The Dolphins listed Lamar Miller ahead of Knowshon Moreno on the regular season’s first “tentative” depth chart Tuesday, although both are expected to see significant action in Sunday’s opener against the Patriots.
Miller, the Dolphins’ featured back in 2013, will likely split carries with Moreno this season. A knee injury limited training camp for Moreno, who signed with the Dolphins this offseason after rushing for over 1,000 yards last year. He appeared in just one preseason game. That one appearance was impressive, however. Moreno rushed for 64 yards on 10 carries against the Cowboys.
Although depth charts don't mean a whole lot right now, the point is this is to point out it's still a messy fantasy situation, and probably one to stay away from until we get a better idea how the Dolphins are going to use both backs. Right now, it looks like a flat-out committee.
Even if Dolphins RB Lamar Miller is the player introduced with the starters -- which he might not be -- it is clear Knowshon Moreno is Miami's lead running back. Miller, who was the starter and unchallenged all preseason, has lost his job as Miami's lead back.
"I've seen lots on the practice field that tells me where we're headed with Lamar and I feel very good about his ability to be productive," OC Bill Lazor said, "but if you're talking about the preseason games his production needs to improve."
Miller has to be more decisive when he has the football in his hands, Armando Salguero, the author, added. And, in order to get that better, faster decision-making out of Miller, the Dolphins are giving him a package of plays especially for him. A package of plays suggests change of pace back, according to Salguero. We saw indications of this after the preseason Week 3 game in which Moreno ignited a running game that hadn't shown much with Miller. If he can stay healthy, Moreno is looking more and more like the back to own in this offense.
Another second-round pick from the 2011 draft class finds himself on the wrong side of the 53-man roster Saturday: The Dolphins have released running back Daniel Thomas, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Thomas never lived up to expectations in Miami. He started just three games in his three-year career and never rushed for more than 581 yards in a season. The 26-year-old leaves the Dolphins with 365 carries for 1,312 yards (3.6 YPC) and eight rushing touchdowns. Thomas also caught 42 passes for 291 yards and three receiving touchdowns. Thomas was on the roster bubble the moment the Dolphins brought in Moreno.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 5:22pm
Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas has one last chance to salvage his career in Miami. After missing the first three games with a hamstring injury, he will play and likely get a heavy workload in the Dolphins' preseason finale against St. Louis Thursday.
And if he's going to make this team, he will have to earn it. The people who drafted him are gone. And their replacements – Dennis Hickey and Joe Philbin – have shown no compunction about removing the mistakes of regimes past.
Even if Thomas makes the team there doesn't look like there is a lot of fantasy value to be had. He'll be behind Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno who appear as if they are going to share the workload in some capacity.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 12:32pm
This could be a situation to stay clear from right now. But with the way Moreno stood out a bit in the last preseason game, he seems to be gaining a lot of momentum in a run game that's struggled so far. Add the fact that he was targeted in the offseason and it could a factor in deciding the eventual starter. If you can get Moreno cheaper, that's probably the best option as Miller's potential is starting to look sketchy.
On his first carry in a Dolphins' uniform, Moreno displayed a nifty cutback to find a crease before powering his way to a 19-yard gain to set up a field goal on Miami's opening drive of Saturday's 25-20 comeback victory over the Dallas Cowboys at Sun Life Stadium.
From there, Moreno, 27, whose coming off his first 1000-yard season as well as arthroscopic knee surgery in June, displayed his trademark strong, downhill running style en route to 64 yards on 10 carries in his first half of work before sitting.
Not only did Moreno spark a running game that had produced just 98 yards on 2.1 yards-per-carry in the first two preseason games to 200 yards at 5.7 per with two touchdowns, but he most likely catapulted from fourth on the depth chart. The story mentioned Moreno would get the start against the Pats as well. Whether that happens or not, both he and Lamar Miller look like they'll be involved in the running game. It could be a committee or a hot hand situation.
The Dolphins' offense under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has shown a mixed bag during the first two weeks of the preseason. The passing game and tempo have been upgrades from what we've seen last season. However, the running game is virtually non-existent thus far. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 75 percent (15-for-20) of his passes and is playing faster and more decisive football. The passing game under Lazor has been sharp. But the offensive line is getting little push in the running game. The Dolphins had minus-5 yards in the first half last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and must improve their production on the ground.
The offensive line is going to struggle opening holes for Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno
Moreno was expected to take over as the RB1, but offseason knee surgery and poor conditioning has delayed that competition. Lamar Miller currently sits atop the depth chart, but if Moreno looks good, the backfield could devolve into an ugly RBBC.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 1:50pm
Dolphins beat writer James Walker sees the running game as one of his falling stocks:
Two weeks into the preseason, it’s still unknown if Miami has improved its 26th-ranked running game from a year ago under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.
