Martin still lead RB: Despite missing 10 games last season, it doesn’t appear that Doug Martin has lost his place as the Buccaneers No. 1 running back. However, there are concerns that Martin will find himself in a rotation with Bobby Rainey and Mike James in Jeff Tedford’s new offense. Those concerns shouldn’t weigh too heavily on fantasy owners, according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. Even though both Rainey and James played well in Martin’s absence last season, the team still believes strongly in the former first-round pick. Knowing that Martin’s backups can perform well when called upon will give Tampa the confidence to lighten some of the starter’s workload. But it’s not likely to be enough of a timeshare to scare away fantasy enthusiasts.
Eli on the decline?: The New York Giants are starting to worry whether they’ve already seen the best of Eli Manning. Most fantasy owners can already answer that question in the affirmative. Last season, Manning threw a league- and career-high 27 interceptions. Look back over the past four seasons and no one has thrown more picks than the Giants quarterback, who has tossed 83 passes to the opposition. At the same time, Manning’s completion percentage has dropped while his passer rating has fallen to an abysmal 69.4. There were only two qualifying quarterbacks worse in that department last season — Geno Smith and Terrelle Pryor. There’s not much to be excited about in 2014 — Manning is now 33 years old and won’t have Hakeem Nicks while learning Ben McAdoo’s new offense. The Big Blue QB will struggle to be a No. 2 option in some fantasy leagues.
Matthews as Miami’s WR3?: The battle to be the Dolphins slot receiver will be one of the camp battles to watch. But it appears that Rishard Matthews currently has the inside track to the job over Brandon Gibson. Matthews came on strong in the second half of the season — most notably his 11/120/2 performance in Week 10 against the Buccaneers. From Week 10 until the end of the season, the Dolphins were looking Matthews’ way a little more often, targeting him more than six times per game. If he can make the vaunted “third-year WR leap”, he might find some fantasy value as a fourth or fifth wideout in some formats.
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