Aug 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller (83) runs with the ball during the first quarter of a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football Sleeper Watch 2014: Heath Miller

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Tight end is a thin position this season with many unproven options going off the board in the starting role on many fantasy teams.  Unless you have Jimmy Graham, your top tight end carries some element of risk, and having an insurance policy as a backup can be one of the best ways to build a sturdy roster.  One tight end option who is a low-risk, late-round value is Steelers TE Heath Miller.

Miller is one of Ben Roethlisberger’s most trusted targets as he enters his tenth season in the league. Looking solely at the numbers, his production dipped last year, but it’s important to remember that he was still recovering from a major knee injury he sustained at the end of 2012.  Before the injury, Miller had 71 catches for 816 yards and a career-high eight TD’s in 15 games in 2012 and was among the better fantasy options especially in PPR leagues.

Dec 22, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller (83) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Pittsburgh won 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into this year, Miller is reportedly back to full health and looking like he could be in store for a full return to form.  He scored a touchdown in the week three dress rehearsal this preseason while catching five of six passes thrown his way for 53 yards.

The Steelers passing game could definitely use the boost since they’re looking for options in the passing game.  This offseason, Pittsburgh lost Emmanuel Sanders who signed with the Broncos, and they have struggled to find a full-time replacement as their second receiving option behind Antonio Brown.  Pittsburgh throws the ball a lot in Todd Haley’s offensive attack, and there has been talk of moving to a more up-tempo, no-huddle style.  With the Steelers getting in more plays and throwing the ball so much, the opportunities will be there for Miller to seize and return to his TE1 fantasy form.

Miller is a risk due to his advanced age for a tight end (31), but he is such a proven commodity and trusted part of the Pittsburgh attack that I think he has another good season in him.  I wouldn’t draft him as my starting tight end if possible, but he’s a great insurance policy to fall back on if you roll the dice and miss on an earlier high-risk, high-reward option.  He’s a high-end TE2 at this point, but he definitely has TE1 potential.

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Tags: Fantasy Football Preview Fantasy Football Sleeper Fantasy Football TE Heath Miller Pittsburgh Steelers TE Rankings

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