Fantasy football: Darren McFadden to see goal-line work

  • By Marcas Grant NFL.com
More Columns >

Your fantasy team plays in the NFL, and you should too! Sign up today to play the official free and customizable fantasy game of the National Football League!

Talented Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden might be the most-debated running back in the fantasy football universe. Fantasy owners in the past had to worry weekly if Run DMC would end up on the inactive list. But even when he was on the field, would McFadden see those critical goal-line carries?

In 2012, the answer is yes. With Michael Bush exchanging Jack London Square for Navy Pier, Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said McFadden would be the team's short-yardage back. That's a relief for anyone concerned that Mike Goodson would slide into Bush's role and begin gobbling up short-yardage rushing scores. It's a reasonable misgiving considering McFadden never has led the Raiders in rushing touchdowns.

Play fantasy football on NFL.com
Why play fantasy football anywhere else? This season, GO LEGIT with the official free fantasy football game of the NFL.

Of course, this doesn't address the top headache for fantasy football enthusiasts -- say it with me -- can he stay healthy? If you believe anyone has a concrete answer to that question, well ... I've got some Martian real estate to sell you. The advice remains the same: Don't be afraid to grab McFadden in the second round. But be sure to grab a reliable backup.

Michael Turner becoming receiving threat?


Since the beginning of training camp, the drum beats steadily have grown louder that Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers is coming for some of Michael Turner's touches. Coach Mike Smith downplayed the talk, saying Turner is going to be "an integral part" of the offense.

Whether it's adapting to a new offense or displaying a self-preservation instinct, Turner is trying to remake himself as a pass-catching back. That can only help in Dirk Koetter's new offense. In four of Koetter's five seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator, Maurice Jones-Drew was no worse than the team's third-leading receiver (in terms of receptions). Don't look for Turner to turn into MJD overnight, but more work in the passing game means Turner's draft value should hold steady in the fourth round for the time being.

Quick outs


» It's a day that ends in "Y", which means it's time for another reminder to avoid the New York Jets. Thursday's red flag comes courtesy of Darrelle Revis, who wondered aloud whether there are enough quality pieces around quarterback Mark Sanchez to help the offense be successful. As someone who sees the Jets' offense up close on a daily basis, it's a telling statement -- one that not even Jeremy Kerley's ever-improving hamstring can deflate...

» Who's going to be the Pittsburgh Steelers' top running back? I can tell you that it's supposed to be Rashard Mendenhall, but when he officially resumes that role, not even Mendenhall knows. Isaac Redman is being tabbed as the interim starter, but after having a MRI on his hip, Redman's not at 100 percent. As a late-round pick, Mendenhall has some value, just so long as you're not counting on him right away...

» Jason Witten is hoping to be available for the Dallas Cowboys' season opener, though there's no guarantee that his lacerated spleen will be healed enough to play. The upside is that the tight end will avoid season-ending surgery and definitely should be on track to play in Week 2. With Tony Romo's top three targets (Witten, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin) all hobbled in the preseason, proceed with caution when looking toward any skill players with stars on their helmets...

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press
How big of a risk is drafting holdout Maurice Jones-Drew? Former NFL star Fred Taylor offers his thoughts with the NFL Fantasy LIVE crew. (Click image for further analysis.)

» There's little chance that the third preseason game is going to clear up the mystery of the Washington Redskins' running back situation. Evan Royster, the presumed leader of the competition, is going to miss Saturday's game against the Indianapolis Colts with a sore knee. Roy Helu (Achilles) engaged in limited practice and Tim Hightower (knee surgery) was back in pads, but Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he was unsure if either would be ready for Week 1. With so many new offensive pieces in place, there could be a lot of potential for a primary ball carrier in Washington. Unfortunately, there might never be primary ball carrier in Washington, so you're better off avoiding any 'Skins until the later rounds...

» Seattle Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice is expected to play Friday versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Rice has played just 15 games in the past two seasons and underwent surgery on both shoulders in the offseason. He's projected to be the team's No. 1 receiver -- he's being paid No. 1 WR money, after all. There's plenty to watch here. Russell Wilson appears to be the leading the team's QB battle, but he doesn't know who his targets will be. Doug Baldwin (hamstring) still is out of action and questions as to if Braylon Edwards or Terrell Owens can earn a spot on the roster persist. We're talking about the No. 3 or No. 4 WR spot on your fantasy football squad, but it would be nice to at least have a definite player to target...

Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15