In a Week 7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, fantasy football players finally saw Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller live up to the preseason hype. He received a heavy workload (22 carries) and finished the game with 100 yards and one touchdown in his best performance of 2018.
The question now becomes, what will the encore performance to Miller’s first 100-yard game of the season look like? The Texans host his former team in the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football to start Week 8, and it’s an interesting matchup on paper for the 27-year-old back.
It’s been a bit of a rocky start to the season for Miller thus far, as he’s totaled just 371 rushing yards on 95 carries. Fortunately, there’s reason to believe he’s primed to turn a corner, and it doesn’t hurt that this matchup is an appealing one.
Let’s break down the start-sit argument surrounding Miller ahead of Thursday’s game against the Dolphins.
Key Stats and Lamar Miller’s Fantasy Outlook
I’ll break down the matchup along with a few numbers which jump out about Miller and the Texans entering the week. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Miami Dolphins vs. running backs in 2018: 182 attempts, 826 rushing yards, 46 receptions, 417 receiving yards, nine total touchdowns (No. 4 most fantasy points per game)
- Miller played 70 and 67 percent of the offensive snaps the last two games, per Football Outsiders
- Miller’s 23 and 17 touches in the past two weeks are the most he’s seen since Week 1
It seems the Texans have flipped back to largely letting Miller handle the bulk of the work at running back, with Alfred Blue taking a backseat. For fantasy owners, that’s a huge deal and should put him in play as a potential starter this week.
Should You Start or Sit Lamar Miller?
We have to assume Miller’s workload and snap counts will remain up this week, especially considering quarterback Deshaun Watson still isn’t fully healthy. The Texans are also favored to win this game and if they grab a lead as most expect, the running game could certainly wind up taking over.
Seeing Miller receive 20-plus carries isn’t out of the question, but even if he gets 15-18 and a catch or two, the matchup is strong enough that he’s worth playing. I’d recommend starting Miller in all 12-team fantasy leagues or larger in Week 8.