Darren McFadden was the face of an Oakland Raiders rushing attack that struggled from wire to wire last season. Behind an ill-fitting zone blocking scheme that caused plenty of frustration, McFadden produced a career-low 58.9 yards per game as the Raiders finished 28th in the NFL on the ground.
"There's always going to be things that gets your blood boiling," McFadden told the Bay Area News Group in June. "But last year was last year. It's something I put behind me. We're moving forward, and I'm looking forward to a new season."
BANG's Steve Corkran reported in May that a healthy McFadden looked "energized" and "explosive" during organized team activities under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson. McFadden repeatedly has gushed about the Raiders' "downhill offense" as a natural fit for his skill set.
There's tangible motivation for McFadden to re-emerge as one of the league's better backs. He's in the final year of his contract, and the Raiders hope to re-sign him. McFadden might be playing elsewhere next year, however, if he's sidetracked by injuries for a sixth consecutive season. Whether you root for the Raiders or draft the guy in fantasy, McFadden is a frustrating figure. When healthy, he's a dangerous runner, but his durability has been a wild card from Day 1.
On a team starving for talent, the Raiders have reshaped their attack to suit McFadden's gifts. If all goes well, he can return to the form he showed in 2010, when he blasted his way to 1,157 yards and seven touchdowns. That's not out of the realm of reality, but fantasy shoppers are advised to tread carefully.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.