Buccaneers running back Doug Martin posted close to 2,000 total yards and 12 touchdowns as a rookie this season. But his head coach, Greg Schiano, wants more, and he thinks Martin can give him more. According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Schiano said Tuesday that Martin "looks better physically this year and can improve his game to another level in his second year."
Ben Standig and I talked about Doug Martin and our personal running-back rankings on last week's FFToolbox Podcast. Ben ranked him fifth among RBs; I ranked him third. One of the top reasons Ben gave for ranking Martin below Ray Rice and C.J. Spiller was that while Martin had a great season, the bulk of his production came during a two-week stretch. This is true; Martin scored half of his 12 touchdowns in Weeks 8 and 9.
But Martin was pretty good in most other weeks, too. He scored at least 11 fantasy points in 12 of 16 games, and look how this year sets up for him: Unlike Rice, he doesn't have any running back on his team who could possibly cut into his value, like Bernard Pierce. Martin owns the Bucs' backfield. He touched the ball 368 times last year, and he'll get a heavy workload again this year. Even with things looking up for C.J. Spiller and Jamaal Charles, they won't be getting that amount of work. Marshawn Lynch is a workhorse, but he is nowhere near the pass-catcher that Martin is. And as he heads into just his second season, why not expect a natural progression as Martin continues to hone his craft?
It was pretty easy for me to put only Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster in front of Martin in my rankings.