The Houston Texans left fantasy football owners in a tough spot last Sunday ahead of their Week 5 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. Running back Lamar Miller seemed unlikely to play for much of the day, but slightly before kickoff, it was revealed he would be active for the game.
Fortunately for fantasy owners who stayed away due to his chest injury, Miller wound up acting as the emergency back for the offense, handing the starting gig over to Alfred Blue. But heading into Week 6, Miller has gotten in a full practice and looks like he’ll be good to go for a game against the Buffalo Bills.
Although the Texans’ lead back is expected to return to game action, it still may not make him a strong starter in many fantasy leagues.
Gauging Lamar Miller’s Week 6 Fantasy Value
It’s been a fairly disappointing season to this point for Miller, largely due to the fact that the Houston offense is centered around Deshaun Watson. After seeing 20 rushing attempts and totaling 98 yards in Week 1, he’s posted stat lines that have been mediocre at best.
Miller totaled just 70 combined yards in Week 2 and had a horrible next two games, rushing 24 total times for 59 yards from Weeks 3-4. Fantasy owners were saved a bit in Week 3 thanks to the 27-year-old catching five passes and finding the end zone on one of them.
The real concern here comes from the fact that Miller began losing work to Blue, who’s proven his value as a pass-catcher, even before the injury. According to Football Outsiders, after seeing 52 offensive snaps to Blue’s 16 in Week 3, Miller out-snapped his backfield mate just 46-40 in Week 4.
With Miller coming back from an injury, it makes the situation tough to gauge in terms of how his workload will look against the Bills. Realistically, the Texans could opt to utilize Blue more both for his pass-catching and while Miller gets eased back in.
Should You Start or Sit Lamar Miller?
While I like the matchup for Texans running backs against the Bills, I’m having a tough time buying into Miller currently. He’s failed to top 100 yards in a single game and the team seems focused on shifting to a committee approach with Blue.
It’s unfortunate due to the fact that Buffalo has allowed five rushing touchdowns to opposing backs, but they’ve also had some trouble with pass-catching backs. This actually may bode well for Blue, as the Bills have given up 32 receptions for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Regardless of how you look at it, the situation is messing from a fantasy football perspective.
I wouldn’t recommend Miller as a starter in most places, but it’s understandable if he’s your best option in a 14-team league. An argument could even be made to use him as a flex play in 12-team leagues. I’ll personally do my best to find another option, as the Texans running back doesn’t have much upside.
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