Doug Martin stays in fantasy RB1 range after re-signing with Buccaneers
Doug Martin and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth $35.75 million dollars, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. The moves takes another big name off the free agent market.
It should come as no surprise that the Buccaneers made it a top priority to re-sign the four-year veteran after he destroyed defenses in 2015, piling up over 1,400 rushing yards.
But Martin hasn’t been that player throughout the majority of his career. As a matter of fact, Martin had totaled 1,616 yards on 427 carries (3.78 YPC) in his previous 25 games. He’s also struggled around the goal line, scoring just nine rushing touchdowns in his last 33 games.
But the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately?” business, so signing Martin seems like the appropriate thing to do.
Martin will resume his workhorse role that he had last season and be likely receive one of the league’s largest workloads on the ground. He does, however, lack involvement in the passing game, which is typically what separates good fantasy running backs from great fantasy options..
There have been just six games over the last two years where Martin had more than two catches. That will not change, considering how well Charles Sims — who was waiting in the wings if Tampa Bay didn’t re-sign Martin — has done in the passing game.
Regardless of what Martin lacks, he is a solid running back that stepped up at the right time. He was a tackle-breaking machine in 2015, forcing 67 misses. No other running backs broke more than 57 tackles. Martin’s impressive 2015 performance came after he broke just 27 tackles over the two previous seasons combined.
Seeing as there are just three running backs being paid more than Martin, it’s fair to say that he was overpaid. But for fantasy football, he stays on the team that will provide the most value. He remains on an offensive unit that appears to be heading in the right direction, with young playmakers in quarterback Jameis Winston and wideout Mike Evans leading the charge. Martin joins those two to form the trio the Buccaneers will lean on in 2016.
Just don’t expect him to run for over 1,400 yards again; he has produced just 3.7 YPC or less in two of his four years in the league. Martin is not a “sure thing” in fantasy given his career inconsistency, but he will again have RB1 appeal in standard leagues this season.