Last year, the Oakland Raiders were a fantasy afterthought. Wide receivers were useless, and running backs were just as bad. Darren McFadden struggled and Michael Bush wasn't much better. This offseason, however, there was a lot of hype over Michael Bush.
Unfortunately Michael Bush hurt his hand before the season started which sidelined him for several weeks. If like me, you drafted right before the season started, it was quite difficult deciding when or who to draft out of Oakland's backfield.
I loved Michael Bush heading into the season, and was targeting him as a sleeper. However the injury made me very nervous, and I'm hesitant to draft someone who is injured before the season even starts. Some were labeling Bush with a long timetable before he could return to action.
So it came to my pick and I desperately needed another RB, and against my instincts I went with Darren McFadden, because I knew he would at least be "the guy" for a little while. It just might have been the best pick I made all draft.
As soon as the draft was over, or more like as soon as I made the pick, I was kicking myself for not taking Michael Bush. Of course Bush went a few picks later and wasn't available the next time I picked. In one last act of desperation, after the draft, before the season started, I proposed a trade: McFadden for Michael Bush.
I got shut down, of course. No one wanted anything to do with DMC, myself included. It was kind of like begging your girlfriend to take you back, a hopeless cause where you are just embarrassing yourself. But as the old saying goes...it will work out for the best in the end.
I didn't even use McFadden his first game, even though he was "the guy," I was very skeptical. Well he proved me wrong, putting up a ridiculous 21 fantasy points. I learned my lesson very quickly, and he was in my lineup every week until he got hurt.
Then I figured, oh well, it was too good to be true, it was good while it lasted, Bush will take over now.
Well in case you haven't been paying attention to the Oakland Raiders, Bush has dominated the workload with McFadden out, but he hasn't come close to outplaying him. McFadden was playing like an elite running back before he went down, and was near the top of the league in rushing and yards from scrimmage.
Run DMC was running better than he ever had before in the NFL, finishing runs, and doing especially well between the tackles, were he had struggled his first two years.
Bush has been ordinary. Oakland has had a clear stance that they want a feature back and will not use a "running back by comittee" approach. Well it's clear now, McFadden is the much better back...when healthy.
McFadden has quite an injury history, but this hamstring injury he has now is not to the same leg as the one in training camp and does not seem too serious. If he can return to the field healthy, which I am optimistic about, he will be a top 15 RB going forward, possibly top 10 if there is adequate quarterback play in Oakland.
Buy McFadden: If you can get McFadden cheaply, do it, and do it quickly. Sure, he has injury concerns, but reports out of Oakland seem positive. He is a great upgrade for anyone who drafted Ryan Grant, Clinton Portis, the Dolphins run game, or the Panthers run game (both of which are struggling).
Sell Bush: Bush, on the other hand, will became a backup, a handcuff to McFadden, who will only be used on the field when McFadden needs a breather. Sure, he could have some value if injuries continue to plague DMC, but when called upon he is not elite, just average. If you can trade him for a player on the rise, do a deal right away (think Lynch, Moreno, Wells).
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