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Quick Hits: The Curious Case Of Doug Martin

martin3-min12Recently, there was a report that the Buccaneers plan to share carries among their running backs.

“I think you have to alternate,” Tedford said Tuesday. “Even when we had two, 1,000-yard rushers (at California), J.J. Arrington was a 2,000-yard rusher and and we had a couple times guys had a thousand yards apiece. But I don’t believe that one back can carry the load. It’s just too physical. I think you probably need to have two to three guys to bring different things to the table. But I think you at least need to have two to be able to spell them here and there and keep them healthy and tat type of thing. “That’s the goal to try and create some depth right there where there’s not a dropoff when one guy comes in and another guy goes out. There’s no dropoff. We just keep going.”

I imagine this sent numerous fantasy football enthusiasts into a frenzy. Whether it was trying to map out a plan of attack for their redraft, keeper league or dynasty league, for now, things seem a bit cloudy on how their workload is going to be split.

Back in April, James Todd wrote a nice little passage about Doug Martin found here. Todd started by plugging Doug Martin’s age, weight and career production averages into the rotoViz RB Sim Lab App. What he found was that Martin had a fairly hopeful 2014 projection (there’s always a but) BUT, Tedford’s comments certainly bring that projection into question.  At the end of the article Todd states ” You’ll definitely want to pay attention to any news about how Tampa Bay plans to deploy Martin.” So here we are…

Tampa Bay added running back Charles Sims in the third round of the NFL draft this year; they also have Mike James and Bobby Rainey on board. Doug Martin currently has an overall ADP of 15.3 overall (9th among running backs.) The 15.3 ADP puts him as an early second rounder in most drafts. I don’t expect a significant drop in Martin’s ADP, although a small drop based on the recent news is certainly in order.

Here’s why I think that’s good news: Martin is talented and just because Tampa wants to go running back by committee, it doesn’t mean that he’s doomed and we can throw all the production out the window. Although we may have to temper our expectations a bit, I think at the end of the year Doug Martin could still be a top 15 back. Yes, he’s going to lose some opportunities, but when it came to running backs last year, 11 of the top 17 RBs played less than 65% of their team’s snaps. You don’t need to play every snap to be productive. It’s also possible that the upgraded Tampa offense puts Martin in line for more easy scores.

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