The Buccaneers running game hasn’t been the best in the league, and this has led to a fantasy football shortage at the position. In fact, the team’s leading rusher ranks 37th among his peers to this point in 2017.
However, this week the Buccaneers face-off against the Miami Dolphins, and despite it being a road game it seems like a chance for Doug Martin to climb the fantasy football, and NFL charts, a bit.
One thing is almost certain, Martin is just seven carries from hitting 100 on the season, and he’ll hit that mark this weekend. You don’t get fantasy football points for carries though.
What you get points for are yards and touchdowns. The sixth-year running back has 359 of the first and just two of the second. To have a lack of confidence in him moving forward would be understandable.
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Still though, he’s not a player you’re just going to outright release in leagues featuring ten or more teams, even eight. He’s a player who has likely been stashed – likely by a Buccaneers fan – and you’re just waiting for the right spot to slide him into your starting lineup.
Thanks to Hurricane Irma, this is the week. Remember, the Bucs and Dolphins were supposed to play in Week 1 which would have been the first of three games Martin had to miss in 2017. It also means he would have been back for the Patriots game the Buccaneers barely lost….so yeah, there’s that.
Anyway, not dwelling on things we can’t control, here’s what we can. Starting or not starting Martin in your fantasy football roster this week.
This is a stats game, so let’s look at stats. First the negatives.
Martin hasn’t gained 100 yards from scrimmage this year, even when you combine his rushing and receiving yards. The closest he got was in week seven against the Buffalo Bills when his combined 22 touches collected 80 yards.
Some of this is defenses, a lot of it is run blocking. Another down side to considering Martin, his offensive line isn’t getting any better in 2017 personnel wise. This group is what the group is.
Now, for the upside. Starting with that offensive line. Listen, these guys are professionals. The only unit which got zero love from the Buccaneers’ Week 10 win over the Jets was the offensive line. I can’t make any guarantees, but I’d like to think this fact will motivate the guys up front a little extra this weekend.
Even if it doesn’t, Miami surrendered 192 rushing yards to the Carolina Panthers one week ago. Another 107 to the Raiders’ lack-luster rushing attack, 113 yards to Alex Collins of Baltimore and another 55 to his Javorius Allen and the list goes on.
Looking at last week alone, not only was it Stewart’s first 100-yard rushing game in 2017, it was his first one since Week 15 of last season.
Bottom line is, if there’s a defense you need to face to help get a running back rolling, it’s the Dolphins.
Doug Martin and the Buccaneers do just that this weekend, and if current trends keep up, you can start him with confidence.
This has been my look at Doug Martin as a starting fantasy football running back in Week 11 as the Buccaneers face the Miami Dolphins.