Bucs say RB Doug Martin not guaranteed to start after suspension

Doug Martin has three games left on a drug suspension and will serve them at the beginning of this coming season. But if the Buccaneers running back thinks he's automatically getting his starting job back once the suspension is over, he may be mistaken.

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht told ESPN on Saturday that Martin was looking good so far in camp and that the team is happy with the way he's handling things, but his job might not be there for him come Week 4.

"It might not," Licht said. "Look, he has done everything we've asked him to do, and he looks reminiscent of 2015 when he was playing for his contract. He looks the same out there, mentally and physically. So he might be one of those guys that needs a carrot. And he's got a pretty big carrot in front of him right now, because there's no guarantees that he's going to be here. And he knows that. We've talked to him, and he's good with it. He goes, 'I understand.'"

The Buccaneers believe Jacquizz Rodgers can fill in well at running back while Martin is out, and they like Charles Sims as a third-down back who can help in the passing game.

Fantasy Impact: 

In 2015, Martin finished with 1,673 total yards and seven touchdowns and was the #4 fantasy running back in PPR formats. This offseason, he has seemingly returned from the dead. He was mentioned as a cut candidate early this year, but now it sounds like the team is expecting him to return to form in 2017. He's suspended for the first three games of the season, and Jacquizz Rodgers is likely to start in his place for that span. In regular redraft formats, it's an intriguing strategy for owners to draft both Martin and Rodgers to serve as RB2 by committee (in a WR-heavy strategy). At his price, Rodgers is the better bet in fantasy drafts.

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