Second year running back Bobby Rainey has been waiting patiently for his first real shot for a break through in the NFL. The 26-year-old out of Western Kentucky has already been bounced around to three different teams during his short professional career, enduring stints on practice squads,and being released and resigned multiple times.
However, when Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike James jumped up a spot next to Doug Martin on the injured reserve list, Rainey finally got a shot at some real minutes and a more serious workload in the backfield.
Facing the Falcons in Week 11, Rainey was given quite easily the best opportunity he has seen as an NFL player. The Falcons had given up an average of 126.8 yards per game for 2013, leaving them ranked 27th in the league against the run.
Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey were expected to split carries, but Rainey’s early production put a pretty quick stop to that. Rainey’s first 3 runs went for 11, 10 and 11 yards. A 43 yard touchdown early in the 2nd quarter fully established Rainey as the guy for Week 11, and he finished the first half with 110 yards on 13 carries.
Rainey finished the day with 163 yards on 30 carries and added 2 touchdowns, one on the ground and one receiving. He was also successful in grinding out the Atlanta defense and running out the clock to bring a victory home for Tampa Bay. Next week is a much tougher assignment for Rainey and the Bucs, who travel to Detroit to face the Lions, but Rainey will surely be eager to prove that Week 11 was not a fluke and will want to come out hot.
It’s definitely worth a shot to pick up Rainey for Week 12. Rainey is only owned in 2.3 % of ESPN fantasy leagues, a number that will surely go up as the week progresses. Rainey may have shocked the world in Week 11, but news of his success is traveling quite quickly around the NFL and fantasy leagues, so get him while you can!