Raiders RB Latavius Murray will be given every chance to show he can be a feature back, but HC Jack Del Rio said it's far from a done deal. He'll give Maurice Jones-Drew a chance to rejuvenate his legs, but he's a question mark based on last season's 2.2 yards per carry average. Darren McFadden is an unrestricted free agent.
We don't think that Murray will need extra chances to prove he's a feature back. He rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets.
Saturday, December 27, 2014, 11:04am
This has not been a great season for Darren McFadden but he has had a significant impact in one category.
For the first time in his career, McFadden has been healthy for the entire season. McFadden is pace to play his 16th game Sunday at Denver in the season finale. He has not missed one game this season due to injury.
In McFadden’s first six NFL seasons, the most games he’d played in a season was 13, which he accomplished twice. He has missed 29 games due to injury since joining the Raiders in 2008 as the No. 4 overall draft pick.
It's good timing for McFadden as he'll enter free agency after this season. McFadden started this season as the backup but took over for an ineffective Maurice Jones-Drew. McFadden has since been replaced by Latavius Murray. McFadden did run well and contribute to the Raiders’ Week 16 win over Buffalo and has 521 yards on 151 carries this season. He'll likely have a reduced role somewhere next season and depending on the situation could at least be on the fantasy radar.
The job appears to be Murray’s for the rest of the season. He had 23 carries for 76 yards against the 49ers. Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew have been disappointments this season. It is likely neither will be back next year. Thus, Murray will get the chance in the final three games to show Oakland it doesn’t have to worry about finding a lead back. Murray is an interesting player. After missing his rookie year last season with an injury, the former sixth-round draft pick started very slowly. But he has played well in the past three weeks, highlighted by his 90-yard touchdown run against the Chiefs on Nov. 20. The Chiefs will clearly be keying on Murray in this game. It will be fascinating to see who wins this battle.
After saying that Murray wouldn't be the workhorse, the team gave Murray workhorse-type carries in a grind-it-out win against the 49ers in Week 14. Murray has a terrific matchup against the Chiefs, who have yielded 4.9 YPC this season. The question is -- can Derek Carr provide enough of a threat in the passing game to keep Kansas City from keying on Murray?
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion, out) missed practice Friday after taking limited reps Thursday and is out for Week 13. Darren McFadden will likely lead a committee that could also include Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcel Reece.
"Like any young player there is a progress you've got to see before you feel like you're going to put him out there in those situations," Sparano said. "I've had to see that in practice, and little by little I've seen it and this has kind of been where it has gone."
Sparano strikes us as old school, so he's not going to hand the job over to Murray. Darren McFadden may continue to start, but we'd be surprised if Murray isn't the best fantasy producer in the Oakland backfield down the stretch.
Thursday, November 20, 2014, 7:19pm
Raiders beat writer Bill Williamson: Expect Darren McFadden to continue to get more opportunities after a slow start to the season. McFadden has just two 10-yard runs in 2014. However, new interim Oakland coach Tony Sparano said he believes in McFadden and thinks he is running with a purpose. Sparano is a run-first coach and he said that's the approach he is going to take with the Raiders.
McFadden should see 14 or so touches, which has been his average through four weeks. He is our #32 RB in standard formats heading into Week 6.
“It’s no secret that my philosophy is to run the football,” Sparano said, “to keep games tight and try to be able to get yourself in a situation where you can win football games at the end of a game.”
The numbers certainly support that claim. Sparano ran the football 45.6-percent of the time during nearly four full seasons as Miami Dolphins head coach.
Sparano stuck to his guns – he made the Wildcat formation famous at the NFL level – and continued to run even during some lean years.
While Greg Olson will continue calling plays, Sparano is an offensive minded coach and will exert greater influence in the offensive game plan.
At running back, Oakland coach Dennis Allen told reporters in London on Friday that Darren McFadden is in line to make his third straight start, but Maurice Jones-Drew is probable to play for the first time since suffering a hand injury in Week 1. McFadden is getting the start based on more practice time.
It most likely doesn't matter a whole lot who the starter is because it doesn't necessarily mean McFadden will get the bulk of the work. MJD, assuming he plays, is very likely to factor in as well which means it's committee situation. It's a good matchup against the Dolphins, but we see both backs more of RB3 or flex options at best.
Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew says that he feels well enough to take the next step and play against the Dolphins in Week Four. Jones-Drew admitted that the choice isn’t entirely up to him, but things are pointing in that direction and Jones-Drew is looking forward to renewing his partnership with Darren McFadden.
“Just trying to get on the field and help my man out,” Jones-Drew said, via NFL Media. “I feel we both do better if we both out there. So obviously he’s been taking the brunt of the carries and the brunt of the reps, so I want to get out there and try and give him a blow here and there and let him get his legs back underneath him so he can run.”
Jones-Drew was running ahead of McFadden prior to the injury, but may be in a full-blown committee upon his return. The Raiders running game isn't strong enough to support one running back, much less two. MJD's only game thus far was against the impossible-to-run-on New York Jets, so there's still a chance he becomes fantasy relevant this season.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 6:15pm
Friday, September 12, 2014, 7:30pm
Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand, questionable) missed practice all week and is questionable for Week 2. The Raiders are saying he’s questionable, but the feeling is that he’s out foe Week 2. Latavius Murray is a player that the fantasy community is excited about, but he has been unable to crack the rotation after a lot of early career hype. He's worth a stash in larger formats. As for Week 2, it sounds as if Darren McFadden will get the start, but that the two backs will rotate series by series. The Redskins had a lot of success running on the Texans in Week 1, but the Raiders don't have that type of running game. Neither player is an attractive start at this point, though either player could be started as a desperation play.
Though nothing formal has been announced, multiple sources have indicated that he won't be available for the home opener.
CSN Bay Area’s Fallon Smith originally reported on Wednesday that Jones-Drew had surgery on his right hand. The running back acknowledged having a procedure after Thursday’s practice, his second straight session missed.
“I’d love to go out there, but it’s a long season,” Jones-Drew said. “You want to make sure that everything is right and where it needs to be.”
Per the San Francisco Chronicle...
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said that both Darren McFadden and Latavius Murray will get a crack at getting the running game going, a week after Oakland had 25 yards on 12 carries in a loss to the Jets.
"Last week we wanted to see Maurice Jones-Drew in a full-time role," Olson said. "This week, I don't know if we'll see that. We'll start with Darren, and it probably will be more series-wise with Latavius and Darren."
Murray is a player that the fantasy community is excited about, but he has been unable to crack the rotation after a lot of early career hype. He's worth a stash in larger formats. As for Week 2, it sounds as if McFadden will get the start, but that the two backs will rotate series by series. The Redskins had a lot of success running on the Texans in Week 1, but the Raiders don't have that type of running game. Neither player is an attractive start at this point, though either player could be started in desperation.
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:24pm
Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) missed practice again Thursday. The Raiders are tight-lipped about injuries but it appears that MJD is in danger of missing Week 2. Darren McFadden would carry the load with Latavius Murray serving as the change-of-pace back.
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