Fantasy Rankings: Oakland Raiders' Darren McFadden

Fantasy RankingsContributor IJune 5, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders lines up for a play during the game against the New York Jets on October 19, 2008 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Darren McFadden's Disappointing 2008 Rookie Season

Darren was supposed to be the 2008 version of Adrian Peterson. Yet instead, McFadden disappointed with only 113 carries for 499 yards and four touchdowns.

For all intents and purposes McFadden's rookie campaign was a bust. True he came down with turf toe early and the Raiders decided to rest him for a few games. I believe this was a good move, as it will insure his toe stays healthy.

Deon Sanders played on turf toe, and was never the dominant corner he used to be. I hope LT does not suffer the same fate as Deon, because he played on his turf toe last year without resting it.

Another problem Darren had is the Raiders chose to give the starting job to veteran runner Justin Fargas. This slowed No. 20's opportunity for consistency from week to week. However, he did show us what he is capable of in Week Two at the Chiefs, when on 21 carries, he posted 164 yards rushing and a touchdown.

The stat of 21 carries was key, as McFadden would have only one other game, with more than 12 carries (14 carries in Week Three) the rest of the year!

McFadden's Fantasy Football Value in 2009

This offseason, Darren is having a solid spring and showing his explosion once again. If he isn't the starting tailback for the Raiders to start the season I will be shocked.

Bottom line is the Raiders spent the fourth overall pick on this kid, and it's time to see a return on that lucrative investment. His fantasy value will also be helped with the signing of fullback Lorenzo Neal from the Ravens.

While Darren has all the tools to be a fantasy star I don't see that happening this season, with Fargas and Michael Bush still on the team. But I do believe the man from Arkansas will take a big step forward in this season.

Look for Darren as a solid No. 3 running back, for your fantasy squad, and I believe he will make you smile all season long.

Fantasy Assets:
- Game Breaker
- Good Hands
- Good Offensive Line for Running
- Has Jeff Garcia, if JaMarcus Russell does not work out.

Fantasy Liabilities:
- Doesn't get 20 touches a game
- Needs more Touchdowns
- Could use a better No.1 wide receiver