As the NFL Draft rapidly approaches, it’s time to start analyzing each position and start looking at potential fantasy football sleepers heading into the 2012 season. We are starting with the running back position, because it is one of the easiest positions to come in right away and contribute. This means rookie running backs are more likely to be relevant when it comes to Fantasy Football than quarterbacks or wide receivers.
This analysis will focus on Miami running back Lamar Miller, a player who is extremely talented but raw, after leaving school early for the NFL Draft following his redshirt sophomore season. However, in the short time he spent on south beach, he was productive, rushing 335 times for 1918 yards with a 5.7 yards per carry average and 17 total touchdowns for his career.
2011 was a breakout season for Miller, as be started to show what he can do with his immense talent, finishing the season with 1, 272 yards to go along with nine touchdowns and a 5.6 yards per carry average. He also added 17 receptions and is very reliable when carrying the football, losing only two fumbles in his college carrer.
Miller is a fast, dynamic runner that also flashed some ability to catch the ball and potential as a returner, returning a kick for a touchdown as a freshmen. His best attributes are his blend of elite speed and good size, in addition to the tremendous quickness he posses that makes him adept at making tacklers miss.
Miller has the potential to be a full-time starter in the NFL and will be particularly alluring to NFL teams because his workload at Miami was very light compared to that of other top backs in the class. The ceiling for Miller is higher than any back in the class outside of Richardson and is being projected by some as a late first round pick.
PPR Fantasy Analysis: There is no doubt that Miller has all the tools to be a successful starting running back in the NFL and has the ability to make an impact this season, he just needs to find the right fit. He is not a great pass catcher and so most of his Fantasy points this season, are going to to come from rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Therefore, if he’s drafted by the right team and put in the right situation, Miller should be relevant option for Fantasy owners as a flex play, if not an rb2 by season’s end, as long as he is the starter or is getting at least 50 percent of the carries in a time-share situation.