Darren McFadden: Marcel Reece Is Only Viable Handcuff for Raiders RB This Week

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2012

Nov 4, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece (45) is defended by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Leonard Johnson (29) on a 26-yard reception in the third quarter at the O.co Coliseum. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders 42-32. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Are you a Darren McFadden owner who needs a handcuff this week, as it looks unlikely he'll play? Did you, like me, get absolutely burned by Taiwan Jones a week ago?

If so, I've got a name for you: Marcel Reece. But don't tell anyone I mentioned this, or neither one of us will be able to pick him up.

But seriously, Reece is the only viable handcuff for McFadden this week. And while Run DMC hasn't been officially listed as "out" for Sunday, Jay Glazer certainly isn't making me feel any more confident he'll play:

RT @realdavidamador: @jayglazer is Darren McFadden playing??>they thought 2-4 wks when it happened

— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) November 15, 2012

It happened in Week 9. It's now Week 11. I'm no math major, but that doesn't bode well for McFadden. Nor does the fact that he's still in a walking boot, according to Jerry McDonald of The Oakland Tribune:

Raiders running back Darren McFadden was moving well and walking without a limp Wednesday as he left the team facility and headed to his car in the parking lot, with a couple fans outside the security gate calling his name.

McFadden still was wearing a walking boot on his right foot, however, and coach Dennis Allen didn't sound overly optimistic, saying McFadden was "questionable" to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

With Mike Goodson also suffering from a right ankle sprain, McDonald notes that Reece should see the bulk of the carries on Sunday:

Allen said in the absence of McFadden, Goodson and Seymour, the rotations would be similar to what they were in Sunday's 55-20 loss to Baltimore. Marcel Reece would be the lead back, with Jeremy Stewart getting work and Taiwan Jones getting a shot if he continues to show progress in the areas of ball security, general health and ability to execute the playbook.

Subtext: If Taiwan Jones does anything well—anything at all—he'll get some carries. 


Now, Reece isn't to be underestimated. In standard-scoring leagues, he's had 15.5 and 10.4 fantasy points the past two weeks. He's become a major weapon in the passing game, and his value is only greater if he receives the bulk of the carries.

He now has 33 receptions on the year for 328 yards and a touchdown. I'm not saying he's suddenly become the next Tim Brown, but that's solid production for a player whose primary role is to play fullback.

Oh, and the New Orleans Saints allow 24.3 fantasy points to opposing running backs in standard-scoring leagues per week, 31st in the NFL. Plus, they allow 162 rushing yards per week, also 31st in the NFL. 

And since Reece is such a factor in the passing game, it's important to note that the Saints allow 307.3 passing yards per game (31st in the NFL).

As handcuffs go, I love me some Marcel Reece this week. Just do me a favor—don't tell anyone I said so.


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