Bucs RB Doug Martin won't start tonight's game against the Patriots, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That, of course, doesn't mean he won't play a significant role -- or even lead Bucs RBs in snaps and touches. But it's a reminder that there's risk here in Martin's 2017 debut.
The NFL has moved the Bucs-Dolphins game originally scheduled for this Sunday to Week 11. Both teams were scheduled to have a bye that week but will now play 16 straight weeks from Week 2 to 17. We just removed all Bucs and Dolphins from the Week 1 Rankings. The winner here is RB Doug Martin, whose 3-game suspension will now cost him a game against the tough Giants run defense rather than the Dolphins.
The Bucs have released RB Jeremy McNichols. The 5th-round rookie was a major disappointment this preseason, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and failing to catch a pass. He figures to get scooped up by another squad but is obviously off the redraft radar. We'd keep McNichols stashed in dynasty. The Bucs will open the season with Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Peyton Barber at RB. Doug Martin is suspended for the first 3 games.
Update: McNichols is joining the 49ers' practice squad.
Bucs RB Doug Martin was busy and productive in the team's 2nd preseason game on Thursday night. He carried 5 times for 30 yards and score in 2 series, adding 2 catches for 11 more yards. Martin looked quick and elusive -- and was the focal point of Tampa's attack. He's suspended for the first 3 games of the regular season but should return to something at least close to a workhorse role.
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said this week that his lead RB "looks like the Doug Martin of 2015," according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Licht reportedly said that Martin "looks lean" and "looks like he's got that burst." The veteran back will miss the 1st 3 games of the year to finish off the drug suspension that ended his 2016 season and landed him in rehab. But this report falls in line with other positive buzz surrounding Martin this offseason. The Bucs sport a fairly crowded backfield, but a healthy, focused Martin remains their clear top option. He presents big fantasy upside and discounted risk at his late-Round 7 ADP in current MFL 10 drafting (RB32).
The Buccaneers selected Boise State RB Jeremy McNichols in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. At 5’9, 214 pounds, McNichols posted 1,337 yards in 2015 and 1,709 in 2016. He combined for 43 rushing scores over that span. Plenty elusive, McNichols also adds strong receiving skills (88 catches over the past 2 years). A Round 3/4 talent, the 21-year-old likely dropped due to post-Combine surgery on a torn labrum in his shoulder. Aiming to be 100% by July, McNichols will have a shot at early-season playing time — especially with Doug Martin suspended for the first 3 games.
As expected, RB Doug Martin reported for the start of Tampa Bay’s offseason workout program on Monday. 2016 was a lost year for the veteran, as hamstring trouble and a PED suspension limited him to 8 games. Note that Martin will serve the final 3 games of his suspension during the 2017 regular season. We’ll see if the Buccaneers select a RB come draft day.
Here's what Buccaneers HC Dirk Koetter had to say about RB Doug Martin Wednesday, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine: "Who knows what's going to happen? Are we going to add a running back in the draft? Is Doug going to continue down the path of good health? And we have other guys we like at the position, too. I don't know what's going to happen, as I sit here today. But right now, we have time on our side." Koetter has no reason to convey anything other than uncertainty to the public. We'll see whether the Bucs make a significant backfield addition through the draft. If they don't and Martin stays on the path back, though, he looks like the best RB bet in a decent situation and at a terrific price in early MFL10 drafting.
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