unstoppable in the first half against a leaky New York run defense, repeatedly gashing through the defense for chunk yardage, including two big TDs. He then went missing in the second half, as even though the Dolphins were squarely in a competitive game, they all but abandoned the run, and the offense got stuck in the mud. Miller did his damage in a number of different ways for the Dolphins. His first touchdown came on a blitz from the Giants. The run was designed up the middle, but he instead bounced outside and was free to scamper into the end zone from 14 yards out. His next run was even better, as another designed run up the middle was nearly thwarted, but he shook off multiple Giant defenders, and finished his run through the middle of the field. In a competitive game, with the Miami defense unable to really stop Eli Manning and Tannehill and the passing offense struggling, it would've made perfect sense to ride Miller in the second half. However, Campbell, Taylor, and company had other plans. The Dolphins came out throwing in the second half, scored first, to take a 24-17 lead, but never stopped attempting passes. They didn't score the final 25 minutes of the game and never were really close. With Miller's impending free agency, a conspiracy theorist could surmise that they're attempting to deflate his value a bit in an effort to resign him. However, the Dolphins have never shown, consistently, that they want to give Miller the ball. His free agency will be one of the key fantasy stories of the offseason for the Dolphins.
2015 Week 15 vs SD (9 / 12 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller started and was given plenty of carries early by Zac Taylor. He even caught a few passes out of the backfield and helped Miami pick up a few of their first downs in the first half. However, with the Dolphins falling way behind and getting thoroughly dominated at the line of scrimmage, Miller had few running lanes. After two carries early in the second half, which predictably came to nothing, Miller took a seat in favor of Jay Ajayi. The word was mixed after the game; Miller said he hurt his quad, but could've come back into the game. Dan Campbell said that Ajayi was doing well, so he stuck on the field. Either way, it appears Miller was fine to return to the game, but simply didn't. The writing is on the wall here; Miller was looking for three strong games to close the season for his second consecutive 1,000 yard season, but now it looks very unlikely that he'll eclipse that mark. While he could definitely get paid more to go elsewhere in free agency, running backs have been devalued enough where it's feasible that he could re-sign with Miami.
2015 Week 16 vs IND (15 / 31 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 36 / 0 rec)
It was another slow day running the ball for Lamar Miller on Sunday, as there were very few holes for the free agent to be to run through. He mostly split series with Jay Ajayi, and was fortunate enough to get a goal-line carry after Ajayi failed twice from the 1-yard line in the second quarter. Miller additionally salvaged his day a little more with some good work in the passing game, but it still remains an enigma as to why the Dolphins are hesitant to commit to the run and give him the ball. With his impending free agency, Miller will certainly have the option to leave for a job where he's guaranteed touches. However, with the deflated running back contracts and more specialized RBs in the league, it's not likely that Miller will make significantly more elsewhere. That means he'll have a decision to make to leave his hometown of Miami for nothing more than a modest raise.
2015 Week 17 vs NE (19 / 60 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
In possibly his final game as a Dolphin, Lamar Miller saw his second most carries in a game during 2015. After busting outside early for a gain of 29, he was bottled by a run defense that was getting Rob Ninkovich back and saw Jamie Collins back to his old self after an illness had sapped him of some his weight during the middle of the season. While the Miami offensive line was strong against the pass rush, they weren't getting much push against the New England front-7. After the game, the 4th-year back was non-committal to his future. Miller averaged 4.5 yards per carry for his third time in 4 years in Miami, the Dolphins "held" him to under 200 carries for the third time in 4 years as well. The free agent running back market has been devalued in a big way over the last several years, but Miller will be one player who will command a decent number. The Dolphins would be wise to hang onto him, and his slight drop in touches may be a way of trying to get a discount on him.
2014 Week 1 vs NE (11 / 59 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 19 / 1 rec)
Lamar Miller "started" Sunday's Week 1 matchup against the Patriots, rotating and ultimately losing snaps by the end of the game to Knowshon Moreno. He finished the game out-snapped by Moreno 48-27, but that's not a complete blow to his fantasy value. Of his 27 snaps, Miller touched the ball 15 times, which is a phenomenal usage rate for how few snaps he played. New offensive coordinator Bill Lazor wants to run the ball, so even if Moreno continues to out-snap Miller, there still could be value for the third-year back from Miami. While it's clear Moreno is a better pure runner than his younger teammate, Lazor is certainly adept at knowing how to use his backs. The zone-blocking scheme favors both runners, as Miller does a nice job of sticking his foot in the ground, getting downhill, and picking up yards. He may sometimes cost himself a few yards with poor vision, but with an offensive line that looks capable of getting some push, and a friendly scheme, there will be yards to be had in this offense. Additionally, despite Moreno's dominance in the passing game in Denver last year, Miller was targeted five times to Moreno's 0 in Week 1. While this could change based on the matchups, Miller's straight line speed has Lazor looking to utilize him out of the backfield. His TD catch yesterday was a perfect example of this; he flew out of the backfield at the snap, Rob Ninkovich was left in the dust, and it was an easy TD for Miller. Miller's lost fumble was a classic case of helmet into ball. It didn't immediately dictate playing time, as the Dolphins still rotated Miller and Moreno throughout the rest of the half. Later in the game, though, with the Dolphins nursing a lead, Moreno was the guy. That may've had more to do with Moreno being a better overall runner. The issue for Miller will be game-flow. This game set up for him to share a good second-half workload with Moreno, but his teammate was carving up the Pats D. Can we trust Joe Philbin in saying that he wants a relatively even split in the backfield? Miller looks like a decent flex if the offense continues to be efficient, but guessing his workload week-to-week will be a pain.
