Fantasy Football Forecast: The Future Of Darren McFadden

Drafted out of Arkansas with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft, the former two-time Doak Walker award winner, and Heisman runner-up, has yet to experience the same success with the Raiders, due to a variety of  stumbling blocks. 

McFadden’s 2009 campaign was hampered by nagging injuries, causing him to miss four games, and see very limited action in several others. 

In the games he did play in, he produced little to no fantasy value for his owners, registering double-digit carries only four times, and failing to rush for 100 yards in any single game. 

The abysmal state of Oakland’s passing game can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing for McFadden's (or any other Oakland running back) value, depending on your point of view.  On one hand, the Raiders should and will continue to rely on their running game to move the ball, giving McFadden and the other backs plenty of opportunities. 


Further, if the Raiders continue to go with JaMarcus Russell who seems able to complete only the simplest of passes, and sometimes not even that, then D-Mac figures to be an important part of the passing game.  Expect plenty of screens to him, trying to utilize his speed to create big plays. 


However, the flip side of that coin is the fact that without the threat of a vertical passing game, opposing defenses can load up against the run, reducing YPC and stalling drives. 


Finally, if the Raiders somehow continue with JaMarcus Russell at QB, even with a simplistic game plan, Russell is still a turnover waiting to happen, greatly reducing McFadden’s touchdown potential.


Perhaps the biggest obstacle to McFadden reaching fantasy glory is the timeshare that he is going to continue engaging in with Michael Bush.  


Bush is a ...

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