Doug Martin would just as well forget the 2013 and 2014 football seasons and think back to 2012 when he was on top of the world. In 2012 Martin had 1454 yards rushing and 11 TD’s. That year he was a solid RB1. Since then he had an injury shortened 2013 and didn’t seem to get fully back until Week 12 of 2014. What does 2015 hold for Doug Martin? I believe he will be back in 2012 form, and here’s why:
First off Doug Martin looked like his old self in week 14 and week 16 of 2014. Both weeks he was up over 5 yards per carry and right around 100 yds. That tells me that he was getting closer to 100% physically toward the end of last season. His coaches are reporting that he has reported to camp “looking leaner and quicker”. Although Martin was medically cleared to play prior to the 2014 season, he didn’t show any success until week 15. Fully healthy and coming off his best game in 2 years he will be ready to play.
Secondly, this is his contract year. His rookie contract is up after this season making him a free agent. Call me a skeptic if you want to but NFL players are notorious for showing up and showing out in contract years. Maybe it is an apathy they go through or maybe they sense a larger payday one contract draws to a close to make way for the next one. Either way contract years are often the brightest.
Also, there will be a measure of stability with the Buccaneer QB position. It is Jameis Winston’s job to lose. He isn’t quite the runner that Josh Freeman was but he is a much better leader and much more capable as a NFL QB than Freeman was. Josh McCown won 4 games in 2 seasons and the Bucs could not settle on McCown or Mike Glennon. Martin will thrive without that distraction and with a uber-talented QB at the helm. Jameis will have his struggles but people around him will play better and Martin will benefit from that.
Last but not least he plays in an abysmal defensive division. He gets to see the Saints and Falcons twice so look for him in those weeks for DFS leagues.
I would put Martin as a solid RB2 and by the end of the season he will be a regular starter in season long leagues. I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and draft him in one of my leagues.