The Dolphins are getting little push up front and running backs are being hit early near the line of scrimmage. Miami starting running back Lamar Miller finished with 3 yards on three carries against Tampa Bay.
The Dolphins as a team had minus-5 rushing yards at intermission when starters and key reserves were in the game.
Miami’s passing game is having success this preseason. But if opponents eventually figure out the Dolphins can’t run effectively, that will make Miami very predictable and easier to stop on offense. Knowshon Moreno could add some help in this department.
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 5:01pm
Moreno, meanwhile, is still shaking off the rust and "starting to look like kind of his old self" as a ball carrier, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin told reporters, per The Miami Herald.
This is one of the tougher backfields to predict heading into the season. On one hand, the team went out and signed Moreno, a top 5 fantasy back in 2013. On the other, he has struggled with a knee injury (leading to surgery) and Miller has looked pretty good as the team's RB1. There is a new OC in town (Bill Lazor), so Miller is getting something of a fresh start.
Moreno, the free agent acquisition from Denver, had been sidelined since having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in June. It’s unclear if Moreno would play in Friday’s game at Atlanta, however.
The last bit of news about Moreno indicated that he might be out for a while, so this is relatively good news, all things considered. If he's able to practice, he'll compete with Lamar Miller for the RB1 job. Miller seems to be comfortably ahead at this point, but the team went out and signed Moreno for a reason.
This version of that now-familiar ballad comes back to the Colts' running back being more "comfortable" with the offense in his first offseason under offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.
"The comfort level is so much better now," Richardson said, per ESPN.com. "I know the plays and I'm not playing so tight. I'm really comfortable with the offense, and the timing with the offensive line is coming. I know all my cuts and reads before snap."
The running back recently returned from a hamstring tweak that kept him out of the beginning of training camp. The health and familiarity with the game plan have the Colts once again singing the praises of 2012's No. 3 overall pick. TRich has looked good so far in camp which means a bounce-back season could prove to be a huge value for an owner who drafts him. However, Richardson's stock is climbing. We have him ranked 31st on our RB list, but his ADP of the 6th round is higher than guys ranked around him like Lamar Miller, Maurice Jones-Drew and Pierre Thomas, who can be had in the seventh round or later.
HC Chuck Pagano had this to say on Trent Richardson’s progression through camp: “No. 1, he’s healthy. I think some of the runs that you’re talking about you are starting to see the hard work, a full offseason, comfort with the scheme, terminology, being around the offensive guys, the guys that are lined up in front of him, and you are starting see (Richardson) put a foot in the ground, see a hole and burst through the line of scrimmage.”
Writer Kevin Bowen’s Analysis: We’ve seen Richardson full-go for the last three practices (two of them in full pads) and he looks like a guy the Colts need desperately in 2014. He had several “significant gains” during Saturday’s practice and is showing off some cuts that we didn’t see earlier this offseason. Pagano seemed very pleased with where Richardson is currently at, as camp reaches the halfway point. Richardson’s return has also allowed the Colts to lessen the load for Ahmad Bradshaw, which is nice for a veteran that has battled injuries throughout his career.
Richardson continues to get positive reviews in camp, and if the Colts can get anything out of him in 2014 it will create some balance with what should be a potent passing attack. Richardson ranks 31st on our list, but his ADP is the 6th round. Drafters seem to be taking a gamble here and if you want TRich, you likely will have to as well. We have Richardson ranked near guys like Lamar Miller, Pierre Thomas, Maurice Jones-Drew and Steven Jackson - and all of their ADPs are the 7th round or later.
Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno hasn’t practiced since arthroscopic knee surgery in June, and he’s not sure when he’ll be able to go.
Asked if he’ll be able to play at some point in the preseason, Moreno told the Miami Herald, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I really don’t even know. I just want to take each day one at a time. They have a schedule for me and they’re just going to tell me every day what I have to do, and I just go out there and do it.”
Moreno signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Dolphins in March, with $1.25 million guaranteed.
Lamar Miller has looked good in camp and he appears on track to be the starter. Moreno should still have a role when he comes back, but perhaps it's more of a third down back. He excels in pass-blocking and can catch the ball out of the backfield, which all helped him win the job in Denver last year. But as of now, Miller is the guy to target here.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 8:40pm
It was way premature. Instead, Lamar Miller has been clearly ahead of Moreno on the depth chart every step of the way since and might even be pulling away.
Moreno hasn’t practiced yet in camp, still healing from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Miller, meanwhile, is healthy — and stronger than ever. Miller, who ranked 24th among running backs in yards after contact last year (2.06 per carry), put on between six and eight pounds of muscle this offseason.
Miller looks to be taking advantage of his opportunity to turn into the back many thought he'd be last season. Miller is currently ranked 31st on our RB list, but he could climb if the current trend continues. He's shaping up to be a great value with an ADP of the 8th round.
- Page 1