Monday, June 29, 2015, 2:33pm
Walker: James is an interesting project for Miami. He was a hot name coming out of Oregon in 2012 and the 49ers took him with the No. 61 overall pick. But the smaller James never fit San Francisco's power running game and he was released in his third season. The Dolphins picked him up, but James played in only two games last season and rushed for 9 yards on three carries. This is a huge year for James to prove himself. He's had a full offseason with the Dolphins to learn the offense, and the backup tailback position is wide open behind starter and 1,000-yard rusher Lamar Miller.
Walker went on to say that James is a better fit for Miami’s spread scheme under offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, and the running back has made some nice plays this spring. But James will compete for reps with a crowded group of running backs that includes Miller, rookie Jay Ajayi, Damien Williams and Mike Gillislee. Miami may keep only three tailbacks on its active roster and it could come down to Williams or James for the final spot.
Dolphins GM Dennins Hickey said “we were very excited” that running back Jay Ajayi “was still there in the fifth round. He brings the ability to play all three downs. He’s a power back but yet still has elusiveness.”
Ajayi dropped in the draft because of concerns his knee, but he’s a first or second round talent and an all-around back that will complement Lamar Miller well in Miami. It’s a good spot for Ajayi, and the physical player from Boise State will be considered a prime sleeper candidate this year as a tandem back if his knee holds up. Miller is still an attractive RB2, but it's clear that the Dolphins haven't fully committed to him.
Starting running back Lamar Miller (1,099 yards rushing) is adept at what he does best, being a fast back who can make some breakaway runs. But the Dolphins need someone to grind out some tough yards, and that’s one thing Ajayi does well.
Ajayi will likely be the favorite to assume the role of power runner without much competition in training camp.
Miller's workload is under pressure now with Ajayi in the fold. He was expected to go much earlier, so don't read too much into the cost of the pick. The Dolphins were looking for a back to complement Miller and they found one in Ajayi.
He didn’t break enough tackles, so he put on seven pounds of muscle in the University of Miami weight room to get up to 225 pounds.
And he didn’t catch enough passes (38 in 2014, with six drops).
And he runs routes for Ryan Tannehill with the team’s other young skill-position players.
Miller carried the ball 219 times for 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns while adding 38-275-1 on 52 targets in the passing game. This resulted in a #9 finish in both standard and PPR formats. Despite this, the team doesn't seem completely sold on Miller as a feature back and is looking to shore up the position in the offseason. It's good to hear that he's putting on some muscle and is working on his flaws to hopefully take his game to the next level.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm
Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas (knee, doubtful) missed practice all week and is doubtful for Week 16. If Thomas can’t play, Damien Williams would serve as the primary backup to Lamar Miller, and Miller becomes a safer start.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:14pm
Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas (knee) missed practice again Thursday. If Thomas can’t play, Damien Williams would serve as the primary backup to Lamar Miller, and Miller becomes a safer start.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 9:07am
The Dolphins have a nickel and dime passing game, an injury-decimated offensive line that is better suited to run block than pass protect, and a tailback in Lamar Miller who has one of the highest yards per carry averages (4.8 per attempt) in the NFL.
YET, the Dolphins, which have the seventh highest rushing average in the NFL, are consistent about abandoning the run game, even when it is working.
It happens each and every game the Dolphins don't have a lead going into the fourth quarter. The run game will be effective in the first half, like the 57 rushing yards the Dolphins produced on 13 first half carries against the Ravens. You know, the first half where the Dolphins owned a 10-7 lead and controlled time of possession.
Then the Dolphins will dump the rushing attack like it was a cheap date who farted at the dinner table.
The story goes on to point out the Dolphins gave Miller three carries in the second half of Sunday's 28-13 Ravens loss, which features Miami holding a third-quarter lead early. The Dolphins got the ball first in the third quarter and ran the ball zero times, it continued. On the second possession of the second half Miller's first carry gained 10 yards, and then his next two carries each produced 2-yard losses. From that point Miami was pass happy. The writer went on to say that it doesn't take much for the coaches to pull Miller from the game either, something fantasy owners are likely familiar with. The way the Dolphins use their backs is frustrating for Miller owners, especially when the once-cut and now-back Daniel Thomas remains an option. Based on all of this, Miller is a risky play this time of year, perhaps even in a good matchup.
LB Jonathan Freeny (hamstring), CB Jamar Taylor (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (hamstring, knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), T Nate Garner (illness)
T Ja'Wuan James (neck)
T Oday Aboushi (shoulder), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), G Willie Colon (knee), RB John Conner (groin), WR Eric Decker (toe), DE Leger Douzable (ankle), LB David Harris (shoulder), RB Chris Ivory (shoulder), S Jaiquawn Jarrett (calf), RB Chris Johnson (knee), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), RB Bilal Powell (illness), DT Sheldon Richardson (back), QB Michael Vick (right wrist, illness)
With Clay unlikely to play again, Dion Sims will get the start. He had four catches for 31 yards filling in last week. The good news for Miami is RB Lamar Miller and WR Mike Wallace are both listed as probable. For the Jets, TE Jace Amaro is out as he goes through concussion protocol. Meanwhile, WR Eric Decker, RBs Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson Bilal Powell and QB Michael Vick are all probable in what could be a tough matchup against a solid Dolphins defense.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (knee) took full practice reps again Friday. Miller’s status will be updated on Saturday, though he’s expected to play in a tough matchup, though the Jets have a few injuries along the defensive line that may make this matchup more palatable.
With Bush out yet again, Theo Riddick can be dialed up as a Sneaky Start, especially in PPR formats. In the four games that Bush has missed, Riddick has averaged 4.8 catches for 53 yards and 0.5 TD. That’s 13.1 FP in PPR formats, or about what Lamar Miller has averaged as the #12 RB this season. We’re not expecting that level of production, but he can be used as a low-end RB2 or a flex in PPR and as a RB3-type in standard. Joique Bell also gets a bump with Bush out. He has averaged 18.5 touches when Bush has been out. The Lions are not running the ball well, but the volume is there.
Friday, November 21, 2014, 6:26pm
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (shoulder, questionable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is questionable for Week 12. Miller expects to play against the Broncos despite the questionable tag. It’s a tough matchup from a rushing standpoint, but Miller is typically involved in the passing game, and Miami may throw more than usual against Denver.
Thursday, November 20, 2014, 5:58pm
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (shoulder) was limited Thursday after taking full practice reps Wednesday. It’s a mid-week downgrade, but the team may just be giving him some rest to let the shoulder heal. Friday’s practice will be key. He’ll likely have to be involved in the passing game to gain 90-plus yards from scrimmage for the second straight week.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 6:11pm
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (shoulder) practiced fully Wednesday. Miller looks like a full go for a tough matchup with the Broncos. He’ll likely have to be involved in the passing game to gain 90-plus yards from scrimmage for the second straight week.
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 7:18pm
Lamar Miller is active for the Dolphins and expected to see an increased workload from last week when he gained only 6 yards on 5 touches and played just 11 snaps. Still, Miller is not a recommended play on a short week in a tough matchup with the Bills, who are giving up the third fewest aFPA to running backs this season.
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