Week Nine Analysis:
Darren McFadden's two touchdowns last week marked his first multiple-touchdown effort in his last 22 games, and it wasn't a fluke. With Terrelle Pryor giving defensive coordinators migraines, McFadden has now scored or topped 150 combo yards in four of his five full games this season. Philadelphia represents a neutral matchup across the board, but they just gave up 125 combo yards to the Giants' 4th-, 5th- and 6th-string running backs. There's nothing scary about this matchup, and any time McFadden's healthy, he has a chance to put your team on his back.
Week Eight Analysis:
Darren McFadden has scored or topped 80 combo yards in each of his four full games this season, and his hamstring is reportedly back to full strength coming out of the bye. Next up is a Pittsburgh defense that's held the uninspiring Jets and Ravens running games to an average of 106 scoreless combo yards their two games since the bye. However, in four games prior to those layups, Pittsburgh had surrendered seven scores and an average of 130 combo yards to the position, so don't shy away from the matchup.
Week Four Analysis:
Darren McFadden wins the Miley Cyrus award for Sleaziest Performance of the Week, but it twerked for fantasy owners. Despite gaining just nine yards on 12 carries against the Broncos, McFadden threw a touchdown pass, and also cashed in on a garbage time one-yard plunge. He scored in the opener and totaled 157 combo yards the next week, so this was his third straight productive outing. And here comes his fourth. Three consecutive lead backs have scored against Washington, while posting totals of 189, 168 and 132 combo yards. That middle number was James Starks, which proves that this matchup is certifiably bust-proof.
Week Three Analysis:
Who needs an offensive line when you have sandlot scrambler Terrelle Pryor running around distracting defenses? Darren McFadden's 177 rushing yards rank fourth in the NFL, and he's running at a very productive 4.9-yard per carry clip. Last week's 129-yard effort was his best in his last 18 games, and he's also chipped in a touchdown and seven catches through two weeks. But the schedule turns as of this week. Denver has given up just 2.0 yards per carry to opposing backs, best in the league. And, Oakland may be woefully behind by halftime. Your ray of hope is that McFadden scored in this matchup late last season, and Denver has given up four running back scores.
Week Two Analysis:
Coming off a career-low 3.3-yard per carry average last year, Darren McFadden managed just 2.8 yards per carry on 17 attempts against a bad Colts run defense. However, he did reach pay dirt, and he also had another 30-yard touchdown reception overturned, so there's hope for him as a No. 2 fantasy back with a vastly improved Terrelle Pryor under center. McFadden gets another cupcake this week, squaring off against a deplorable Jacksonville run defense that just surrendered 175 combo yards and a score to Kansas City backs. The Jaguars have now given up seven touchdowns in their last six games to opposing backs, so keep McFadden in your lineups.
Even Lance Armstrong sent Darren McFadden a sympathy card for his miserable 2012. McFadden's slow recovery from a Lisfranc injury cost him valuable reps in Oakland's transition to a zone-blocking scheme, and the results were disastrous. After rushing for 5.2 and 5.4 yards per carry in his prior two seasons, McFadden's average plummeted to a career-low 3.3. Moreover, he scored a total of three touchdowns, and missed his typical four games. Thankfully, he'll get his training wheels back in his contract year, as Oakland will return to their power-blocking scheme. Still, drafting McFadden is the rough equivalent of doing a blood transfusion in a Tour de France Rent-A-John. You're on your own.