Fantasy Value: Bobby Rainey
As the fantasy football playoffs are rapidly approaching, we may have stumbled upon that dream scenario where you’re able to add a late-season waiver-wire gem to your team and he comes out of nowhere to go on a tear and lead your team to the championship. Remember that Arian Foster guy in 2009?
Ok, so maybe Bobby Rainey is no Arian Foster, but he might be just the kind of running back that can bolster your lineup at just the right time.
If you were proactive enough to add Rainey last week, give yourself a pat on the back. If you were
crazy gutsy enough to start him in Week 11-and the numbers say that was only 3% of fantasy zealots- congrats on your win. And if Rainey went unclaimed in your league last week (like in 75% of Yahoo leagues), well this is what you’ve been saving all that free agency money for.
Buried well behind starter Doug Martin and rookie Mike James, Bobby Rainey was not expected to make any sort of impact for the Bucs this season. But season-ending injuries to Martin and James paved the way for Rainey to get an opportunity against Atlanta’s subpar run defense.
And the un-drafted, second-year player out of Western Kentucky certainly made the most out of his first real shot. Rainey was a beast on Sunday, churning out 163 rushing yards and scoring three touchdowns in Tampa’s 41-28 thrashing of the Falcons.
As good as that performance was, watching the game makes you think that the Bucs have major confidence in their latest backfield find. Rainey out-touched teammate Brian Leonard 32-8 and managed to hit the trifecta of touchdowns, scoring on a dynamic 43-yard gallop, through the air and even chipping in a short-yardage plunge.
Before anyone thinks that this performance was fluky against Atlanta’s generous run-stopping unit, keep in mind that Rainey averaged 5.6 yards-per-carry and also scored a touchdown off the bench in Week 10, when he first got extensive action after Mike James was lost for the season.
Buccaneer’s Upcoming Match-ups
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Even better, Tampa’s remaining schedule looks very conducive for very nice fantasy production for the running game- especially come playoff time. In the critical Weeks 14-16, The Buccaneers host a Buffalo defense that has given up the third most rushing yards in the league, a 49ers team that has already surrendered 12 touchdowns to opposing running backs and on Championship Week, travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams’ leaky run D.
Senior Writer Gridiron Experts. 2012 FantasyPros Most Accurate Fantasy Expert. Member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. 26-year fantasy football veteran. Featured on NFL.com, Fantasypros, Football Diehards annual magazine, local AM sports radio, podcasts everywhere and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Once scored 4 touchdowns in a single game for Polk High School.