It didn’t take much thought to decide what the topic of this Fantasy Brief should be. When any NFL player puts up more than 35 fantasy points, it’s generally a big deal. In fact, this season only two people have done it. In Week Six, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers posted a season-high 36 fantasy points, a number that got a lot of fantasy owners the W.
The only other player to break 35 also climbed above 40. And 45. And 50. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin didn’t stop until he hit 51 fantasy points in standard leagues. That total is tied for the fourth highest single-game fantasy football score since 1970. There are only 27 running backs in the NFL that have more than 51 points this entire season.
Doug Martin has posted the highest weekly fantasy points total over the last two, with 83. The next highest scorer in those two weeks is Adrian Peterson with 47.
We should, however, take into account that over the past two weeks alone, Martin has posted 75% of his total touchdowns, 49% of his rushing yards and 57% of his total fantasy points. While he has essentially handed his fantasy owners two straight wins, we can plainly see that his stellar last two weeks are moderately set off by a more “down to earth” first six.
Still though, Martin has pushed his way to being fantasy’s highest scoring non-QB. So, if we were to redraft today, where would Doug Martin fall? In 10-team leagues, in the month of August, Martin’s average draft position fell anywhere from the late third to the late fourth, making him say, the fifth pick in the fourth round, 35th overall. We can pretty safely say that he would be taken before that.
Nine weeks into the season, one can make the case that Martin could be drafted as a top-five fantasy running back, putting him solidly in the first round. Arian Foster should fall number one. Peterson, like Martin, would jump, likely falling at number two. The third pick would belong to someone looking to get an early QB advantage, taking Aaron Rodgers.
This is where Martin would begin to enter the conversation in most leagues. Also competing for the spot; fellow RBs Ray Rice and Marshawn Lynch and rookie QB Robert Griffin III.
While Rice and Lynch are both 29+ points behind Martin, they have the advantage of game-to-game consistency and, most of all, experience. Doug Martin has a few things working against him. First, Martin is without his two Pro Bowl starting guards, Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks. Second: the rookie wall. Martin’s number of carries continues to grow, and many NFL rookies have a hard time adjusting to the increase of games in a season versus their college days. And with well over half of his points coming in two weeks, we can not safely assume that it is a new norm.
Griffin III also enters the conversation, but there is strength at the QB position. Drew Brees is just eight points behind RGIII. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are both within 21 points. Compare that to the 29-point fantasy-point gap between Doug Martin and the next highest undrafted running back.
All things considered, the fourth- and fifth overall picks should belong to running backs with more proven track records, placing Ray Rice at number four and Marshawn Lynch at five. Consistency and a recent surge have QB Drew Brees falling at number six before it is time to consider the two rookies: Martin and RGIII.
Chalk it up to optimism or the aforementioned gap in points, but this fantasy writer would be announcing, “With the seventh pick in the 2012 mid-season fantasy football draft, we select Doug Martin, running back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”