Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is not on his team's injury report this week, but he does headline my editorial take on this subject for NFL Week 9. I'll tell you why.
McFadden is getting too many carries in a scheme that does not suit his strengths. I have said it from day one, but the issue still remains somehow. It seems so obvious.
Many, like me, spent last Sunday's afternoon games yelling at their televisions.
"Does Jamaal Charles even play for the Kansas City Chiefs anymore?! Did fat Peyton Hillis take his job?!?! DAYYY-BOLLL you fool!!!" (Throws remote control across room after botched third-down screen to Shaun Draughn.)
Raiders fans were similarly frustrated. McFadden is having his explosiveness stretched out to an unrecognizable level, just like the run plays he is attempting to execute. His center of gravity is too high to make a quick read off a roving safety, and his instincts come most naturally at the second level after being sprung by a good lead block.
Darren McFadden sees holes created off of bodies, not imaginary lanes that are supposed to be there on paper.
This is not exactly hot-off-the-press news. You switch to man-blocking, Run DMC goes off. It is just how things have proven to be. Why switch back to the Tom Cable era?
Furthermore, why make Darren McFadden into a volume back? The NFL's biggest injury risk should not be used in this manner, pounding out a useless set of plays that are doomed to fail the moment they are called in the huddle.
He's going to get hurt.
It's terrible because the rest-of-season schedule for Oakland RBs looks so good, but, the "tweaks" to the system are not enough. Coming off bye, I was hoping they would be, but they aren't. Not yet, at least.
McFadden is not a volume back who can hold up like Marshawn Lynch or Ray Rice. He is not a back who you depend on for grind-it-out production on a week-in, week-out basis. Backup Mike Goodson actually appears to have a style and body better suited for the offense that HC Dennis Allen has given OC Greg Knapp the authority, for some reason, to employ.
Before we get on to the implications of fantasy injuries that have already happened coming into Week 9, let's just take a moment to think about this one that is likely to happen.
In the event Darren McFadden gets hurt, you can expect a 2011 C.J. Spiller-type of stretch run performance out of Goodson. He is that type of player, and this is that type of situation.
Starting this week, if he is available, I will be rostering Goodson minutes before the Sunday games kick off, and dropping my least valuable bench player in exchange. If McFadden does get hurt, I don't want my league mates getting Goodson when waivers run on Tuesday.
Remember I told you.
Let's move on. These are the Week 9 fantasy implications for injuries that have already occurred.