Although off-season speculation regularly linked free-agent running back Le'Veon Bell to Houston, that avenue was never really in the cards. The Texans planned all along to have Lamar Miller, their veteran Pro Bowler, remain as lead back in 2019 even though they remain upbeat that D'Onta Foreman will perform better this year after a rough last season spent primarily rehabbing from a torn Achilles tendon. Miller, entering the final year of a four-year, $26 million contract, was a steady producer with Foreman out last year. The former Dolphin rushed for 973 yards and five touchdowns and caught 25 passes for 163 yards and a score despite missing two games. He rushed for over 100 yards four times to tie his single-season career-high. And he had a 97-yard touchdown run in a win over the Titans, the longest run in Texans franchise history. In addition, as ESPN's Mike Clay noted, if Miller doesn't handle at least half of Houston's designed runs in 2019, it will be the first time he fails to eclipse that 50% benchmark in the category since his rookie season in 2012. Bell rumors notwithstanding, that the Texans didn't add to the position in April's draft is also a big positive here for Miller.
With the offensive line being among the league's worst pass-blocking units, Miller, a superior pass blocker himself, was often held in for that reason. According to Houston Chronicle staffer John McClain, while the Texans would like nothing better than creating mismatches by having Miller work as a receiver out of the backfield. That includes running him out of the slot and splitting him out wide. It's not clear the upgrades made upfront this offseason will change that dynamic.
2019 Bottom Line
While he's often viewed as a disappointment, his current price makes him an outstanding fantasy value. Roll him out as your RB3 or flex without concern until/unless Foreman shows signs of life as the season draws near.