2014 Week 2 vs BUF (11 / 46 / 0 rush, 5 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
Miller drew the "start" once again, but was out at the start of Miami's second drive in favor of Knowshon Moreno. Any plans for a performance similar to the New England game quickly went out the window after Moreno went down on his second snap. Miller shouldered most of the running back load from that point on, logging 54 total snaps over the course of the game. Miller owners would have expected more than the 13 touches he received, but a heavy workload wasn't in the cards after the Dolphins fell behind. It's clear Bill Lazor likes to use Miller as a receiver out of the backfield in space. Unfortunately, Miller's hands sometimes let him down as he dropped multiple passes yesterday. You can see some of the ability he has though, after he caught a dump-off and raced by Nigel Bradham to the sideline for an 11-yard gain. Miller's gains on the ground looked strikingly similar to last year. The Bills front four is just too good, so Miami wasn't getting a ton of push up front. However, like 2013, Miller was able to get north and south well enough so that he'd pickup at least a few yards every time. However, with Moreno on the shelf, it's Miller's backfield now. There should still be an expectation of a rotation, whether that it's with rookie Damien Williams, recently resigned Daniel Thomas, or some combination of those two, but Miller will certainly get more work. Lazor would like to stay balanced, but judging from yesterday's run-pass split after Moreno left, that may be easier said than done. Hopefully, Lazor can scheme Miller in space, but regardless, Miller should at least be a quality flex play going forward until Moreno returns.
2014 Week 3 vs KC (15 / 108 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 24 / 0 rec)
In the post-Knowshon Moreno world (at least for the next 4-8 weeks), Lamar Miller should run as the lead back, and that's exactly what happened on Sunday. Miller handled a total of 55 snaps on the afternoon, as Damien Williams was an afterthought, and recently resigned Daniel Thomas was not ready for any more of a role. Sunday could probably be called Miller's best game as a pro; he broke off chunk yardage on seemingly every run and without a botched screen, which cost him 8 yards, likely would've reached the 20-touch, 150+ yard barrier, a massive threshold for any runner. It's clear the Dolphins don't really see Miller as the workhorse, bellcow type they're missing with Moreno, but the fact that he received 19 touches when Miami was trailing the entire game is positive news for his usage while Moreno nurses his elbow. Miller just doesn't bounce off and shed tacklers like Moreno does, but Bill Lazor has identified what works for Miller in the running game. Miller is tough to stop when he can get downhill really quickly, and burst through a hole using his jets. He's not going to make many people miss, and he won't run anyone over, but Miller does have impressive straight line speed. On his numerous gashing runs yesterday, the Dolphins ran zone runs, to the left or right; Tannehill hesitated before handing the ball to Miller, who could see the holes, around left end, right end, or up the middle and was into a full gallop in no time and into the second level. If there was one thing lacking at the end of those runs, it was Miller's ability to make Ron Parker, Hussain Abdullah, or another defensive back miss and turn his 15-25 yards gains into six points. Miller missed out on a potentially easy TD as Miami opted to throw it from the 1-yard line. With Miami's offense looking shaky, it's tough to say how many opportunities he'll have from inside the 5, so he'll have to take advantage when they come. Another positive for Miller owners, especially when Moreno returns, is his passing game improvement. He was stopped the one screen for a loss, but took his three other catches for about 30 yards. His most impressive catch was after Tannehill was pressured and checked it down. Miller caught the pass about five yards past the line of scrimmage, turned quickly towards the sideline to avoid two defenders, and picked up the first down plus more. If the Dolphins continue to struggle pushing the ball down the field, it can't Miller's stock in the passing game.
2014 Week 4 vs OAK (12 / 64 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 3 / 0 rec)
Miller looked very good running the ball for the second straight week without Knowshon Moreno. Of course, here's the friendly reminder that his effort came against the Raiders, but Miller is starting to pile up good performances. He only saw 14 touches, which at first, could concern some owners as the game flow and script could've produced at least 20 carries for the running back, but with Miami dominating the game, he just didn't need to be out there. From his first carry, Miller looked in the mood to run all over the Raiders. Getting north and south as is his style, Miller burst through holes and Oakland arm tackles for multiple 20-yard gains. He is starting to look comfortable in the role that Bill Lazor has carved out for him, and it's possible he's gaining confidence by not having to deal with a committee approach. The only reason he didn't see more touches on Sunday was due to the Raiders toothless pass defense. They couldn't muster much pressure on Tannehill, so he was able to work in the pocket and carve up the secondary. Miller did reward fantasy owners with not one, but two rushing scores. One was a very nice outside run on 4th and 1 where he cut up the field after a draw to the left, scampering into the end zone virtually untouched. The second was more about the Raiders defense not being able to cut off an edge, leaving Miller to walk into the end-zone. However, Miller did fumble away a ball on the 1-yard line, serving as a reminder that Knowshon Moreno is on the mend and Joe Philbin and Bill Lazor love his inside power. Ride Miller for as long as Moreno is out, but it's possible there's fantasy value for both when they are healthy.
2014 Week 6 vs GB (14 / 53 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 40 / 0 rec)
It was another slow start for Miller, who didn't finish with sterling yards per carry numbers (3.8), but started gaining some steam in the third quarter. It may be just a theme for the entire offense, but even dating back to last season, Miller has been a notorious slow starter. Last season, when the Miami running game would sputter, Mike Sherman would quickly abandon the ground attack. With the erratic rotation between Miller and Daniel Thomas, Miller never really had a fair shake. Whenever the third year back has received 15+ touches, he's produced. With Moreno looking tentative and uncomfortable with his bulky elbow brace, Miller started popping off his trademark straight line runs in the third quarter. He's been breaking more tackles than ever before, and is even more active in the passing game, securing all three targets he saw there. After Moreno struggled to convert from in close early in the game, Miller scoring from 5 yards out can only be considered good for his value going forward. Moreno has recovered relatively quickly from his dislocated elbow, and the Dolphins clearly love the intensity he brings to the table, but it's clear Miller isn't going away. While 2-3 isn't anything to write home about, the Dolphins got a boost with some healthy players returning to the lineup. Specifically, with Moreno and Mike Pouncey added to the fold, the running game should start to be featured more by Bill Lazor.
2014 Week 7 vs CHI (18 / 61 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 22 / 0 rec)
In his first week as the true #1 back in Miami with Knowshon Moreno out for the year, Lamar Miller ran hard, but didn't receive much help from his offensive line. His 20 touches still produced 83 total yards, and he was able to find the end-zone, which certainly qualifies as a strong afternoon for fantasy owners. It could've been a bigger day too, as Miller had another short TD run called back due to a penalty. Brandon Albert continues to dominate in the running game, but he was the only one opening any lanes for Miller on the offensive line. He was still able to fall forward in piles, never really giving ground away or getting stopped for a loss. Additionally, the third-year back is starting to absorb contact a little better, refusing to go down on first contact. His 38 yards after contact were the second most he's produced in a game this season despite only totaling 61 yards on the ground. Miller was listed on the injury report this week with an undisclosed ailment, so the fact that he played on 43 of 71 snaps probably isn't as concerning as fantasy owners may think. Daniel Thomas often had own series' to himself, and Damien Williams mixed in some too. But, with Miller seeing 20 touches on 43 snaps, it's clear Philbin and Lazor may have been protecting their #1 guy after Moreno went down. The game-flow was directly in Miller's favor for the entire game, so there will certainly be games where he doesn't reach 18 carries. However, his usage in the passing game and his efficiency running the ball (4.8 yards/carry) this season are signs that he should be a fairly steady RB2 going forward. He did drop a pass, a simple check-down, and ball security remains an issue, but there is no one getting in his way in the Miami backfield if he remains healthy.
