The Oakland Raiders may or may not have star RB Darren McFadden back for Sunday’s contest against the Cleveland Browns, but it would be unwise for his fantasy owners to believe his possible appearance would solve any woes.
Anyone who direly needs a win going into this critical Week 13 matchup must find a player more proven, consistent and downright healthier than Run DMC. With a playoff appearance likely riding on the outcome of this final regular season fantasy game, McFadden must be riding your bench.
Will you start McFadden this week?
ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s report on Sunday morning should only make this decision easier for owners. According to the NFL insider, McFadden is unlikely to suit up and play against the Browns—a surprise considering that many thought he would be ready to go on Sunday earlier in the week:
After optimism he would play this week, Raiders RB Darren McFadden unlikely to play today vs Cleveland.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 2, 2012
Because of this report, it would be fantasy self-destruction to keep McFadden in your starting lineup or even consider moving him there. He’s probably not playing, and if he somehow does, he probably won't play well.
If you are desperate for a Week 13 running back, there are plenty of suitable options available on waivers.
Rashad Jennings has just earned the nod as the starting back in Jacksonville, as the Jaguars are dealing with injury problems to Jalen Parmele and Maurice Jones-Drew.
DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys may come back from a six-game injury saga, as he dealt with a broken foot, but he is only a slightly smaller risk than McFadden.
And the Arizona Cardinals will likely feature Beanie Wells out of their backfield—the only “consistent” aspect of their offense, with Ryan Lindley getting snaps as the starting QB.
There are plenty of other high-upside players who should be available in your league, so take a look at the free-agent list before ever considering starting a bum like McFadden, who isn’t even sure to play.
If you want to win in Week 13, send DMC running to your bench and grab another player who promises to produce points.