Many times in fantasy football players go through cycles of how they impact fantasy rosters. Consider Chris Ivory who seems to be on the verge of going from super sleeper to mid-round fantasy value. WIth that being said some running backs go through a far more dramatic cycle of being highly touted rookies or sophomores then hit complete rock bottom, and somehow eventually fall so low that they begin to get overlooked in fantasy drafts and become great values. No running back fits that bill more than Darren McFadden.
Right now according to FantasyPros Darren McFadden’s ADP sits as the 35th overall player, and on average the 20th running back selected overall. Honestly, that is quite shocking especially considering McFadden has been a likely first or second rounder for the past two seasons.
What’s more shocking is the names that are being drafted ahead of him. The list included David Wilson, Lamar Miller, Montee Ball, and DeMarco Murray. Sure McFadden has been a major disappointment the past two season, but do those four running backs really deserve to be selected ahead of him? No.
While the unknown excitement of David Wilson is a factor, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Andre Brown looms as a possible touchdown vulture if not more. Despite the injury concerns for McFadden he is the clear cut number one in Oakland, no one is going to challenge him for the touches in the backfield when he is healthy.
The same goes for Lamar Miller, and Montee Ball, even though people are projecting Ball to get the majority of carries in Denver it isn’t that simple. Even though Willis McGahee was just cut it still doesn’t make me feel better about taking him over McFadden.
The Raiders are terrible, and they have been for the past few years, but McFadden will be the cornerstone of the offense yet again. While McFadden will pave the way running the ball, he is also a factor as receiver giving him a boost in PPR leagues. McFadden has had two season of 40 or more catches, and with Denarius Moore the only semi-competent receiver on the Raiders Matt Flynn should be looking his way more often than not.
With the Raiders expected to install the power run scheme that saw McFadden have his best year in 2010 he should be as comfortable as ever. The problem with McFadden is that he has missed at least three games per season, but the fact that he is being drafted at around the 20th running back overall makes him a great value. If you are able to draft McFadden in your league just make sure you handcuff him with Marcel Reece or Latavius Murray if you have the roster space.