Why You Should Reach for Darren McFadden in Your Fantasy Football Draft

Many have banked their fantasy lives on Darren McFadden turning his vast potential into production. After five mostly underwhelming seasons, many have given up and removed the enigmatic Oakland Raiders running back from their draft board all together.

Coming off his worst season and entering a contract year, there is no better time than now to reach for McFadden in your fantasy football draft.

Rather because of injury, poor performance or demotion, everyone at some point has had that fantasy bust that tanks their season. For past McFadden owners, the Raiders running back takes the cake for all three reasons

It’s well documented that McFadden is the epitome of injury prone, as he’s yet to play more than 13 games during his five-year career. Lost in that fact is that there was no real incentive for McFadden to play through injury.

Oakland's best record in the McFadden era was 8-8 in 2010 and 2011.

Now, with perhaps his lone chance at garnering a long-term contract approaching, that is no longer the case.

Furthermore, what makes a successful fantasy player is talent plus opportunity. With no running back stealing McFadden’s carries—especially on the goal-line—and Carson Palmer no longer around throwing picks, there may not be a better player to target than McFadden later in the draft.

Especially since his draft stock is at an all-time low. ESPN.com has McFadden ranked as the 18th best running back.

Of the five players who follow McFadden on this list (Montee Ball, Darren Sproles, DeMarco Murray, Chris Ivory and Reggie Bush) only Bush and Murray are unquestioned starters.

With their own history of injuries, coupled with the presence of elite (fantasy) quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo, these two don’t present a positive alternative to McFadden.

Aside from last season’s disaster...

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