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NFL Draft Fantasy Fallout - Darren McFadden

(Wow, this new Fake Teams is something else, huh?  I'm still getting used to it myself.  I think this is going to be great)

You have to hand it to the Raiders, they do things their own way.  Despite having not one, not two, but three former 1000 yard rushers on their roster, the Raiders decided that what they really needed was to draft a running back. 


It’s that kind of thinking that brings Darren McFadden (4th overall) to the Silver and Black this season.  The Raiders have already cut Dominic Rhodes and it wouldn’t be surprising if they traded or cut LaMont Jordan as well.  That leaves McFadden to share time with Justin Fargas, with a little bit of Michael Bush (remember him?) thrown in.


McFadden’s situation in Oakland is similar to Adrian Peterson’s situation in Minnesota last year, so that’s a good guide when trying to figure out his fantasy value. 


- McFadden has a solid offensive line, but worse than Minnesota’s was last year.   


- He has a young, unproven quarterback, but younger and more unproven than Tarvaris Jackson was. 


- The Raiders have a poor receiving corps (Javon Walker, Ronald Curry, Drew Carter), but it’s probably a little bit better than Minnesota had last season. 


- He has a veteran running back ahead of him who knows the offense and will get a share of the carries


Overall, I think McFadden is in a poorer situation than Peterson was in his rookie year, and so McFadden’s highs won’t be quite as high.  Peterson had six 100+ rushing yard games, including two 200+ rushing yard games.  He also had seven games with 70 or fewer rushing yards.  I expect McFadden to finish with similar but more moderate stats – four or five 100+ yard games and six to seven really poor games. 


McFadden will be tough guy to project in fantasy football drafts.  If you draft him, you have to realize that for 40-50% of the season he could be a weekly bust.   I would be very worried if I had to start the fantasy season with McFadden as my RB1.

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