2014 Week 8 vs JAX (14 / 78 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller continues to improve on his breakout season, waiting until the second half to gash the Jags as the Dolphins cruised to a victory. He totaled just 29 yards in the first half, but had to be considered the bright spot in an offense that had barely touched the ball in the opening 30 minutes. Nursing a comfortable lead for the most of the second half, the Dolphins mixed in plenty of Daniel Thomas, but Miller started chewing up yards on the ground. He's clearly been improving as a runner, and Sunday's display was just another bunch of tape to add to the reel of his 2014 breakout campaign. Even last season, he'd often go down on first contact and would struggle to shake even arm tackles. This year, though, he's different. On Sunday, he forced four missed tackles, and piled up 46 of his 78 yards on the ground after contact. His most impressive run came on his 30-yard scamper in the third quarter, which set up Rishard Matthews' 3-yard touchdown. It was zone run left, as the offensive line pushed down. With Miller stationed to the right of Tannehill, there was a gaping hole for the former Miami Hurricane to run through. He wasn't done though, juking Jon Cyprien to the right and racing towards the plane of the goal-line. Demetrius McCray and Dwayne Gratz combined to save the touchdown, but the Dolphins punched it in shortly after. Improved running, and improved pass-catching skills will keep Miller very busy in the Miami offense. Daniel Thomas is actually running well, but isn't even close to a threat to Miller. Fantasy owners would've loved to see him convert from in close, but he wasn't really given the opportunity on Sunday. If 100 total yards and a few catches is Miller's baseline though, fantasy owners are getting a great return on their investment and Miller should continue to be a RB2.
2014 Week 9 vs SD (11 / 49 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
It wasn't the day fantasy owners expected from Miller against San Diego's porous run defense, as Damien Williams and Daniel Thomas ultimately ended up sharing 20 carries in a blowout. Miller was shockingly absent during the end of the first half, missing out on some scoring opportunities, and ultimately was forced from the game in the second half with a shoulder injury. Miller was able to reward his owners with a TD from in close, and has done a great job converting from in close since Knowshon Moreno went down. Despite not seeing as much time on the field as normal, even before the injury that knocked him out for the game, Miller looked like his normal self, decisively hitting holes and picking up chunk yardage. Admittedly, the Chargers really just didn't bother showing up for this one, and the 10am PT start, coupled with the myriad of injuries on both sides of the ball doomed the Chargers. Miller's 12 touches were his lowest number of the season, but going forward, assuming his injury isn't serious, the Dolphins may limit his wear and tear a little more. That may not necessarily reduce his touches by more than a few per game, but he may cede some snaps to Damien Williams and Daniel Thomas. Miller has ultimately been diagnosed with an AC joint sprain, so it'll be an injury to watch throughout the week. But with the Miami offense starting to hum, Miller is still likely to be unchallenged in the Miami backfield, even if he does lose a few snaps in an effort to manage his injury.
2014 Week 10 vs DET (4 / 10 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / -4 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller rotated with Daniel Thomas through the first few series, and with the Dolphins not doing anything offensively, wasn't able to produce much. Late in the second quarter, as the Dolphins started to sustain a drive, Miller caught a screen and was immediately upended. It looks like he landed awkwardly on his balky left shoulder, and got up a little slowly. Over the rest of the game, he was very limited, and barely played, only seeing work sparingly as a third down back with Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams seeing the majority of the reps. Miller's starting spot shouldn't really be in danger when he's healthy - he's shown enough this season to hang onto it - but with a Thursday Night Football date with the Bills this week, it's certainly concerning for his owners. To make matters worse, the Dolphins signed LaMichael James off the practice squad on Monday, which may be a signal Miller isn't ready to go on the short week. Although it'd be a blow to not have him for Week 11, fantasy owners should probably be fine with Miller sitting out, getting healthy, and coming back strong for the stretch run. It's probably in Miami's best interest as well.
2014 Week 11 vs BUF (15 / 86 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
The Dolphins coaching staff did their best to get into Lamar Miller owners' this week, as the Miami RB put together a very nice game despite being limited on a short week. It looks like the Dolphins' calculated gamble Sunday against Detroit worked, as Miller only played 11 snaps in the loss at the Lions. Although he wasn't a full-go on Thursday, he played just 36 of 69 snaps, he looked a lot healthier than he did on Sunday, and ran like it. It took him some time to get on track, but Miller's patience and see-the-hole-and-go ability was on display last night. While Dallas Thomas, and most of the offensive line struggled with the Buffalo front four in pass protection, Miller found success running behind Thomas and off tackle on those zone stretch plays to the right. Often in their 11 personnel, the Bills were left without anyone to fill in the gaps on the slow developing run plays. Miller was able to get north-south fairly easily and pickup 4, 5, 6, 7 yards at a time in the second half, as the Dolphins started wearing the Bills down. The 36 snaps he played were also near his low snap % for the season, so it's a positive sign that he was able to produce nearly 100 total yards on such limited snaps. The 10 days off should do him well, and as he continues his impressive season, the Dolphins will need him healthy down the stretch. He'll be back in the RB2 conversation, and is a borderline RB1 if his shoulder stays healthy and Miami continues to put themselves into scoring positions.
