Fantasy Football: Doug Martin poised for a breakout

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December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (24) defends during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been one of the most disappointing teams in football this season, and it’s no surprise looking at running back Doug Martin, who’s been one of the biggest busts in fantasy football. The best offensive weapon on last year’s 7-9 team has been bottled up by opposing defenses this year, but that hasn’t stopped the Bucs from trying to force he issue.

Martin has 100 carries through the first four games, a pace of 400 carries over a 16 game season, but only has 342 yards and one score to show for it. The lack of consistent play at quarterback has led defenses to load up the box and prevent Martin from beating them. Last week vs the Arizona Cardinals, he carried the ball 27 times for just 45 yards (1.7 ypc).

But one thing that’s been overlooked is the quality of defenses he’s faced in the first four games. The Jets (No. 5) and the Cardinals (No. 6) both rank in the top-10 in terms of run defense. The Saints, whom Martin rushed for 144 yards against, has the 19th-ranked run defense, one spot behind his opponent this week, the Philadelphia Eagles.

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