Dynasty

Kendre Miller Fantasy Forecast 2023

Kendre Miller

Kendre Miller Fantasy Forecast 2023

Kendre Miller was selected in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft (71st overall) by the New Orleans Saints. I know another Saints’ RB who was drafted in the 3rd round and became a fantasy stud.

Recruiting and Collegiate Background

Kendre Miller was a 3 star (out of a possible 5) recruit from Mount Enterprise, Texas. In his senior year of high school, he rushed for 2,508 yards and 34 TDs. Miller received offers from programs like Baylor, Southern Miss, Wyoming, and UTSA (whom he was close to committing to). However, TCU came calling with an offer.

Kendre Miller had an interesting decision here. TCU was arguably the best of the schools to offer Miller a spot, but I’m curious if Miller knew how much playing time he would get. Miller committed to TCU on February 3, 2020. I’m not sure if Miller knew or not, but TCU was also courting 5 star recruit Zach Evans. Here’s another spot where I have problems with the recruiting process. Because Evans was a 5 star recruit, he was likely only going to commit to a school where he was guaranteed the lion’s share of the workload. Evans committed to TCU on May 11, 2020.

Miller was not to be deterred. In their freshman and sophomore years, Miller and Evans had similar statistical numbers. During the 2021 season Evans was receiving more of the work, but he got injured, which left the door open for Miller to showcase his skills. Evans, whom this author thinks was concerned about his future role after Miller showed his ability to be TCU’s RB1, entered the transfer portal and went to Ole Miss. Evans’ transfer left Kendre Miller as a true #1 back. Miller put up a stat line of 224 carries, 1399 rush yards, and 17 TDs this past season. He added 16 grabs for 116 yards.

3 star Miller ended up being drafted in the 3rd round. 5 star Evans didn’t go until the 6th (to the Rams).

Statistical and Athletic Notes

Below are the notes I made for Kendre Miller prior to this year’s draft:

*Note: Miller did not participate in the combine as he was recovering from a knee injury.

  • Appears fast and agile despite 220 lbs frame. Can take it up to another gear and get to the second level.
  • Scrappy. Outworked 5 star recruit Zach Evans for a featured role.
  • Consistent production in a featured role.
  • Hard to tackle. Frequently drags defenders with him or out-muscles them.
  • Patient but decisive and can change direction in the box. A little bit of Le’Veon Bell in his game.
  • Unproven as a receiver and as a pass blocker.
  • Stats did dip toward end of final TCU season, will likely benefit from NFL trend of 2 – 3 RB system.
  • Likely 2nd or 3rd round pick. No combine probably means 3rd.

Landing Spot

I simultaneously like and dislike the spot in which Kendre Miller finds himself. The Saints added Jamaal Williams and Eno Benjamin to the roster this past offseason, and of course, they still have Alvin Kamara. Or do they?

There are many who are of the opinion that Alvin Kamara will not play in the 2023 season. While that remains to be seen, I would argue that we fantasy owners should be prepared for the NFL to suspend Kamara following the results of his July 31 trial. I would further argue that the three major additions to their RB stable is evidence of the Saints preparing for such a reality as well.

The Good

Pete Carmichael will be entering his 15th year as the Saints’ Offensive Coordinator. While the majority of that time was under Sean Payton, we do know that he has a history of using multiple RBs is his offensive attacks. Also, more and more, especially at the RB position, the NFL is becoming a young man’s game. Though he’s only 28, Jamaal Williams’ best fantasy season is likely behind him. Additionally, and this is still an if, Alvin Kamara may not be around for part or all of the season.

The Bad

  1. The Saints offensive line is not great. They could have some improvement this year, but as of right now I am not too optimistic. More on offensive lines later this summer!
  2. Taysom Hill. He continues to be a wrench in the works of projecting fantasy output. Hill will likely continue to vulture work from whomever the RBs on the Saints are.
  3. The RB group has some names for Miller to contend with. While he may not have to compete with Kamara, the current reality is we just don’t know anything for sure. If Kamara does miss, who is the receiving RB here? That is not typically the role Williams has had in the past, and Miller is unproven in that regard.
  4. How good is Derek Carr is going to be? You going to draft him as a starter on your fantasy team?

2023 Redraft Fantasy Outlook

Kendre Miller currently has an ADP of 140. I am totally fine with selecting Miller in the 11th or 12th round of drafts. At that point, depending on strategy, I would have 3 or 4 other RBs on my roster, so I don’t mind taking the gamble and trying to capture lightning in a bottle. If Kamara or Williams are on my team, then I am even more interested in drafting Miller since I believe in handcuffing. Also, the Saints strength of schedule looks enticing for RBs even though their offensive line is not filled with grade-A players.

Dynasty Outlook

I like this kid. Any time a 3 star recruit beats out a 5 star recruit, I’d argue you should sit up and take notice. While there are some questions surrounding Miller and whether or not he can become a well-rounded RB at the NFL level, I’ll be rooting for him and betting that he’ll be fantasy relevant sooner rather than later.

Miller is currently being drafted as RB5 in rookie drafts. I like his chances to finish higher than that not only this year, but in this draft class overall in future years.

Fun Fact

One of the reasons Miller chose TCU over UTSA is because he would have played linebacker at UTSA.

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