Many people around the country did not know Doug Martin's name two weeks ago. Perhaps today they still don't, but they should. The rookie first-round pick and running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got off to a moderately slow start with two touchdowns in his first six games, though he showed many signs of promise.
That slow start became a roller coaster over the last two weeks. With a pair of big wins—over the Minnesota Vikings and the Oakland Raiders—the Buccaneers are back to .500. The young running back is the reason for that upturn, and Doug Martin is not far from becoming a household name.
If you still have the opportunity to grab Martin for your fantasy team, do it now (he is available in only three percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues). Don't wait. It's probably your last chance. If he was tucked away on your bench this past week—like he was for many chagrined owners—put him in your starting line-up and leave him there.
The 31st overall pick out of the draft this year—a rookie out of Boise State—Martin got the Buccaneers starting job right away. After average performances in his first few starts, he had a breakout game in Minnesota in Week 8. He ran for 135 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 79 yards and another touchdown.
Just one week later, he topped that performance. In Sunday's 42-32 victory of the Raiders, he ran wild over a Raiders run defense that had ranked 11th in the NFL. With touchdown runs of 45 and 67 yards, he became the first player in Buccaneers franchise history to have two touchdown runs of 45 yards or more in the same game.
By adding two more touchdowns, he made it four on the day to go along with 251 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards. For those who play in standard fantasy leagues, that makes 51 points, three times what a running back needs to have an excellent day.
If you left this guy on your bench, do not make that mistake again. Don't worry about the fact that the San Diego Chargers (next week's opponent) have the No. 4 rush defense. It does not matter. Martin is a monster, and he is going to get his carries.
Start him now, and thank me later.