The reasoning behind that belief was sound. Miller was fresh off a seven-touchdown rookie campaign. He’s a player who was compared to Antonio Brown coming out of college (for all the right reasons) and was operating out of an offense that finished 2018 as a top-nine scoring offense.
However, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears offense as a whole has taken a major step back for the majority of the season. This led to less production across the board. That is, up until a few weeks ago.
Trubisky has begun to show glimpses of what made him effective a season ago. The reasoning behind that? Getting Anthony Miller involved.
Miller’s added usage has made him one of the more intriguing options at the kickstart of this season’s fantasy playoffs.
Can Miller keep his brilliant production on the uptick on Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys? Let’s take a look.
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Anthony Miller’s Fantasy Outlook vs. Dallas Cowboys
From Week 1 through Week 10 of this season, Chicago Bears wideout Anthony Miller was non-startable in all fantasy scoring formats, and essentially unrosterable due to his putrid statistical output.
Over that span, Miller ranked as the 91st-highest scoring fantasy player at his position with an average of 4.1 fantasy points per game for a grand total of 36.7 points.
While Miller has been a major disappointment for much of this season, his inability to put up at least similar numbers to those of his rookie season, does not fall on his shoulders for the most part.
For the first 10 weeks of this season, Miller played an average of just 54.6% of the team’s offensive snaps. Playing well behind fellow Bears wideouts Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and at times, even Javon Wims. Over those 10 weeks, the offense averaged just 18 points per contest.
However, a change in offensive philosophy occurred following Week 10, one that focused on one main premise, get Anthony Miller more involved.
Miller has now played 86% of the team’s snaps in two of the last three weeks while averaging more than 54 snaps per game over the three-game period.
More important than his snap count is the number of targets he’s garnered. Miller has averaged 11 targets per game over his recent uptick in usage, never seeing fewer than nine targets in any of the last three games. In return, he’s put up three-consecutive double-digit fantasy outings, and an average of 16+ fantasy points per game. Miller had not scored above single-digits in any game this season prior to this current streak.
The Dallas Cowboys present a difficult matchup for Miller and his fellow wide receivers. Dallas has surrendered the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts this season.
With that said, they’ve certainly taken a step back in recent weeks. Since their Week 8 bye, they’ve allowed five receiving touchdowns to the position. This comes on the heels of allowing just one TD to WRs from Week 2 up until their bye.
Should You Start or Sit Anthony Miller in Week 14?
It took long enough, but Miller has finally become a key cog in the Bears offense over recent weeks. While he still has yet to sniff the endzone in his second NFL season, he showed last year that he’s more than capable of racking up touchdowns.
Even with his TD drought and a perceived tough matchup, Miller has been a target monster over his last three games. Wideouts to record double-digit targets against the Cowboys this season have averaged 14+ fantasy points.
Anthony Miller is a solid WR3 in PPR-scoring formats on Thursday Night Football.
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