The Miami Dolphins. Apart from several smaller names, the Florida team has not been well associated with fantasy football prowess for many years. However, last year Ryan Tannehill emerged as a solid starting quarterback and Reggie Bush was spotted, showing some of what made him the second overall pick in 2006.
With the departure of Reggie Bush and Jake Long this past offseason, a great deal of questions arose in regards to the season ahead for the Dolphins. However, they added a much needed piece in wide receiver Mike Wallace, stealing him from the Steelers in free agency. But, how will the loss of their star offensive tackle affect the Miami backfield? Well, having Mike Pouncy, who is one of the top centers in the game today, and adding Tyson Clabo who is an exceptional run blocker on the right side actually boosts the backfield. They have a solid foundation for the line. Now who in the world is going to start for Miami behind Tannehill? The answer to that question is Lamar Miller.
Miller was the Dolphins' fourth round pick in 2012. With only a year under his belt, many would be quick to say that Daniel Thomas is a shoe in to take the starting job. However, Miller is going to pull the rug out from under Thomas' feet. Miller, a University of Miami alum, scored 15 touchdowns in two seasons as a Hurricane, has slowly gained all the skills to make a great NFL running back. Even his quarterback (Tannehill) said on "NFL Total Access" in June that Miller is the starter going into camp.
Miller has become a better pass blocker. He is the best of the Dolphins three choices in this respect. What does that have to do with his fantasy breakout? As a better pass protector for Tannehill, Miller will get more downs. This, combined with his consistently increasing speed, will make Lamar Miller the every-down back for the Dolphins. Add that to working out with Frank Gore this offseason and earning praise from the 49ers running back and you've got a rising star. Barring an injury in the pre-season, Lamar Miller is going to take the starting position for Miami.
Thanks to Tannehill's endorsement and his ability to be a competent passer, the Dolphins have the opportunity to use Miller in some creative ways that will explore his numerous skills and ferocious speed. Watch Miller in your draft. If your running back situation looks pretty good and depending on the route your draft takes, take him as early as the third or fourth round (in regards to what running backs are gone/available), no later than eighth (if he's still there), because he will be the starter. Use Lamar Miller as an RB2 or RB3, depending on the depth of your league.