The Great 2015 Fantasy Football Debate: Doug Martin or Charles Sims?


While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers work on figuring out their running back situation, fantasy football players from all over await the final word on the positional battle. Will it be Doug Martin or Charles Sims, who gets the nod heading into the 2015 season? Well, according to Fantasy Football Calculator, the edge in 12-team, PPR leagues, should go to Doug Martin, by exactly one round.

The calculator has Martin expected to go at an average draft position of 8.03, while Sims is expected to be off the board around 9.03. Which, in all honesty, just means that things are surrounded by a whole lot of confusion at this point. You could make an argument for both running backs, but which way should you lean?

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Personally, if you’re doing a fantasy football draft at this very moment, it’s probably best to just play it safe and not take the risk by drafting one over the other. The only reason I say that, is because you could find yourself in a situation where you draft Martin and Sims is named the starter, or vice-versa. Most drafts will be held in a month or two, which should give fantasy players much more clarity.

That’s all just guidance. The point of this story is to figure out who you should draft, who will likely start for the Bucs and why.

The Argument for Martin

To put it simply, Doug Martin is still in town for a reason. That reason, is largely due to the fact that new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is a big fan of him. There’s no way to downplay that simple fact. If the offensive coordinator likes you, there’s a good chance you’ll be getting a great shot to make a statement and wind up as the go-to option in the run game.

Another key factor for the edge going to Martin, is that he’s playing for a contract. He’ll be a free agent after this season (barring something crazy happening), so basically, this is going to be Martin’s chance that he can still produce at a high level. He started strong in his rookie year, but dove in a big way in years two and three.

If Martin can take control of the opportunity he’s given, then there’s a good chance that he’ll be the man to own from a fantasy perspective. If he doesn’t though, he’s going to get phased out and it’ll be Charles Sims’ job for the taking.

The Argument for Sims

When you look at the rushing numbers for Sims last season, it probably makes you wonder how this is even a question. Sims rushed 66 times for 185 yards (a 2.8 yard per carry average) with one touchdown. But, he was just a rookie and we’ve seen rookie running backs struggle plenty in the past. What does stand out is what Sims was able to do in the passing game. The former West Virginia Mountaineer hauled in 19 receptions for 190 yards, which is strong.

Sims’ ability to catch the ball out of the backfield may work in his favor in a big way. We’ve seen Martin show flashes of being a strong receiving back, but I believe the edge still goes to Sims in this category. While he wasn’t a great runner as a rookie, I expect some type of improvement in 2015.


The problem is, the Bucs could very well go RBBC this coming season. If that happens, then you aren’t going to love having either back on your team. But, if I’m playing in a PPR (point per reception) league, then I’m going to give the edge to Sims. There’s a chance you could get him late in the 9th round, or possibly in the 10th depending on the league, so there’s less risk involved. On top of that, Sims is a great receiving back, which is something the Bucs may look to utilize quite a bit in 2015. Take the less risky of the two with the higher upside and grab Sims.

Next: Five NFC South 2015 Fantasy Football Sleepers

More from The Pewter Plank

Next: Do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Have the Best Receivers in the NFC South?'