With the latest news regarding Darren McFadden's availability for the Oakland Raiders' upcoming matchup with the New Orleans Saints, it's time to find the Raiders' offensive weapons that will thrive from the running back's absence.
According to Kareem Copeland of NFL News, McFadden is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game and the likelihood of Oakland having to play without their star running back is high.
The Raiders are no strangers to McFadden injury problems, but this season has been uncharacteristically good in that department—until now. But Oakland's offense has seemed much more potent this season as compared to years past.
Let's take a look at Raiders offensive weapons that will benefit from D-Mac's absence.
Carson Palmer - QB
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer has helped to bring back some passing efficiency to Oakland, and the absence of his star running back means that more responsibility than usual will be on his shoulders.
Thankfully, he's done well with that sort of pressure this season, with more than 2,700 passing yards and 15 touchdowns so far.
It won't hurt that he faces a Saints defense that has been hapless, to say the least, all season. They rank 31st in passing defense, giving up more than 300 passing yards per game.
The Raiders defense may not be much better, but that has little impact on Palmer's fantasy production. He'll have a big day against a suspect Saints secondary.
Marcel Reece - RB
Raiders running back Marcel Reece has been excellent in replacement performances this season, and he'll come up big again Sunday.
While Taiwan Jones is expected to get the start, he hasn't done much of anything this season and Reece will impress when he's given a chance to run the ball.
The Saints defense is similarly bad against the run as the pass, as they're currently ranked second to last in the league. No matter who lines up in the backfield, they'll have success.
Reece's ability to be a dual-threat back will also pad his stats, as he caught eight balls and nearly put up 100 yards against Tampa Bay after McFadden went down.
Denarius Moore - WR
No McFadden means touchdowns will need to be scored by someone lining up on the outside, and there's no better candidate to do so than Denarius Moore.
Moore went from a mid-round draft pick just a year ago to the obvious No. 1 wide receiver on this roster, and he's built an impressive chemistry with Palmer. As noted before, Palmer will have a big day and that will resonate in Moore's stats.
The second-year pro is near the top 25 in the league in both receiving yards (575) and receiving touchdowns (5), and he'll show why with a strong performance against a struggling Saints defense.
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