2014 Week 12 vs DEN (12 / 59 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Despite carrying a questionable tag with knee and shoulder injuries into Sunday's game, Lamar Miller still played about two-thirds of the snaps at running back for the Dolphins. It was another bit of gamesmanship from the Dolphins, as Miller was very limited before the Thursday night showdown with the Bills, before busting out in that win. Despite playing the lion's share of snaps on Sunday, Miller only saw 13 touches. Perhaps with knee and shoulder issues, the coaching staff wanted to keep him as fresh as possible, especially considering he's clearly the best back in Miami. Miller brought his usual straight line finishing to the party on Sunday, busting out a 22-yard run on his second carry. Another brilliant play design from Bill Lazor, Mike Wallace motioned into the backfield from the left, leaving #2 TE Gator Hoskins to seal the edge for Miller. It was mostly a non-descript day for Miller after that, as Daniel Thomas came in and vultured the score at the end of the opening drive. Then, Tannehill grabbed the score on the read-option for the next TD. Thomas was in the game in the red zone on the first and last TD drive, but Miller was in there for the other red zone opportunities. He only saw a few carries and couldn't capitalize on them, but there's no hint at a Daniel Thomas red zone back scenario. Miller have an extra day to rest up his shoulder and knee for the tough Jets run defense, but he's still a very good RB2.
2014 Week 13 vs NYJ (13 / 56 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
Miller played his highest snap percentage since Week 8 on Monday night against the Jets. He also got into the end zone for the first time since Week 9 against the Chargers, so his stock may be back on the rise entering the fantasy playoffs. The Dolphins simply didn't see the ball much in the first half, so Miller saw just the one carry. However, Bill Lazor was able to remedy the situation in the second half, getting Miller up to the 15 touch mark by the end of the game. It's promising that even in a game where the Dolphins threw the ball twice as much as they ran it, and the Miami backs saw just 17 total touches, Miller dominated snaps and looks. Even against a top-rated rushing defense like the Jets, Miller was able to do what he usually does. He picked up what was blocked, accelerated through the holes that were there, and picked up steady yardage. He forced two more missed tackles and picked up 34 more yards after contact, which are both areas in which he has improved this season. Although he has tough matchups coming up with the Ravens and Patriots, Lazor may have to start featuring Miller a little more. He's now healthy, which should help his cause, and the Dolphins need anything they can get to help out what's become a make-shift offensive line. They had their fewest rushing attempts of the season, partially forced by game-flow. It's very likely though, that Lazor nor Philbin wants a 2:1 pass-to-run ratio going forward. With Miller miles ahead of Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams, his locked in workload of 15-20 touches on an offense that moves the ball remains very valuable to fantasy owners.
2014 Week 14 vs BAL (12 / 53 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 36 / 0 rec)
Miller looked very fresh early on against a Haloti Ngata-less Baltimore run defense, finding cutback lanes and picking up chunk yardage against the Ravens. Credit to Bill Lazor for dialing up the run to take some pressure off the offensive line early on. It worked as the Miami front was able to get some push, and their most success came on the zone stretches, as Miller was able to cut up-field and swallow up yards. Miller was also a huge piece of the passing game, as Ryan Tannehill had to get the ball out quickly for most of the afternoon. Despite looking good, Miller saw just five total touches in the second half, despite the Dolphins leading until the midway point of the third quarter, and not falling behind by more than seven points until halfway through the final quarter. Although they didn't see the ball a lot, as the Ravens went on three separate drives of 75+ yards in the second half alone, with a struggling offensive line, the only remedy was getting the ball to Miller by any means necessary. Additionally, after playing 47 out of 60 snaps against a physical Jets defensive front on Monday night, it seemed as if Miller was over his nagging list of injuries that had been limiting him recently. However, Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams peeled off a total of 26 snaps against the Ravens, limiting Miller to 37 of 63 plays. Thomas and Williams combined to touch the ball three times, so it may be simply a case of Miami knowing they can't lose Miller and limiting his reps in non-running situations. Thomas handled a few series entirely to himself, while Williams was more in a third-down role, but neither are threats to Miller status as the #1 back.
2014 Week 15 vs NE (16 / 47 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller once again dominated backfield touches in the first half, but game flow fell out his favor, and the Patriots stifled the run in the second half to turn a potentially nice day into a poor one. He touched the ball just four times in the second half, including 3 carries for -4 yards, as the Dolphins went three-and-out, interception, three-and-out on their first three drives of the half. That also coincided with the Pats posting TD, FG, TD, TD in the third quarter to put the game on ice. The yards per carry numbers are a bit deceiving for Miller, as he started the game well. There was little room to run in between the tackles, but Lazor has shown the ability to scheme Miller into space on the edge for most of the season. Heading into the half, Miller owned a 13 for 51 line, which is a lot more appealing than the 16 for 47 he finished with. Any worries Miller owners have any timeshare developing are unfounded though, despite the starter finishing with just 43-of-81 snaps. Miller was rarely off the field early in the game, being spelled sparingly by Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams. With the Dolphins not seeing much of the ball in the second half until a lengthy few fourth quarter drives, Miller was rested, which allowed Thomas and Williams to pick up a few extra snaps. With the Dolphins eliminated, it will be interesting how the coaching staff uses the running backs in Week 16 and 17. Daniel Thomas was cut before the season started, and only picked back up due to the Moreno injury. One would think the coaches would like to get a look at Damien Williams, Orleans Darkwa, and even LaMichael James, so there's really no guarantees to what Miller's workload may look like against the Vikings in fantasy finals week. He'll still be on the RB2 radar, as he received 15+ touches for the fourth time in five games since getting over his nagging injury troubles.
2014 Week 16 vs MIN (19 / 92 / 1 rush, 7 / 5 / 58 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller had one of his best games all season on Sunday, providing big numbers in the run and pass game as he was unrivaled for touches in the Miami backfield with Daniel Thomas sitting out. Even with Damien Williams peeling off passing down looks, and playing significant snaps in the fourth quarter when the Dolphins were trailing, Miller set season highs in both carries and catches, which translated to a season high in scrimmage yards as well. It's possible Miller was as healthy as he's been in a while as well, but he got some help from his offensive line as well, especially the right side. Lazor has been setting Miller up for success throughout most of the season, but Miller has certainly made strides as well. One knock on the third-year back has been that his vision has been poor. Well, one way to help that is to allow him to make one cut and go. Miller has been doing it all season, but against the Vikings, it looked like he had something to prove. Whether it was a run designed to hit outside, or an inside run, Miller was decisive in hitting the hole and it yielded his second-highest rushing output of the season. Without Daniel Thomas, who has vultured Miller on occasion recently, Miller converted on his chance from the goal-line. Another area where Miller has vastly improved this season is the passing game, and it showed in Sunday's game. Whereas last season, Miller clearly wasn't comfortable catching the ball, often looking tentative, which caused him to lose snaps to Daniel Thomas, he looks far more natural catching passes. And in Bill Lazor's offense, with the array of misdirection plays and fake screen action, the RB needs to be able to catch passes. Similar to his running style, Miller is quick to break upfield after he catches a pass. So, when there is a coverage breakdown, such as a linebacker breaking with a tight end or a defensive back not sticking in his zone, Miller is free to pick up a chunk of yards. While no one expects Knowshon Moreno back in Miami next season, it looks like Damien Williams has certainly earned a role in the backfield in 2015. Miller will certainly be on the RB2 radar next season in an offense that should be able to take another step forward.
