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Anthony Miller - Rookie Recap / Dynasty Outlook

Evaluating a player after one professional season may, for some, be considered a futile effort. Most rookies do not break out or even live up to their full potential in their first season. Saying this it is still good to do so for many reasons.

First and foremost, we can see what type of usage the player is getting in an offense. Whether or not the production is there, we can envision a role for the player going forward. Does a player take over the lead receiver or running back role immediately? Does it happen early in the season or maybe even not at all? These are all good indicators of how a team truly feels about a draft pick.

It is also helpful for the most important factor for our purposes: fantasy football value. As we said, many rookies are not viable studs in redraft leagues but the same can not be said for dynasty leagues. It is important to see what went on in their rookie seasons to see if they are a buy-low or a sell-high. Let us now take a look at one of the players whom coming into last season, many, including yours truly, thought would be one of the top receivers in the rookie class.

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Team: Chicago Bears
College: Memphis
Height/Weight: 5'11", 190 pounds
2018 NFL Draft: Round 2, Pick 19


Miller Time

Playing in 15 games in his inaugural season, Anthony Miller caught 33 passes for 423 yards and seven touchdowns in a run-heavy Chicago offense. The usage, which may not seem too high when compared to other wide receiver twos around the league, shows his production level even in a low-powered offense. The Bears are a defensive-minded team and they have been for many seasons. Along with this comes a reliance more on the run game and this was shown this season with the top-24 running back finish by both Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard, as well as the fact the highest-scoring receiver on the team was Allen Robinson, who spent the season recovering from a torn ACL and finished 35th in the wide receiver ranks.

One of the knocks on Miller coming into the league was his age. He turned 24 only one month into the season and many people are age biased, thinking they will miss out on a year of production when it comes to dynasty leagues. If you look at it though, you are still getting 8-10 years of production from a wide receiver, compared to running backs who have a shorter shelf life. One year of age at the beginning should not be a major hindrance.

In fact, the injury to Allen Robinson as well as the increase in production from Mitchell Trubisky in his first full season behind center should make Miller more attractive. If Robinson ever re-injures himself, Miller is the next logical player to take over the number one role on the team. In the mold of a Golden Tate or a Jarvis Landry, Miller can be a possession receiver but unlike Landry, Miller also has the upside of touchdowns. His rookie season tally of seven is already more than Landry has had in any of his seasons thus far in his career.

Does it look like Anthony Miller is going to become the next Calvin Johnson or Randy Moss? No. but at only 5’11", he is not meant to be. Look to him to become more the likes of a Doug Baldwin or a late-career Larry Fitzgerald, making him still a great pickup for your dynasty teams. He will be a solid contributor for many years to come as he grows right alongside Trubisky in the Bears’ offense.

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