Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting running back Doug Martin is out Thursday night and quite possibly for a handful of weeks after tearing his labrum in Sunday's game against the Falcons. In his absence, rookie Mike James will get the start and look to be productive Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers.
James had 14 carries for 45 yards Sunday, running in place of Martin (there are a lot of potential first names in this situation). Before that, he had only three carries for 12 yards on the season. He also added three receptions for eight yards Sunday.
Fantasy impact: A year after Martin took the NFL by storm with 1,454 rushing yards, 472 receiving yards, and 12 total touchdowns, he struggled mightily through six games in 2013. At the time of his injury, he had recorded only one touchdown and one 100-plus-yard game. A top-five pick in almost all fantasy drafts, Martin has been a huge disappointment.
James was a hot topic in the wake of Martin's injury, since he was basically the team's only option. However, if Martin couldn't do what he had done, there is little reason to expect James to. The Buccaneers also signed running back Bobby Rainey as potential option in the backfield. James could have value in the sense that any starting running back does, but overall, he's extremely hard to trust Thursday night.