2014 Week 17 vs NYJ (19 / 178 / 1 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
A week after posting his highest yardage total of the season, Lamar Miller outdid himself for the biggest day of his career. While over 50% of his yardage came on one play, which will go down as the longest run of the 2014 season, that run showed the strides Miller has made in Lazor's offense this season. It was a slow start for Miller, as New York's top of the league run defense stifled him for 34 yards on his first 10 carries. However, around the time Sheldon Richardson exited the game near the end of the second quarter, Miller started popping off chunk yardage. On the Dolphins' first play of the second half, Miller's hard work this season paid off. His long run for the season prior to his 97-yarder in the third quarter was 33 yards. He doesn't have the long speed, but it is deceptive. In this case, the hole that opened was so big, Daniel Thomas might've had a chance for a big gain. Both inside LBs, David Harris and Demario Davis were sucked right, which was the direction of the run, while Calvin Pryor made a terrible angle on the play, leaving the whole field for Miller to run. That's not to say Miller hasn't impressed this season. Bill Lazor and Joe Philbin didn't really want to ride Miller once Knowshon Moreno went down, but Lazor knew exactly how to get Miller in space to operate. The variety of stretch and zone runs helped get the third-year back upfield, as he was able to hit his cutback lane and go. It's an interesting hypothetical wondering how Miller's 2014 would've turned out had Knowshon Moreno not torn his ACL early in the season. Regardless, Miller still never saw 20+ carries during the season and it's fair to wonder if the Dolphins were just protecting their clear #1 back, who had a variety of injuries throughout the season, or if they didn't believe Miller could handle the full load. Possibly a combination of both, but it's fair to speculate Miller will be the #1 back heading into 2015. However, there will likely be some competition, as they didn't see him as the #1 heading into 2014. Miller's still young though, and after his big finish to 2014, his arrow is trending up.
2013 Week 1 vs CLE (10 / 3 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Everyone was excited about Miller this season. His speed and ability to hit the hole in the one-cut zone-blocking scheme seemed like a ready-made match. So, it was a letdown to see him finish the day with those numbers. Another credit to Ray Horton's defense here; the entire Browns front seven, even the backups spent the entire afternoon blowing up running plays. It was somewhat of a shock, as the Dolphins' offensive line actually looked good run blocking in the preseason. It was promising for Miller early on, as he didn't yield a snap to backup Daniel Thomas until the last play in the first quarter, despite not finding any room to run. He finished the quarter with 18 snaps, and proceeded to play just 19 snaps the rest of the game, ceding the only goal-line carry and touchdown to Thomas. Additionally, in pass protection, he gave up a few pressures of Tannehill, which is something head coach Joe Philbin has stressed could not happen. While Miller apparently couldn't do enough to separate himself from the slower and less dynamic Thomas in the preseason, This could just be a bump in the road. There has to be worry in the immediate future that Thomas could steal some opportunities, but Miller possesses the game to separate himself from average talents really quickly.
2013 Week 2 vs IND (14 / 69 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
Miller drew the start again in this one, but still ended being the lead back of a timeshare with Daniel Thomas. For much of the first half, Miller saw a ton of time on the field, with Thomas spelling him for a series and on a third down, but in the second half, they essentially split each series. It's clear Joe Philbin doesn't yet trust his running game, but the run blocking did markedly improve from Week 1. Indianapolis doesn't exactly have a stout run-stopping group, but if Miller can get a few more carries a game and similar holes, he'll end this timeshare. His long run was just 14 yards, but he's hitting holes hard and using his elite burst to, in most cases, get through them. On his 10-yard touchdown run on the Dolphins' second series of the game, he easily got around the edge and walked into the endzone untouched. Miller could be an asset in the passing game, as he made a nifty move to shake one tackler for a gain of 6 on one of his two catches. However, through two games, Tannehill hasn't needed to check-down very often. The fact that Thomas outsnapped Miller 36-30 is a concern, but Miller will begin to separate himself on a per touch basis. The only thing holding him back may be his pass protection.
2013 Week 3 vs ATL (8 / 62 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
It was an odd day for the Dolphins. The Falcons dominated time of possession for the entire day; Miami only saw 16 offensive snaps in the first half. That left very few carries for both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, but Miller once again looked very good. In the second quarter, he ripped through a big hole and raced downfield for 49 yards, his longest gain of the season. Plenty of credit goes to center Mike Pouncey and right guard John Jerry for sealing off the hole and getting to linebacker Akeem Dent, allowing Miller to run free up the middle. He displayed his downhill vision by making one cut and exploding through the hole. He burst by the Falcons' safeties before being run down by Asante Samuel. Miller did struggle on his other 7 runs, tallying just 13 yards, but that was more due to game flow. The Dolphins didn't have the ball enough for much of the game, so his other runs were mostly made to keep the defense honest and Atlanta swarmed to the ball. The fact is, after his dud in Week 1, the second year back has run up 131 yards on 22 carries. The snap breakdown is still nearly 50-50 with Daniel Thomas, so only Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman know why Miller hasn't seen more time. However, Miller dominated snaps on the game-winning drive, a clear sign that the Dolphins trust him pass protection. He dropped a wheel route that could've resulted in a game-winning touchdown, but the arrow still has to be pointing up for Miller.
