by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
All signs pointed to Doug Martin playing in tonight’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. On Tuesday Greg Auman tweeted:
“Bucs had RB Doug Martin and DE Michael Johnson working with first-string units at practice today. Bodes well for both on Thursday.”
He is listed as questionable on the injury report, and now there are new questions surfacing regarding his availability tonight:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 18, 2014
Atlanta’s defense has given up the most points to opposing running backs over the first two weeks, allowing 448 total yards and 5 TD. That does give hope that, even if Martin is playing behind (or splitting time with) Bobby Rainey, there should be enough opportunities to go around.
Rainey is coming off a game where he rushed for 144 yards on 22 carries, while Martin was ineffective in Week 1 (9 carries for 9 yards). Of course Martin’s performance came against the Carolina Panthers, so we have to take that into account as well.
Given the matchup, as long as he isn’t completely replaced by Rainey he should hold value as a FLEX or RB2, with the upside for more, and that’s where we appear to be at. However, the new news today puts is availability very much in doubt. We will have to check the news prior to the game, but if his knee is still an issue even if he plays it could be in a limited role.
At this point the recommendation would be sitting Martin, with Rainey being a must start in all formats.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings: