Darren McFadden, RB Oakland Raiders

2014 Strength of Schedule - OAK
W1W2W3W4W5W6W7W8W9W10W11W12W13W14W15W16W17
4
@NYJ
18
HOU
25
@NE
22
MIA
BYE11
SD
1
ARI
19
@CLE
6
@SEA
15
DEN
11
@SD
26
KC
28
@STL
12
SF
26
@KC
21
BUF
15
@DEN

Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.

2014 Game Stats
WeekOppRuAttRuYdsRuTDFumYPRRecRecYdsRecTDTgtsYPCSnaps%
1NYJ415003.7516016.0024/5147%
2HOU1237103.082310015.500/00%
Totals1652103.253370112.3324/5147%

Most Recent News

Maurice Jones-Drew officially inactive for Raiders

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 3:04pm

Raiders Inactives
Tony Bergstrom G
Jonathan Dowling S
Shelby Harris DE
Maurice Jones-Drew RB
Matt McCants OT
Matt McGloin QB
Nick Roach MLB

Fantasy Impact:

Darren McFadden is expected to handle the majority of the workload for the Raiders. Marcel Reece and Latavius Murray may also see some work.

Scouting Report

In a development as shocking as someone discovering Pizza Hut sells pizza, Darren McFadden missed time because of an injury last year. It has been a pattern throughout his career. McFadden has never appeared in more than 13 games in any given season. And unfortunately, another pattern has emerged with McFadden the past two years – declining play. He averaged just 3.3 yards a carry during that span. The Raiders, usually not the smartest organization in the NFL, somehow managed to pick up on McFadden’s fade and added Maurice Jones-Drew, who now projects as Oakland’s lead runner. Is there any hope left for McFadden?

Fantasy Upside
Maybe a change-of-pace role is best for McFadden. In the league since 2008, he has only had two really productive seasons (in 2010 and 2011 where he averaged over five yards a carry). Darren does not appear capable of carrying the load in the backfield, but might get another chance as Jones-Drew struggled last year in Jacksonville and has also had injury issues the past two seasons. And in a nice change, owners don’t have to worry about blowing an early draft pick on McFadden. His stock is low enough to where you can get him after the tenth round. That makes him a worthy gamble, especially with Oakland looking to run a lot to take pressure off a dicey passing game.

Fantasy Downside
Remember on Seinfeld where Kramer had an intern named Darren, who got involved in an ill-fated business venture that led to an oil spill? At the end of the episode, Kramer said “Darren is going away for a long time.” He could have easily been talking about McFadden’s injury history. So many owners have been bitten by McFadden in the past. Many don’t want to go through that trouble again, especially since Jones-Drew is the lead back. The Raiders will be playing teams such as Seattle, New England, and St. Louis in addition to a tough AFC West slate. All of their backs will be playing against a stacked deck thanks to Oakland’s questionable air attack. Also, the Raiders may end up abandoning the run quite a bit due to almost certain deficits during many weeks of the season.

Bottom Line
Open-minded fantasy owners need to realize McFadden isn’t a terrible player to stash at the back end of your bench. At least in that spot, he won’t haunt you because you don’t have to count on him for anything major. If he suffers more aches and pains, it won’t hurt nearly as much. As a role player, McFadden could offer occasional flex value and might surprise if Jones-Drew underwhelms.

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