2013 Week 4 vs NO (11 / 62 / 1 rush, 3 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Miller started yet again and the Dolphins came out looking to run the ball in the first quarter. On the first two drives of the game, Miller saw 6 touches; 5 carries and 1 catch, producing 42 yards. On his longest carry during that time, 20 yards, Miller got downhill incredibly quickly, hitting the hole and picking up yardage. He was the lone bright spot for the Dolphins in a game that got out of hand very quickly, and he still only received just one carry in the second half. He salvaged his fantasy day by getting into the endzone from 5 yards out, untouched. However, the good news for fantasy owners is that he finally outsnapped Daniel Thomas by a significant margin in Week 4. Instead of 50-50 margin, which is what we've been seeing for the first several weeks, Miller took 34 snaps while Thomas saw 19, with Miller running as the clear starter. One area where the second-year back can improve is the passing game, as he had a few misunderstandings with his quarterback on Monday, which led to a few incompletions. Thomas remains the short yardage back, and will occasionally come in on third downs for Miller, but there's finally some clear separation between the two, and the Dolphins' coaching staff knows it now. With the Miami offensive line struggling to protect their quarterback, it wouldn't be shocking to see Miami finally emphasize the run. While that's probably wishful thinking, we don't know how Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman will react to this loss. But, Miller's value is looking up as they clearly see the talent gap between their top two backs.
2013 Week 5 vs BAL (7 / 15 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
First, the good news even though there might be shockingly little in this game on the Lamar Miller front. Miller has taken legitimately taken over as the lead back in the Dolphins' offense. The former Hurricane played 45 out of 59 snaps as the lead dog, including playing on third downs and in the two-minute drill. Thomas was mixed in some series, but it was merely as a change of pace option. Unfortunately, despite playing in another close game, the Dolphins did fall behind by 10 points in the third quarter, and abandoned the run for the rest of the game. They never really attempted to establish the run against the Ravens' stout front anyway. Miller gained positive yardage for the first time in the game in the second quarter, on his fourth carry. On his long run of the day, 9 yards, he did have a crease to run through. He hit the hole hard and if not for a brilliant arm tackle by Daryl Smith, Miller could have been off to the races. Now that Miller is the clear favorite for snaps in the backfield, the results should start to come. In division, he'll have some plus matchups against the Bills and the Patriots, who are without Vince Wilfork for the season, and two poor matchups against a quality Jets defensive line. It's on Miami's coaching staff to establish the run, though. What is a bit of a letdown is the lack of usage in the passing game. Miller didn't see a single target yesterday, despite playing in passing situations. Tannehill has a lot of confidence in his passing ability right now, so targets could be hard to see right now. But, his involvement can only go up.
2013 Week 7 vs BUF (9 / 43 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Miller technically didn't get the start on Sunday, but he still ended up drawing more snaps than Thomas, but it was another lost day for one of the more hyped guys of the 2013 preseason. Miller had one shining moment, when he broke lose for 30 yards, but produced just 17 yards on his other 9 touches. It was a simple zone run to the right, but Miller did what he does best and made the right cut, running behind Richie Incognito, who reached the second level. After dancing through a few tackles, he burst out towards daylight. If not for Da'Norris Searcy, who came very close to committing a horse-collar penalty, Miller would've busted loose for a 60+ yard TD. Miller has a few of those big runs this season, but hasn't been able to hit paydirt on any of them. Had he finished off those runs with six points, he may have seized control of the backfield. Even if he breaks out for a 60 or 70 yarder in the next few weeks, the Miami coaching staff may be content with their running back rotation right now.
2013 Week 8 vs NE (18 / 89 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
Miller started again for the Dolphins, playing 13 of the first 14 snaps and leaving in Daniel Thomas in the dust, in terms of snaps (51 to 27) and touches (21 to 10). It still doesn't seem like Mike Sherman and Joe Philbin really have any plan when using their running backs. This season, we've seen Miller and Thomas alternate series, Thomas as the third down back, and visa versa. But, Sunday seemed to work out the best. Miller looked like his usual self, getting downhill quickly, hitting the hole hard, and finding running lanes. More than any other game this season, the Dolphins ran more shotgun runs with Miller than they had all season. That allowed him to read his blocks better, in addition to getting around the edge and picking up chunks of yardage. Instead of coming out in the second half and emphasizing the run, the Dolphins threw 5 of their first 7 plays on their first drive in the second half, the Pats started scoring and forcing turnovers, and Miami had to abandon the run. It's still promising because even though Miller saw just 6 touches in the second half, he had 21 for the game. With a good enough defense to keep them in a lot of games, perhaps Miami is realizing if they can get Miller about 18-20 touches per game, they'll be better off. Fantasy owners would be better off too.
2013 Week 9 vs CIN (16 / 105 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 24 / 0 rec)
For the second time in five days, Lamar Miller received over 20 touches and recorded 100+ yards from scrimmage. Truth be told, it could've been a much bigger day. The Dolphins were getting some push up front, but Miller's ability to get downhill and pickup at least 4 or 5 yards on nearly every carry is just so natural. Additionally, the Dolphins are running more shotgun draws, which allows Miller to use his jets to get around the edge. He's one of those special players who can get around the edge and stay in bounds while picking up chunks of yardage. He was also slightly more active in the passing game with Brandon Gibson sidelined. If he's seeing 4-5 targets a game, that's an extra 20-30 yards, with a chance at a big play. That's the good; now, the bad. That 41-yard run that ended with a fumble was such a good run too. Miller came around right end, danced through a few tackles, and burst into open space. That's where the run went downhill. Instead of running towards the left pylon and the 52-yard TD scamper, Miller kept running behind his downfield blockers, who were overwhelming Adam Jones. However, that slowed Miller down, and Carlos Dunlap was able to punch the ball out. It was a swing of about 10 fantasy points, as Miller lost a fumble and didn't get the extra 11 yards and the TD. That will be disappointing for fantasy owners, but Miller seems locked into 20 touches. If he can start to see some red zone looks, he may finally get to that high-end RB2 range that many predicted before the season.
2013 Week 10 vs TB (7 / 2 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller continues to start for the Dolphins and see the lion's share of the looks at running back. However, the Tampa Bay run defense, which was one of the best units in the league last season, finally decided to show up. Coupled with the game-flow, which wasn't conducive to a big workload, it was a dud of a game for Miller. Even the small holes that Miller can hit quickly and pickup an easy 4 or 5 yards were just not there. By the time the Dolphins had gotten back into the game, Mike Sherman had pulled the plug on running the ball. Even though they had the lead late in the third and early in the fourth quarter, their refusal to commit to the running game probably doomed them. When the Bucs had the ball, they were gashing the Dolphins time and again with their second and third string running backs after Mike James left the game early in the first quarter. A good sign for Miller was his blitz pickup. Although Tannehill was still under pressure, Miller did good things in the protection game. Lining up on the right and picking up blitzers from the left, handling linebackers from up the middle, Miller did it all. He's playing ahead of Daniel Thomas and should continue to see about a 2-to-1 or 70-30 breakdown in snaps and touches. With his talent and the general lack of running back consistency in fantasy football, he still is on the RB2 radar.
