Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Been drinking the McFadden juice and I am blackout right now..
Darren McFadden will be an absolute monster beast this year. I have decided. APeterson's 2007 rookie year was, obviously, insane. I think McFadden has every bit and more of an opportunity to at least put up AP numbers in his own rookie campaign. First of all, for fantasy, I am absolutely drafting this kid in every league I am in. He is being slept on way too much, fantasy pundits are obsessing over like Kevin Smith, Mendenhall, and Jonathan Stewart and their values when BY FAR the best rookie back will be in silver and black. 4th roundish is just way too late for him, he is the guy I think who will be on many championship rosters this season much like AP last year. There is no real mention of McFadden and the ridiculously favorable situation he is being put into on Oakland this year. Fantasy aside and entering real life, McFadden is serious. He put up 2000 total yards last year at Arkansas (SEC teams have bad defense right? eoh) and that was WITH Felix Jones putting up about 1300 total yards. If McFadden was the exclusive back and absorbed some of the Felix yards, he would maybe have had one of the greatest single seasons for a running back of all time. Yes, that is fact, 3000 yards for a single season at college is Barry Sanders etc. territory. McFadden is a similar talent to AP, drafted very high in the NFL draft, and in a great position to succeed this year in Oaktown.
First of all, McFadden. He is big, fast, and destructive. He can run inside the tackles, hit the corners with insane speed, and lower his shoulder when he needs to. He is a great receiving back and he can throw it like LT (check youtube). He makes everyone else in the game look like they are moving in slow motion, exactly what happened when AP would breakthrough the line last season. He easily outruns corners and safeties and will have more than his fair share of 50+ yard runs. There is a reason why he was the first back taken this year and a reason why he was drafted fourth overall. He REALLY looks identical to AP, except without any real injury risk, to me. By seasons end, I think he will be a top 10 back in the NFL, if not top 5.
Last season, Oakland sucked. BUT, they were a phenomenal running team averaging 130 yards per game good for 6th in the NFL. You have to do a double take on that. Yes, the Raiders sucked last year, and yes their passing game was absolutely a joke, but they still managed to be the sixth best rushing team in the league! They were 6th in the league AND they did that with Justin Fargas and whichever other random/bad running faulks they were playing. Adrian Peterson entered last season in a clearly defined time share with Chester Taylor. The Vikes stuck to this plan begrudgingly as the season wore on to their detriment. Taylor was very productive but Peterson was simply dominating; AP's carries suffered nonetheless. In Fargas, McFadden will not have this same problem. Fargas is perennially injured and has been a long tenured Raider whose front office has made it abundantly clear through off season moves (LaMont Jordan, and again with Darren himself) that Fargas will never be their guy. Once McFadden shows what he can do on the field, I have no doubt the Raiders will ride him harder than a $3 thai hooker all season.
To go with the already efficient running attack that the Raiders owned last season, they have made upgrades elsewhere on offense that will benefit McFadden. JaMarcfat at qb is actually, despite being a fat man, a very mobile quarterback who is comfortable out of the pocket. McFadden has great receiving ability and will be relied upon on third down to be there as the check down. More time on the field, ok Darren. Their wide receiving corps is very questionable with unknown commodity Javon Walker et al but they can't really be worse than they were last year. JaMarcus' mobility and also rocketlauncher (understatement) of an arm will prevent defenses stacking the box and totally focusing their game plan on McFadden, maybe, for a little bit at least.
Minny, by contrast, did absolutely nothing but run in 2007. Tavaris was incredibly bad and their passing game was an actual mockery at 28th in the NFL. They had to run. It is conceivable that Oakland will have quite a poor passing game as well. 2007 defense vs. Minny, opposing teams focused their defensive schemes entirely against AP and Minny's run game. Irrelevant, he was still unstoppable. I believe that if Oakland's passing game is equally inept as the 2007 Vikings, defenses will do the same exact thing to McFadden this season. And it will be every bit as unsuccessful and McFadden will tear new assholes on a weekly basis.
I could not love McFadden more right now. He's so exciting to watch and has the ability to run for 6 every time he touches the ball, again, much like AP. The comparison's are stark and plentiful which causes me to wonder why they have not been analyzed and discussed more in the media. McFadden is not getting nearly enough attention for the game changing ability he has, probably because he is on the suck Oakland Raiders, but I am fine with that, especially for fantasy purposes.