Fantasy Football 2012: Is Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin Overhyped?

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IJuly 17, 2012

TAMPA, FL -  MAY 4: Running back Doug Martin #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes upfield during a rookie practice at the Buccaneers practice facility May 4, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie running back Doug Martin has a Mock Draft Central average draft position (ADP) of 22. He is the 15th running back to come off the board, according to their tallies.

Yahoo! is a little more cautious, but they still have him at 36 overall—15th among running backs.

Is he being ranked too high?

Rookie running backs have not exactly been tearing up the league in recent years. There is a lot for the rookies to learn, specifically in pass protection. Asking a rookie to come in and learn their position at the highest level as well as learn complex blocking assignments can be a tall task.

So far, Martin has excelled in organized team activities (OTAs), but that is different than real-game action.

There is also the case of an incumbent standing in the way. In Martin’s case, it is LeGarrette Blount. While he is about the least-exciting running back in the league, he did manage to run for 1,007 yards at 5.0 yards per carry as a rookie and 781 yards at a 4.2 clip in his second year.

At 6’0″, 247 lbs, he won’t simply go away, especially near the stripe.

The Bucs figure to run a lot, though, so both runners should see plenty of use. Martin will absolutely be the choice in third-down situations and could wind up being the favorite in early down situations as well. At the end of the game is when Tampa could turn to Blount’s size.

While I think Martin will have a nice season, I’m thinking he’s more of a low-end RB2 than an high-end one like he’s being treated as.

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