Darren McFadden: Raiders RB Isn't a Reliable Option in Week 13

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IDecember 1, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 04:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders in action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at O.co Coliseum on November 4, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Darren McFadden will be battling an injury in the Oakland Raiders' Week 13 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, but there are other reasons why McFadden won't be a reliable option for fantasy football owners.

The Raiders running back is listed as questionable for Week 13 (per ESPN.com), but there is still a good chance he takes the field on Sunday.

However, McFadden hasn't had a good season in 2012 and is only averaging 3.3 yards per carry. On top of that, McFadden won't be at 100 percent this week and that could lead to another depressing performance in Week 13.

Here are some top waiver-wire targets that fantasy owners should look to in order to replace McFadden.


Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have seen an incredible amount of injuries to their backfield in 2012. As a result, Dwyer has gotten a great opportunity to get significant carries this season.

ESPN.com reported earlier in the week that Dwyer will be getting the start against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, so that will make him a valuable asset to fantasy owners looking for a quick fix.

Dwyer has broken the 100-yard mark twice this season, but he has failed to get into the end zone. Still, 100 yards or more will still be solid production for owners and there's a good chance Dwyer breaks that threshold against the Ravens run defense, which is ranked No. 26 in the NFL.


Shane Vereen, New England Patriots

Vereen is still stuck behind Stevan Ridley in the Patriots' backfield pecking order, but that hasn't stopped him from putting up solid numbers over the past few weeks.

The 23-year-old has gotten into the end zone three times in the past four weeks and has proven to be a versatile option as both a running back and receiver for the Pats.

Tom Brady figures to have another big week against the Dolphins and their bad pass defense, which is ranked No. 26 in the NFL. Vereen should get some passes thrown his way and with the likelihood that this game is a blowout, that could lead to Vereen getting plenty of carries in garbage time.


Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos

After a season-ending injury to Willis McGahee, Moreno took the reins as the Broncos' No. 1 back for the rest of the season and didn't disappoint in his first game in that role.

Denver's new No. 1 back had 20 carries for 85 yards in Week 12, but he failed to get into the end zone against the Kansas City Chiefs. Still, the Broncos' offense is solid enough that Moreno will have plenty of chances to get into the end zone in Week 13.

The Broncos will be up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week and while Tampa Bay's No. 1 run defense might seem like a deterrent for fantasy owners, it really shouldn't be. The Bucs are also one of the worst teams in the NFL against the pass, so Peyton Manning should be able to get the Broncos near the end zone enough times that Moreno takes one in.