The Oakland Raiders were not very good last season and shouldn’t be any better in 2013 but they do still have perennial fantasy disappointment Darren McFadden. And when you consistently have issues staying on the field (McFadden has never played more than 13 games in 5 seasons) it tends to give the next guy a shot to make a fantasy impact. In the case of the Raiders in 2012, Marcel Reese was the recipient of playing time and made waves as a PPR monster.
[pullquote]McFadden has never played more than 13 games in 5 seasons[/pullquote]
Coming into 2013, the Raiders have seen backup Mike Goodson fly to the Jets and drafted Latavius Murray in the sixth round. Murray was given high marks during OTA’s a week ago with coach Allen saying, “Probably the thing that’s been most impressive is that he’s picked up everything offensively from a schematic standpoint, assignment wise… He’s done a great job. He’s done a nice job in pass protection. That’s one of the things you see with young backs that they struggle with at times.”
These are good signs for the rookie and you need to keep your eye on this situation if you plan to draft McFadden. I am of the belief that McFadden will never right the ship in terms of health. There is no doubt he at least had tremendous skill at one time and speed to spare but I don’t know if that is still the case. It appears that Latavius is in a battle with Rashad Jennings at the moment to be the backup with Reese manning the change-of-pace role. Our expectations are that Murray will win this battle if in fact he truly is as good as coach Allen makes him out to be. And with scouts saying that he runs like McFadden, maybe he can be what McFadden was never able to be.
But for now, I recommend you draft Murray as a handcuff to McFadden. He’s one of the sure bets to need one at some point.