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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 11: Bobby Rainey is longshot upside option

Mike Ehrmann

Bobby Rainey will be featured in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' backfield in wake of Mike James' season-ending ankle injury. We break down the fantasy implications.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' backfield can't seem to catch a break after losing Doug Martin and now Mike James for the season. As a result, "Next Man Up" sounds more like a broken record than an inspiring mantra.

Now, seven-year veteran Brian Leonard and young journeyman Bobby Rainey are what's left of a decimated running backs depth chart. Rainey had seen limited action with the Cleveland Browns earlier this season and was originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Western Kentucky University by the Baltimore Ravens in 2012.

But in the late stages of the Buccaneers' prime-time win versus the Dolphins, Rainey made his mark with the go-ahead touchdown and looked spry in comparison to the veteran Leonard, who received the bulk of the touches and snaps. When it was all said and done, Rainey played in just 11 of the team's 66 snaps, but Leonard only outgained him by 11 yards.

Fantasy Spin: It's a nice start for Rainey if he is going to be involved in the mix, but it's difficult to trust him on a weekly basis. He is more of a situational scat-back who has never been seen as someone who can receive the bulk of the carries, and will likely be relegated to a change-of-pace role and third downs. That seems to be the case for Rainey's role in Tampa thus far, as the Buccaneers don't have any incentive to roll with anything but a timeshare in the backfield in the meantime. Rainey is only worth a desperation flex play in the deepest of leagues, and cannot be relied on for a consistent fantasy output unless something changes in his workload.

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