Fantasy
Time to rethink Martin's value
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Today, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a little closer to being "Chicago Bears South" than they were last week.

Lovie Smith as coach? Check. Two towering matchup-nightmares at receiver? Double check. Josh McCown at quarterback? Check. Up until Friday, the only things that were missing were Marc Trestman's offensive genius and a do-it-all running back like Matt Forte.

But after rookie Charles Sims suffered a torn ligament in his right ankle, we may see Doug Martin play the Forte role in this offense.

Due to the presence of Sims, a third-rounder in this year's draft, it was expected that Martin would see a workload reduction this season.

In June, ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas said that while Martin is Tampa Bay's starter, the team wants to use a "rotation" at tailback, and the Tampa Tribune said that Martin would see fewer touches under Tampa Bay's new regime than the 23 he averaged under Greg Schiano.

Plus, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford indicated earlier in the month that he wanted to use a committee at running back this season.

"I don't believe that one back can carry the load," Tedford said. "It's just too physical. I think you probably need to have 2-3 guys to bring different things to the table."

Sims was supposed to bring soft hands and good run-after-catch ability to the table in his first season while slotting in as Tampa Bay's passing-down back.

But he is expected to be out until Week 13 and he may miss the rest of the season.

That means Martin, who has 61 catches for 538 yards and one touchdown in 22 career games, is back in the passing-down picture.

It also means fantasy owners need to rethink Martin's average draft position (ADP), which has slipped into the third round (26.6 overall).

Owners can reasonably expect Martin to handle 265 carries and 35 receptions this season, and there's been no indication that he won't see goal-line work as well.

The 25-year-old is back on the RB1 map.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.