The fact that Tampa Bay spend a third-round pick on a running back when Doug Martin, Mike James and Bobby Rainey are all on the depth chart speaks very highly of Sims. Scouts have raved about the former running back for the West Virginia Mountaineers, and his outstanding field vision, quick acceleration and pass-catching ability can translate to a nice NFL career. With 1,095 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 401 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions in his final college season, Sims should be an immediate impact for Tampa Bay.
Sims’ new teammate, Doug Martin, burst onto the fantasy circuit in 2012, and with his 1,454 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns and 472 receiving yards, his former fantasy owners expected big seasons from him in the future. He had a slow start to the 2013 season as he only scored one rushing touchdown in seven games, but things went from bad to worse for Martin as he suffered a torn labrum in Week 7 that kept him out for the rest of the season. Most fantasy owners spent a first-round pick on him in 2013, so any Martin owner in your league most likely had a difficult year.
While Martin’s stats may look impressive, he did have some red flags heading into his second year. The 25-year-old running back had five games where he rushed for a 100 yards or more, and he scored seven of 11 touchdowns in those game, which means he scored 63 percent of his touchdowns in five games. Martin also went to town that year against the Oakland Raiders with 251 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns, but that meant the young running back scored 36 percent of his touchdown totals for the year in just one game. With his amazing performance on the ground in that game, Martin’s 251 rushing yards that day accounted for 17 percent of his total rushing yards for the season. If he can’t have at least one game like that a season, his production drops immensely.
Sims won’t be the only challenger to Martin’s starting spot. James looked great against the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks in 2013 with his 158 rushing yards, and Rainey was able to show his value with two rushing performances over 100 yards. There is no question that Martin will be the starter in the first official game of the season, but he does have some talented players ready to show what they can do if he falters.
Between the talented players behind on the depth chart and his troubling statistics, Martin is not a player that you should bet on leading you to fantasy glory.