The Rundown: Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi
In an ESPN mailbag for Dolphins fans, Dolphins reporter James Walker was asked if he thought Lamar Miller’s workload would increase this year:
Should Lamar Miller get more carries? Yes. That was painfully evident last season when the Dolphins seemingly kept Miller on a pitch count, even when he was having a strong game. Miller rushed for 1,099 yards but probably could’ve had 1,300 yards if he got about five more attempts per game. Will Miller get more carries in 2015? That’s a different question. For three years, Miami’s coaching staff has never viewed Miller as a bell cow or workhorse running back. As soon as Miller gets up to maybe 12-15 carries, Dolphins’ coaches get conservative with him. It’s hard to say that philosophy will suddenly change. The Dolphins also are very optimistic rookie tailback Jay Ajayi can carry some of the load as long as he stays healthy.
This is one of those classic cases where fantasy owners think one thing *should* happen, but front offices may think otherwise. Miller’s production didn’t see much of a drop against tougher run defenses and he was one of the most efficient running backs last season among RBs who received at least 150 carries. Miller finished as RB9 in standard scoring leagues last season despite receiving anywhere between 30 to 221 fewer carries than the backs who finished ahead of him. Miller never carried the ball more than 20 times in a single game and he had 15 or less carries in 11 of their 16 games. Just think what Miller could’ve potentially been if given three to five more attempts per game? It should also be noted that Miller is up to 225 pounds this season after playing at 218 pounds last year.
The Dolphins did spend a fifth round pick on Jay Ajayi in this years draft. He could eat into Miller’s workload provided his knee doesn’t give him any troubles. Ajayi’s knee issues were the reason he dropped on so many teams draft boards this May. Shawn Siegele wonders if Ajayi is the No. 1 fantasy RB prospect in 2015 and Dr. Jeff Budoff thinks Ajayi’s knee is definitely a problem. There’s still a long-shot RB on the Dolphin’s roster that Fantasy Douche thinks has Arian Foster upside.