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Dolphins Running Backs: The good, the Bad and the Decision

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On paper, Miami looks to have an impressive stable of running backs that
are capable of handling the three down duties in Gase’s offense, as the
Head Coach emphasizes his point’ not allow the defense time to adjust’.
Talking how ‘he is comfortable exploiting the horizontal aspect of the
field more than the vertical..’ ‘Get the ball out quick’ ‘hurry up’ ‘short
and intermediate passes’. That sounds like his M.O., it also provides a hint
into what we might be able to expect during this season, a continuation of
a dink and dunk approach. Realizing there is a ‘time and a place to get
your QB sacked 60 a year,’ I believe there to be plenty of opportunities
coming out of the Dolphins back field in 2016.

The Good

Arian Foster and Jay Ajayi both fit a scheme, Kenyan Drake,
the 3rd Round draft pick, brings the same attributes, and the Wild card I
like is the 3rd year Free Agent signee, Damien Williams. This offensive
approach was able to squeeze respectable numbers out of the running back
position. The 2013 Denver Bronco’s Knowshon Moreno had his most productive
season (1,038 on 241 attempts and another 60 receptions for 548 with 13
total touchdowns). In 2014, C.J Anderson was next up and produced his best
season with over 1,100 yards from scrimmage, 34 receptions and 10 TD’s.
His time Chicago gave him Matt Forte, though Forte was not lights out in
15, he only played 13 games, yet tallied over 1000 yards from scrimmage, 44
receptions and 7 total TD’s.
.

The Bad

Jay Ajayi gets the nod to start over Arian Foster. Foster is 31 years old and his myriad
of injuries may best be suited for spot duty. Still, Ajayi will need to be
playing lights out from the get go if he is going to keep Foster at bay.
This is looking like a time share.

My Projection

Jay Ajayi 173 attempts, 4TDs, 734 rushing yards, 21 receptions, 168 receiving yards, 2TDs
Arian Foster 142 attempts, 3TDs, 601 rushing yards, 34 receptions, 194 receiving yards, 2TDs

Bold prediction; mid-season waiver wire Gold: Daimen Williams.

The decision

Ajayi’s current ADP is sitting at #79 and Foster’s #83. Then looking at the QB prospects around the 7th and
8th rounds has me thinking of adjusting my draft strategy. Load up on RB’s,
WR’s through six. Not worry about Ajayi or Foster. Draft at the back of
the first, get the turnaround at 7th and 8th rds. We could conceivable
find any two of these QB combos sitting there. Brady, Bortles, Palmer,
Rivers and Eli. Tab Daimen Williams with my last pick 17th round stash.

NEWS: Lamar Miller to finally be utilized in 2014?

According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins reportedly have hopes that Lamar Miller “can play the role of LeSean ‘Shady’ McCoy’ — the Eagles’ running back who was wildly productive during Bill Lazor’s year with coach Chip Kelly in Philadelphia.”

SMITTY: Lamar Miller was on our Upside Board (bold predictions) last season, and let me tell you, he didn’t fail due to lack of talent. That Miami staff last season refused to use the ultra-talented running back, but Bill Lazor has his head on straight. With a 7th-round ADP, we’re looking at mostly ‘high-reward’ and very little risk, folks. He disappointed last year, no question; however, invest once more in the guy given the price tag — the upside is huge! View our 2014 Top 10 Bold Predictions!

NEWS: Knowshon Moreno will undergo knee surgery; Is it Miller time?

According to Adam Schefter on Twitter, Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno “will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery this week and miss four to five weeks, per ESPN sources.”

SMITTY: While Knowshon Moreno should “technically” be back in time for Week 1, Lamar Miller should have a kung fu grip on that Dolphins’ starting running back job by then; Moreno is not fully conditioned now, it’s hard to imagine him being in shape come Week 1. Miller disappointed me more than anyone last year, as I had him pegged to breakout. However, given his 8th- to 9th-round ADP in redraft, he is well worth the grab, as that’s practically no-risk territory. It was the coaching last year that led to Miller’s underutilization, and while poor decision making could once again rob opportunity, Miller has a nice little window between now and Week 1 to show his elusiveness and Frank Gore-like skill set. Want 2014 projections? Get it here:
draft analyzer

NEWS: Knowshon Moreno might need knee surgery; Lamar Miller’s time to shine?

UPDATE: According to Jason Cole on Twitter, the knee of Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno is “bad”. He added, “Prob will play, but the issue is how long.”

According to profootballtalk’s Mike Florio, Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno “may need knee surgery”. The report also suggests that if Moreno needs arthroscopic surgery, “he’d likely be ready to go in time for training camp.”

SMITTY: We previously reported that Moreno was sitting out practice, and Lamar Miller was getting the first-team reps — now we know why. Miller was one of my breakout candidates last year, but that Dolphins’ coaching staff refused to let him loose. I stand by all my statements last year, that Lamar can become Frank Gore-good, but he needs to get starter-type carries, something that now might look possible. While most will avoid this situation entirely in 2014, disappointment is actually built into his ADP (9th-round) right now — He is well worth the risk given that ADP. Check out our 2014 projections for both backs:
draft analyzer

NEWS: Lamar Miller clearly ahead of Knowshon Moreno?

According to miamiherald.com’s Barry Jackson, Dolphins RB Lamar Miller “remains clearly ahead of Knowshon Moreno for the starting running back job.”

SMITTY: He also had a long touchdown run today, according to reports. Miller was a big-time breakout candidate last year, but his coaching staff refused to use him properly. He remains, by far, the most talented rusher on the roster, and still reminds me a lot of Frank Gore in his prime. He is also a great receiver, so he has sneaky PPR value no matter what. Given the disappointment last year, Miller enters 2014 as a bargain grab, as no one is even considering him as a RB2 or even a high-end flex, so it’s literally a no-risk/high-upside situation. I sure hope we all get to see the player we talked up all last season.