In today’s Speed Bump poll, University of Miami alums Frank Gore and Lamar Miller square off, old warhorse versus young buck style. In magazine rankings, Gore is a clear-cut favorite. Gore is ranked higher than Lamar Miller in 8 of 10 magazines (Fantasy Index and Rotowire give Miller the nod). However, in actual drafts this is much closer and, in fact, Lamar Miller is selected a tad higher on average. Miller goes with the 4.05 pick on average while Gore goes with the 4.09 pick, and they are taken back-to-back on average among RBs. Gore and Miller extend a long-line of successful University of Miami backs in the NFL including Chuck Foreman, Ottis Anderson, Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis and Willis McGahee.
If you are superstitious of running backs turning 30-years old, then buyer beware on Frank Gore who turned the dreaded three-o back in May. If last season was any indication, however, Gore has showed no signs that the tread on his tires is gone. Gore pumped out another 1,214 yards rushing and finished with a 4.7 YPC average, his best season since 2009, and he was the 10th-best RB based in PPR-scoring. Gore also managed to stay healthy and has now not missed a game in back-to-back seasons. Other than age discrimination, some other potential negatives are Gore’s rushing attempts declined last year by nearly ten percent from 282 to 258 and a RBBC certainly could be in store in San Francisco given their depth at the position. Gore also isn’t likely to collect a lot of receptions anymore. From 2006-2010, Gore averaged 3.6 receptions per game but that has dropped to 1.4 over the last two years. Gore comes into 2013 needing 1,161 rushing yards to be 28th RB in NFL history to reach 10,000 career rushing yards (although Adrian Peterson will probably beat him there; Peterson is 10 yards ahead of Gore coming into 2013).
It only took one season, but the Miami Dolphins let Reggie Bush walk and they are ready to turn over the reigns to 2nd-year back Lamar Miller. He is a somewhat rare mega-hometown hero as Miller played high school football in Miami, starred in college for the Miami Hurricanes and completed the trifecta after being drafted by the Miami Dolphins last season. Miller blazed a 4.4 flat at the 2012 NFL Combine, the best of any backs in attendance, and has good size at 5-10, 216 lbs. Miller had just 57 touches last year but made plenty of highlights (see below). Miller views Frank Gore as a mentor (like Miller, Gore played high school and college ball in Miami) and he trained with four-time Pro Bowl tailback this off-season. Can the student take the mentor?!
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