In 2014 and 2015 with the Miami Dolphins, fantasy football owners wondered what Lamar Miller would do if he just had more work. The last two years with the Houston Texans have shown that outcome, but the results have been disappointing.
Miller has been in the top-12 of the league in touches among running backs in each of the last two seasons, but he's delivered finishes outside the top-15 fantasy running backs in both campaigns. A dismal offensive line hasn't helped, but Miller went from 4.5 yards per carry in 2015 (his last year with the Dolphins) to 4.0 in 2016 and down to 3.7 last year.
D'Onta Foreman looked like a threat to Miller's workload late last season, but then he tore his Achilles' and is now expected to open the season on the PUP list. Texans' head coach Bill O'Brien also recently dubbed Miller as a “three-down back.”
In the six games Deshaun Watson started last year, Miller averaged 15.4 fantasy points per game (ESPN PPR scoring). In the 10 games Watson didn't start, counting Week 1 when he finished the game, Miller averaged 10.1 fantasy points per game (ESPN PPR scoring). Projected over a full 16 games, that was the difference between finishing as RB8 and RB25 last year in ESPN leagues.
Miller edged into the third round in ADP for a bit (12-team leagues), but he is currently settled in early in the fourth round in standard scoring (pick 4.01, RB21-Fantasy Football Calculator) and full-point PPR scoring (pick 4.06, RB21).
If Foreman can get healthy, he stands to emerge as a threat to Miller's workload again. But early in the season, especially if Foreman indeed starts on the PUP list, Miller will have all the volume he can handle as an every-down back.
Then if Foreman is ready to go around midseason, Miller would be an easy sell-high candidate with the prospect of his workload eroding. But even 6-7 weeks of RB1-level volume, and anything close to that in production if Watson has the ideal affect, is worth considering at an RB2 price on draft day.