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Raiders: McFadden, Fargas & Bush! Oh My!

NFL: DEC 28 Raiders at Buccaneers

When the Raiders drafted Darren McFadden as the 4th overall pick, I thought by now he would be the feature runner on the team. Sure they had Justin Fargas and Michael Bush but when you draft a running back that high he had best be a starter.

Last season McFadden ran behind Justin Fargas to start the season. Early in the season we saw flashes of his talent when he had a big day against the Chiefs but that was about it for Darren in 2008.

Coming into this season fantasy football owners will be torn on if Darren is ready to be the top twenty runner in fantasy.

This week reports came out of Oakland saying that on film the Raiders offense looks much better when McFadden is on the field. This is understandable as he is the better talent and is a very good pass catcher out of the back field.

But the question still remains (and will until the season gets going) about just how many touches will Fargas and Bush take away from McFadden every week.

Justin Fargas and Michael Bush

Justin and Michael are no slouches themselves and both bring a different style of running to the table.

Oakland Raiders vs New England Patriots in Oakland, California

In Justin you have a player that is not great but good at just about everything. He is also the veteran runner on the team and he should get work just because of that.

Michael Bush is a guy to me that may be like Michael Turner one day. He may never get a chance to be a feature runner on the Raiders but he should get a chance in a few years somewhere else.

Remember that Michael would have been a top 15 pick in the first round if it were not for his leg injury in his final season of college. This big running back can take the ball twenty plus times a game and when he’s in the open field he can finish for a touchdown.

Is McFadden Injury Prone?

Darren McFadden was supposed to be the 2008 version of Adrian Peterson. Yet instead McFadden, disappointed with only 113 carries for 499 yards and 4 touchdowns.

For all intents and purposes McFadden’s rookie campaign was a bust. True he came down with turf toe early and the Raiders decided to rest him for a few games. In the end I believe this was a good move for the Raiders to sit him down, as it will insure his toe stays healthy.

Deon Sanders played on turf toe and was never the dominant corner he used to be after having the injury. I hope LT does not suffer the same as Deon because he played on his turf toe last year without resting it.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers
While the toe problem was problem I still have other concerns for this runner as we come into 2009.

The stat of 21 carries was key, as McFadden would have only one other game, with more than 12 carries (14 carries week 3) the rest of the year!

Seeing those stats and the fact that Darren is such an upright runner leads me to wonder if Darren will always suffer from missing time in his career in the NFL.

If this holds true then fantasy owners may want to snag Michael Bush as a late round stash away and see if he gets a chance to start.

Oakland Raiders v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy Football Information on Darren McFadden

This off-season Darren is having a solid spring and showing his explosion once again. If he isn’t the starting tailback for the Raiders, to start the season I will be shocked.

The Raiders spent a 4th overall pick on this kid and it’s time to see a return on that lucrative investment. His fantasy value will also be helped with the signing of full back Larenzo Neal from the Ravens.

While Darren has all the tools to be a fantasy star I don’t see that happening this season, with Fargas and Michael Bush still on the team. But I do believe the man from Arkansas will take a big step forward in this season.

Look for Darren as a solid No.3 running back, for your fantasy squad and I believe he will make you smile all season long.

NFL: DEC 04 Raiders at Chargers

Fantasy Football Information Writer Sean E. Douglas:

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