Sidelined since the second quarter of Oakland's Week 9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a leg injury, it looks like dynamic running back Darren McFadden will be back in the Raiders lineup for their Week 13 game against the Cleveland Browns, according to NFL.com's Michael Fabiano:
Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both returned to practice today. Looks like the Marcel Reece era is over in Oakland.— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) November 28, 2012
To call McFadden's 2012 season a disappointment would be a huge understatement.
He's eclipsed 65 yards rushing only three times and has only two touchdowns on the season. After catching 13 passes for 86 yards in Week 1, McFadden became an afterthought in Oakland's passing game, catching a total of 18 passes for 104 yards over his next seven games.
So what can fantasy owners realistically expect from him in what is the final regular-season game for many of us?
For all of their issues this year, Cleveland has been solid against the run, allowing only six rushing touchdowns on the season.
Only two running backs have eclipsed the 100-yard mark against the Browns: Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy (110 yards) in Week 1 and New York's Ahmad Bradshaw (200 yards and a touchdown) in Week 5.
If he plays, McFadden is likely to split touches with Mike Goodson and Marcel Reece as Oakland tries to not only ease him back into action, but also to limit the chance that he'll re-injure his leg.
Coupled with the fact that Oakland has moved to a pass-heavy offensive attack, and the best-case scenario for McFadden against the Browns is 10 to 15 carries for 50 yards, adding two or three catches for an additional 20 yards with an outside chance of a touchdown.
If you are desperate for a running back or flex option, get McFadden back into your lineups. But if you've got other options, I'd suggest giving them serious consideration before you make your final decision.