Fantasy football is a huge part of how fans connect with the NFL. The Oakland Raiders best offensive weapon going into the 2013 season is running back Darren McFadden. NFL.com "experts" have compiled their list of the top fantasy running backs for the upcoming season and McFadden checked in at number 19.
Last season was a down year for McFadden. The team never clicked with Greg Knapp's zone blocking running scheme. McFadden is coming off his worst season in yards per carry with a 3.3 average. He also only punched in three total touchdowns. It is no surprise that McFadden's struggles directly mirrored the Raiders struggles.
Of the five fantasy guys rating running backs, McFadden's highest rank was 13th and his lowest was 24th. New offensive coordinator Greg Olson brings a new system to Oakland which features downhill running. That should benefit McFadden as well as improved offensive line play. He should also get a boost from more talent alongside him in the backfield. The drawback will be the players learning their third offense in as many seasons and his well-documented injury history. His supporting cast, staring at quarterback, is littered with unknowns, which causes concerns.
McFadden certainly has the potential to surpass his ranking. The Raiders don't care what his fantasy value is as long as he helps win games. However, his production will correlate to the Raiders' success.
Tags: Darren McFadden, fantasy football, Football, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders