2013 Team Outlook: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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2013 Team Outlook: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A fantasy football preview of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. Profiled players include Mike Glennon, Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey, Mike James, and Jeff Demps.

UPDATE (10/22): The outlook on the former N.C. State QB was all wrong. The Bucs gave up on Josh Freeman only after a handful of games. Glennon snatched the reigns from Freeman back in Week 4 and displayed moderate improvement in the weeks since. Granted, the Bucs haven't won a game since he started; however, his individual numbers are solid for fantasy purposes. Things won't be any easier now that Doug Martin is out indefinitely with a torn tabrum, so keep your expectations low and only start Glennon if the matchup is right.

There may be a deep, dark corner of your brain that thinks Mike Glennon has a shot to overtake Josh Freeman this season. Realistically, you're mistaken. Glennon certainly has some of the physical tools to be a future NFL starter, but he has a long way to go. He didn't overachieve at NC State and possesses a very raw feel for the game. His pocket presence, composure, and throwing ability under duress all need work. Glennon only has value in dynasty formats and fantasy owners will need to exercise some patience for his number to be called. At the earliest, he could see the field in 2014.

UPDATE (10/22): Doug Martin is out indefinitely with a torn labrum and some reports suggest he could be out for the season. For now, Martin will not be placed on injured reserve and fantasy owners will have to stash him on their bench in hopes he might return for a run in the fantasy postseason.

Martin is the toast of fantasy football now. At a position that desperately needed some new blood, Martin exploded onto the scene with a three-game stretch from Weeks 7 to 9, highlighted by a 251-yard, four TD performance against the Oakland Raiders. Dynasty owners are taking this guy as a No. 1 pick, keeper owners are certainly keeping him and he is likely to be taken right after Adrian Peterson in redraft leagues. The Bucs want to establish the run and Martin is their go-to guy. He disappeared in a few games and that does concern me, but then again, every back has those struggles. Don't talk yourself out of taking him if he's available to you.

Tampa Bay signed Bobby Rainey on Oct. 21. He'll be competing with Brian Leonard for a larger chunk of the third-down back role. Rainey is thick for his short stature and if he steps up, he could see a lot of playing time should the Bucs choose to use a split backfield. This all depends on the full extent of Doug Martin's torn labrum injury. If Martin is out for quite awhile, Rainey's value could grow throughout the year.

UPDATE: The Bucs will have to call upon James' services now that Doug Martin is out indefniitely and possibly the rest of the season with a torn labrum. James has the early edge on the depth chart; however, this should be considered an open competition. Behind James, there is also Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey. James should be the go-to guy on first and second down though since he is a capable and durable runner.

With Doug Martin's stock at an all-time high, there isn't any room for another back in anyone's mind. No one yet has a hold on the Bucs' No. 2 spot in the backfield. Mike James will be competing directly with Brian Leonard, who was brought in via free agency earlier this spring. James, a sixth round pick from the University of Miami, is another compact runner with a relatively thick frame who can handle the ball between the hashes.

Jeff Demps underwent groin surgery on Oct. 17. He is likely out for the rest of the season.

UPDATE (10/22): Look for Leonard to make contributions as a third-down back due to the torn labrum injury suffered by Doug Martin. Leonard excelled in that role while with Cincinnati and St. Louis. He could even compete for something closer to an even split if he performs well or if Mike James struggles.

Brian Leonard has the early veteran edge at securing the change-of-pace role behind Doug Martin. Leonard hasn't been a fantasy factor for his entire career. He has fewer than 50 rushes in his past three seasons combined. He can contribute as a pass-catcher and do a little bit of everything, but he isn't a dynamic talent. Every NFL team needs guys like him.