2013 Week 11 vs SD (4 / 17 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller once again started and out-snapped Daniel Thomas 40-26, but the Miami coaching staff must've seen something, and Thomas ended up out-touching Miller 11 to 6. Although Miller had seemingly taken over the committee for good in the last few weeks, it's just another reminder that Mike Sherman is not going to play favorites in the backfield. Miller still produced 37 yards on 6 touches, and that includes a run of -1 yards and catch of -2. So, it's not like he isn't producing on a per touch basis. His ability to get downhill in a one-cut blocking scheme is not matched by anyone on the Miami roster, but unfortunately, he can't get consistent looks in the offense. With a matchup against the Panthers this week, as well as two games with the Jets, even if he was getting consistent carries, he couldn't be trusted as a fantasy option. Miller is certainly one player who could do with a new regime, as they would likely cut their ties with Daniel Thomas.
2013 Week 12 vs CAR (10 / 8 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 39 / 0 rec)
On the first play of the game, Lamar Miller was met by two Panthers in the backfield for a loss of 2 yards on the ground. He had negative yards on the ground for much of the day, before finishing the game with 8 yards rushing. However, for fantasy owners who had to start Miller in a PPR league with the likes of Marshawn Lynch, Giovani Bernard, LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, and C.J. Spiller out, the second-year back produced 39 yards on 4 catches. It was rough sledding for Miller in the run game all day, as Star Lotulelei and company were overwhelming the undermanned offensive line of the Dolphins, and Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly were cleaning up the scraps. Miller has been prone to these types of performances this season because of the ineptitude of the coaching staff to call some outside zone plays, where Miller can excel by getting laterally, and then hitting the hole, getting north and south. The run blocking from the offensive line has also been horrendous as well. However, Miller's 54 of 67 snaps played was by far a season high. Additionally, Miller tied his season high in catches and had his most yards in the air all season, so that has to be a positive to take from the game. Another "positive" is Daniel Thomas' injury status. Thomas injured his ankle and did not return to the game, leaving Lamar Miller to pick up nearly all of the work from the third quarter on. If Thomas is sidelined for any time, it's likely Miller would see at least 75% of the offensive snaps and he'd finally be a lock for at least 15 touches, with the possibility for more if the Dolphins could actually get a run game going. He'll be tough to trust in the fantasy playoffs, but his outlook is more positive than even just a week ago.
2013 Week 13 vs NYJ (22 / 72 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
In his first game as the clearcut lead back with Daniel Thomas on the shelf indefinitely, Lamar Miller played 65 out of 82 snaps and saw 23 touches. Backups Mike Gillislee and Marcus Thigpen saw most of their snaps in the last 5 minutes, as the Dolphins were looking to run out the clock. Miller's yards per carry numbers weren't there, but the snap and touch numbers bode well for his value over the rest of the season. No one expected much from Miller against a Jets defensive line that was the best in the league against the run coming into the game. Miller's 85 yards on 23 touches provide hope, if he's seeing 20+ touches over the last few weeks, he will be on the RB2 radar. Sure, Damon Harrison, Sheldon Richardson, and Wilkerson stacked up Miller a handful of times for no gains, but Miller continues to show his knack for producing in the one-cut system. Running up the middle, Miami had no luck, but on stretches right and left, Miller would hit the hole hard, often producing at least 3 or 4 or 5 yards, even if he's hit at the line of scrimmage. Moreover, his ability to beat the linebacker to the edge and get upfield is uncanny. As he figures to see at least 15 carries per game going forward, the chances that he busts a long run grow ever higher. With a favorable slate of matchups down the stretch, fantasy owners who drafted Miller as high as the third round in August might finally see the reward.
2013 Week 14 vs PIT (6 / 20 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Lamar Miller started yet again, but with Daniel Thomas back in the fold, didn't see the complement of snaps that he saw against the Jets. With the Steelers owning much of the possession in the first half, Miller didn't find many opportunities to get going. Just when it looked like he was getting it going early in the second half, he took a nasty, but legal, hit from Ryan Clark and was concussed. Before leaving, Miller was out-snapping Daniel Thomas 20-10, but his status is completely up in the air for Week 15. And surely, Thomas has guaranteed himself more of a look with his breakout performance. It's looking like a lost season for the second year back.
2013 Week 15 vs NE (15 / 61 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)
Coming off a concussion last week against the Steelers, Lamar Miller still drew the start and the majority of snaps and carries for the Dolphins in Week 15. Even though Daniel Thomas played well in Pittsburgh during the second half, it was a vote of confidence in Miller that he's still at least the leader of the committee between he and Thomas. Miller outsnapped his teammate 38-18 and out-touched him 16-6, but Thomas scored the touchdown between the two players and the Dolphins' coaching staff continues to make a committee work. Although it seems like when they have a lead back, they tend to be more successful, Mike Sherman and Joe Philbin like the mix that Thomas and Miller have. Miller continues to run well, having that knack for picking up 3 or 4 yards, no matter what's blocked. Of course, that doesn't happen when he's being hit behind the line of scrimmage. With the backs often being asked to help with pass blocking, Miller's role in the passing game has waned. Although it's been a disappointing season for Miller, we don't know what the Miami coaching staff will look like next season. One thing's for sure, upgrades are likely on the offensive line, which can only be seen as positive for Miller.
2013 Week 16 vs BUF (3 / 8 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Despite Daniel Thomas sitting out two days of practice, it was Lamar Miller who was second banana in the Dolphins' backfield on Sunday against the Bills. It didn't really matter either way, as both backs couldn't get anything going in the cold rain in Buffalo. For the first time when both running backs have been fully healthy, Thomas was preferred over Miller, as the he out-snapped him and out-touched him. When Miller left the Pittsburgh game several weeks ago, Thomas filled in well in adverse conditions, so that probably played a role in the snap disparity between the two. As it has been all season, though, the Miami backfield has been a fantasy quagmire. Neither running back was very good in pass protection, with Miller allowing defensive backs to beat him on blitzes on a few occasions. For folks who picked Lamar Miller as early as the 3rd round in some drafts, it's obviously a disappointment. With no coach or front office member really safe in Miami, there are no real clues as to what the situation in the Dolphins backfield will be next season. With Miller completely flopping this season, there certainly could be some sleeper appeal for him if things break the right way. Current GM Jeff Ireland traded up to snag Daniel Thomas in the second round, so it's possible a new GM would choose to sever ties with the bust.
2013 Week 17 vs NYJ (17 / 73 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Whether it had to do with Daniel Thomas' ankle injury or Mike Sherman's game-plan, Lamar Miller played nearly every snap in Sunday's regular season finale against the Jets. Although he didn't post gaudy stat lines, two of Miller's better games during his disappointing 2013 season came against the Jets. One of the better run defenses in the league, Miller ran tough against them in both games. In Week 17 especially, it took awhile for the Dolphins to get the run game on track, but Mike Sherman actually stuck with it for most of the game, only abandoning it later in the fourth quarter because they were down by multiple scores. However, Miller got stronger against the Jets stout front as the game wore on, starting to pickup bigger chunks of yardage in the third and early fourth quarters. Additionally, Ryan Tannehill was able to check out of passes into runs a few times, as the Jets were playing their nickel and dime packages with the lead. This allowed Miller to exploit some soft boxes, something the Dolphins had not been able to really capitalize on much during the season. That's certainly an area Miami's signal caller can work on during the offseason. While it will go down as a very inadequate season for Miller, there will some sort of coaching change in South Florida. He's certainly flashed the skills to be a lead back, but it remains to be seen what direction the Dolphins will go in, especially with changes on the coaching staff likely coming.
2012 Week 2 vs OAK (10 / 65 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Miller unseated Daniel Thomas for the backup role with an impressive performance. Showing quick feet, elusiveness, and mixing in a straight-ahead running style, he is the perfect compliment to Bush. If Bush reverts to "dancing", Miller doesn't seem to have that in him. He was similar to Stevan Ridley in that he attacks the line of scrimmage, and makes his cuts in confined spaces without wasting much forward momentum. Miller's TD in the fourth quarter was on a cutback to the left, and he simply ran toward open space and waltzed into the endzone. Miller is going to be a significant contributor to this team in 2012 and beyond.
2012 Week 3 vs NYJ (9 / 48 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After Miller's impressive Week 2 performance, fans were expecting to see him early-on. However, it took a Bush injury and a Thomas' fumble before Miller received another opportunity. Miller demonstrated the same combination of quick feet and elusiveness that we saw last week. In the third quarter, Miller broke off an impressive 22-yard run off left tackle. If Thomas continues to fumble, Miller stands as the beneficiary. If Bush misses any time, Miller should receive an increased workload.
2012 Week 4 vs ARI (4 / 13 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Outside of one rush for seven yards, Miller rarely ever was given a chance to make a play by his offensive line. The Cardinals defense was too overwhelming.
2012 Week 6 vs STL (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Miller was rarely on the field and received just one touch, a run play that was stuffed in the backfield. In addition, there was a holding penalty on the play which kept Miller out of the box score.
2012 Week 10 vs TEN (3 / 12 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Miller saw an increase in snaps after Reggie Bush was benched for fumbling, and later dropping a pass. After seeing very few snaps over the last few weeks, in addition to Bush's struggles, Miller would have likely seen an increased workload this week, after Miami fell behind by so much. He's flashed his playmaking talent before, and while he didn't set the world on fire in this one, he did show off a bit of his wiggle on an impressive 9-yard run, in addition to showing off his ability to rack up yards after contact, fighting for extra yards on one of his two catches. Although he won't have very much of an impact in 2012, he will be a name to watch in 2013.
2012 Week 14 vs SF (3 / 1 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Miller was as unsuccessful as Thomas in the running game. He often tried to bounce the run to the outside, but the defense held the corner and Miller couldn't get beyond the line of scrimmage. He did have a good catch and run on a screen, following his blockers and breaking tackles en route to a first down. Miller also saw more snaps than Thomas, even though the rookie's pass protection was suspect as times.
2012 Week 15 vs JAX (6 / 18 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
Daniel Thomas limped off the field after a single carry against Jacksonville, which opened the door for Miller to have seven touches in relief of Reggie Rush. Miller did not get the same level of run blocking from the offensive line and his statistics reflect it. Miller converted a third down with his lone target in the passing game, but was generally stuffed on the ground. His first run was his best of the day, a four-yard jaunt including spin move on the first defender. Miller is one of the more intriguing young running backs to monitor this offseason as Reggie Bush is a free agent and Daniel Thomas has done little to be viewed as the lead back in 2013 if Bush were to leave Miami.
2012 Week 16 vs BUF (10 / 73 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Miller didn't receive the carries Bush did, but still managed to outgain the starter and average 7.3 yards per carry. Quite slippery, with blazing quickness, Miller's longest run went for 28 yards on a read option. Taking the handoff from Tannehill, Miller found a massive hole on the left side and easily turned up field. Miller turned on the jets and just missed breaking a much longer run as he unnecessarily slowed to "drive" a blocking offensive lineman through traffic. Despite the obvious speed, Miller didn't struggle to carry between the tackles. Outside of his long of 28 yards, seven of ten carries went right at the interior of the Bills' defensive line with only one bounce outside from Miller. Miller looked every bit as explosive as Bush too, and it is hard to imagine Miller doesn't make letting pending free agent Bush go in the offseason a much easier decision.
2012 Week 17 vs NE (5 / 13 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 22 / 0 rec)
As a possible audition for an increased role in 2013, Miller received eight touches against New England to close out his rookie season. With little room to navigate on the ground, Miller did manage one rushing attempt that highlighted his potential. He juked an initial defender at the line of scrimmage to gain four yards in the first half. In the passing game, Miller saw more space, catching both of his targets, gaining 10+ yards on each reception. After seeing minimal involvement in the middle of the season, Miller closed with 28 touches over the final four weeks of his rookie year. At nearly five yards per carry, Miller will be one of the young running backs to watch in the offseason if Reggie Bush does not return to Miami in free agency.