I’d like to begin this day by asking you to close your eyes. Don’t worry, this won’t get weird.
The holiday season is very much upon us, and with that comes the gluttonous purchase of toys which will be used twice, or maybe seven times. So, keep those eyelids shut, and picture the best toy you ever unwrapped on a bright, glistening Christmas morning. This will, of course, vary depending on your age and gender. The two women who regularly read a fantasy football blog may fondly remember a Cabbage Patch doll of some kind. And the boys — especially those who live here in the great nation of Canada with its inflatable beavers — will gleefully recall a tabletop hockey game sitting under the tree. Ho boy, hours of fun awaited.
I craved destruction, because I was sort of screwed up like that. So although I once received the aforementioned tabletop hockey game, my all-time favorite gift promoted vehicle crashing and limb ripping. Yeah, The Incredible Crash Test Dummies are still the best.
At the time I had no idea that one of my beloved childhood toys would later move on to star at Arkansas, and then get drafted by the Raiders. It’s remarkable, really, how fast Darren McFadden can run after I repeatedly crashed him into walls, threw him down stairs, and dropped him from balconies. But there he is, running and juking, and making tacklers miss.
He still hasn’t fixed that whole breaking bit though.
McFadden has missed the Raiders’ last three games with an ankle injury, and he was listed this week as a game-time decision. In his absence Marcel Reece, who will start today, has recorded 225 rushing yards rushing and 175 receiving yards.
Reece will be up against a Browns defense that allows 118.4 yards per game on the ground, good for 19th overall in the NFL.
No seriously, I’m asking. Do you know? No? Dammit, I guess I’ll have to speculate wildly make some sort of proclamation then.
The problem in Oakland is a backfield in which the Darren McFadden question is lingering, which is the worst possible question imaginable. Even worse than “honey, did you remember the tarter sauce?” and “you forgot to pick up Johnny from school didn’t you? DAMMIT HE’S YOUR ONLY SON”. Yeah, no amount of rage beats the McFadden question, although today the Murray question is giving it a good run.
So please pick yourself up off the floor as we attempt to make sense of the most vexing injury problem heading into a crucial weekend on the fantasy calendar.
Optimism and Darren McFadden aren’t friends. They’ve never met, and they’ve never even been the two guys at a party who are forced to converse with each through the flow of the mingle, a product of natural selection that’s led to many awkward communications.
You knew this, though. You knew it when you drafted Run DMC, he of the worst and now the most inaccurate nickname in football. Yet he had to come off the board relatively early, because he’s both a running back, and a very efficient running back when he’s healthy. He needed only six games last year to finish with 614 rushing yards on 5.4 yards per carry, adding 154 more yards through the air.
The problem is that his season finished far too early, and for fantasy purposes, there’s a chance that could be happening again this year for many of his owners.
If you drafted Raiders’ running back Darren McFadden with an early pick in your fantasy draft this year, his nagging injuries and inconsistency have probably drove you to become an alcoholic. Well maybe you didn’t become a full blown alcoholic, but you’ve probably added booze-to-mouth more than you’d like to admit.
If this is the case, maybe you should stop reading this post…
McFadden missed practice today with a reported high ankle sprain, and if he truly has a high ankle sprain, there is no way he’s suiting up against the Ravens on Sunday. This is a great opportunity for back-up running back Marcel Reece, who is poised to get the majority of touches for as long as RUN DMC is glued to the pine.
UPDATE: You expected the worst, and you got it. McFadden reportedly has a high-ankle sprain, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He’ll have an MRI tomorrow, but for now it’s considered a “week-to-week” injury. It’s OK, let it all out.
What you just heard were the screams of Darren McFadden owners in the hunt for a playoff spot.
RB Darren McFadden has a leg injury, return is questionable.
The Raiders running back is currently getting X-Ray’s in the locker room. In seven games this season the Arkansas product has rushed for 438 yards and caught 29 passes for 190 yards. Though immensely talented, McFadden’s injury history scared off many owners on draft day.
Buy, sell, or stay. You’re always doing one of those three things with every player on your roster. Often, the decision is easy (say, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t passed for 400 yards in a game yet…SELL! SELL! SELL!). But even more often players who were drafted at high positions are struggling, and it’s difficult to gauge if they’re trending downwards and should be moved, or if there’s a buy low opportunity.
Since we provide a public service with everything from fantasy football to dry cleaning (please direct all your dry cleaning requests to intern Kyle Smith), we’re here to help. Each week we’ll explore a handful of scenarios and puzzling players, and suggest potential trades.
Usually three players will fit into that handful, as is the case this week. But sometimes there could be more. We’re crazy like that.