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.
Updating the Doug Martin story, ESPN reports the Bucs RB has been suspended 4 games by the league for violating the substance abuse policy. Martin is checking into a treatment facility, which indicates a significant issue. The team was reportedly notified last week, so we'll see if that game counts toward his suspension. He'll at least miss the 1st couple of games next season, though. We'll see this offseason what that means for Tampa's 2017 backfield plans.
Update: Martin's suspension was for Adderall. That's better news for his long-term outlook than an alcohol or drug issue. His suspension starts in Week 17, though, so he'll miss the first 3 games of next season.
Bucs RB Doug Martin is stepping away from the team to "take care of personal issues," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That explains why Martin was a healthy scratch for last week's loss to the Saints. We don't have any other details but at this point have no reason to believe it'll impact his 2017 season. We'll update the story as we learn more.
The Bucs have placed RB Charles Sims on IR. No word yet on his injury. With RB Doug Martin reportedly set to be a healthy scratch again on Sunday, Tampa will be down to RBs Jacquizz Rodgers, Peyton Barber and Russell Hansbrough.
Bucs RB Doug Martin will again be inactive for the team's season finale against the Panthers, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud. HC Dirk Koetter called Martin's deactivation last week a "coach's decision." He missed a large chunk of this season with a hamstring injury and has mustered just 2.9 yards per carry in his 8 appearances. Still, it's a strange turn of events for a guy who just received a 5-year, $35.75 million contract this past offseason. We'll see whether Martin remains a Buc in 2017. Jacquizz Rodgers figures to operate as Tampa Bay's lead back vs. the Panthers this weekend. He tallied 78 yards and a TD on 17 touches last Saturday.
Bucs HC Dirk Koetter described RB Doug Martin's benching for Saturday's game against the Saints a "coach's decision. Koetter added, "We have four backs and we can't give them all touches ... We're blessed with good depth at running back, and this was a decision for today. It is what it is for today, and obviously we have to deal with what comes next." Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Peyton Barber were all active for Tampa Bay. Rodgers led the way with 17 touches for 78 yards and a score. Sims carried 3 times and caught 4 balls, while Barber finished without a touch. What the Bucs' backfield will look like for the finale against the Panthers is anyone's guess. Rodgers will be in the RB2 mix if Martin is inactive again. It'll be a situation to avoid if Martin is active.
Bucs RB Doug Martin is INACTIVE for today's game against the Saints. He wasn't even listed on the injury report, so he's either a healthy scratch or was deactivated for disciplinary reasons. Martin has averaged just 2.9 yards per carry this season. His absence leaves Tampa Bay's backfield to Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers. We'd lean toward Sims as the preferred fantasy play, but both guys are risk/reward options.
Bucs RB Doug Martin rebounded from an injury scare in Week 13 to post 23 carries for 66 yards and 1 score vs. New Orleans. The efficiency is obviously ugly, but it’s excellent usage in a game that returned Charles Sims from injury. Sims rushed just 4 times and saw 4 targets vs. 2 for Martin. With volume on his side, Martin will be a worthy RB2 for Sunday’s showdown in Dallas.
The Buccaneers on Saturday officially activated RB Charles Sims from IR. Sims hasn't played since the team's 4th game and likely returns as the #3 back. Doug Martin leads the way, and OC Todd Monken said this week that RB Jacquizz Rodgers has earned an "expanded role." Barring injuries ahead of him, Sims figures to make little fantasy impact the rest of the way. Martin's injury issues this season put Sims on the handcuff radar in deeper leagues, though.
Bucs RB Doug Martin practiced on Wednesday. He missed the final few series of last week's game after he, as he put it, got "bent back." But the team never announced an injury, and his participation on Wednesday means he's on track to play against the Saints this weekend. Martin's workload projection is less clear. RB Charles Sims is expected back, and OC Todd Monken said RB Jacquizz Rodgers has earned an "expanded role" after a solid showing last week. Consider Martin just a RB2 for Week 14, despite the plus matchup.
Bucs HC Dirk Koetter expects RB Charles Sims (knee) to be activated from IR this week. He's been out since Week 4. It's still unclear whether Sims will be ready to play against the Saints on Sunday. His return will put a dent in RB Doug Martin's workload. In their only full game together this season, Martin tallied 23 touches to Sims' 7.
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