The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally won their first game of the season against an even more organizationally dysfunctional franchise in the Miami Dolphins, but the Buccaneers first win came at a price. After already absorbing the loss of star running back Doug Martin for the season with a torn labrum, promising rookie running back (Greg Schiano’s guy out of Rutgers) Mike James fractured his ankle and is out indefinitely. James did an amazing job stepping in for Martin this season, so it’s definitely a tough blow.
And yet, there’s still some promise for the Buccaneers with Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey in the backfield, and it sounds like the Buccaneers will wisely use them both in a timeshare. According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Pat Yasinskas, Schiano says that the Bucs will likely split carries between the veteran and youngster, “That’s probably how we’ll have to go — ham and egging with those two guys and see what we can do.”
Rainey had a really nice 31-yard touchdown run, and he is the Buccaneers running back that deserves the closest look in fantasy leagues. While Leonard is the veteran, he’s more of a third-down RB and could easily see Rainey sap out nearly all of his touches if Rainey continues to make big runs. Rainey definitely isn’t a known commodity, but he has enough upside to warrant consideration in fantasy leagues. Keep an eye out on the situation in Tampa Bay, especially as it concerns how much each back is used. There should be enough carries to go around, since the Buccaneers most likely won’t deviate from their run-first ways with rookie quarterback Mike Glennon at the helm.