The Case For Doug Martin

Completely off the radar of everyone in Daily Fantasy Football is Doug Martin, the RB who used to be good for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but suddenly became terrible after his rookie season. Or at least that appeared to be the case. Martin only played 6 games his sophomore year, with mediocre results, mostly because he only scored one TD. This year, Martin has averaged a career low YPC, only 2.9, while again being injured and only playing 4 games so far with yet again only one TD. In this article, I will argue that Martin is a good play this week, because of a great matchup and workload, in spite of his lack of success the past two seasons.

The Workload Is There

A RB doesn’t necessarily have to be that talented to be a good fantasy play. Because a starting RB touches the ball so much, he’s always a threat for a TD and even at a paltry 3.5 yards per carry is a lock for 70 yards. Lovie Smith has shown that he likes giving about 75/25 rush split between his RB1 and RB2, which is exactly what we’ve seen Martin get since the first game of the season. That’s an above average workload for a starting RB, ahead of guys like Ben Tate, Andre Ellington, and Justin Forsett. With the workload there, we have a solid floor.

The Buccaneers Have The Lowest Scoring Margin In The League

The Buccanneers have not been a good team since Martin joined the team, with a losing record every single year since 2012. The Buccaneers are worst in the league in scoring margin, losing by an average of 14 points a game. The monstrous deficits they’ve had to overcome has caused the Buc’s RBs to become after thoughts in the offensive attack. The Buccaneers are barely a pass first team, and as favorites for the first time all year, we should see a lot more of Martin in the game plan.

The Matchup Is Good

The Vikings are a pretty bad defense, in fact they were one of the worst in the league last year, with their running and passing defense about equally as bad.  We see more of the same this year. While they aren’t quite the Falcons or Raiders as far as awfulness goes, they should be considered an above average matchup for any position.

The Talent Is There

Martin was a first round pick in 2012 and had an epic breakout season his rookie year. The last two seasons we only have 10 games of data. That data has been bad, but its not a large sample. It’s not unthinkable for a running back recovering from injuries to have a bad 10 game span based on mostly variance and injury impact.  Bobby Rainey has been good when he’s gotten carries, so he appears to be a threat to take over starting RB duties. But the Buc’s coaching staff has said they like Martin and seem committed to him in the long haul.


I’m not gonna say Martin is a spectacular play. His production over the past two seasons places him as one of the worst starting RBs in the league. But the Buccaneers are not as pass first as they appear. We know Martin has talent from his 2012 rookie year. With a lot of new faces on the offensive line and a new coaching staff, it may take time to see the unit begin to gel. The matchup with the Vikings at home is above average, and with Martin’s starter workload I think we see Martin exceed value Week 8 and become a better fantasy target ongoing. Martin’s salary this week, especially on DraftKings where he is only $4400, is quite affordable.

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Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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