I thought that this was the year that most of the fantasy community finally had given up on Darren McFadden, and that he would make everyone pull out their hair, because he would return to glory as a top-10 running back. I was fully prepared to pull the trigger on him, but the signing of Jones-Drew has forced me to completely reevaluate my plans for August.
The only time McFadden has produced a dominant fantasy season was in 2010. Even though he only played in 13 games, he was still able to rush for 1,157 yards, scored seven rushing touchdowns, had six games with 100 or more rushing yards, totaled 507 receiving yards, and caught three touchdown passes. This was a tease for all fantasy players, as McFadden hasn’t played in more than 12 games since 2010, and his return to glory continues to be a long wait.
Since 2006, Jones-Drew has been a prominent figure in fantasy football. As a dual-threat running back, he provided fantasy owners with years of production. Age, injury and a poor offense has slowed down Jones-Drew in the past seasons, and a transition to the Raiders, may provide the conditions that he needs to compete as a productive running back.
With all that being said, how are fantasy owners supposed to know who to pick for their drafts? The simple answer is that you should completely avoid this committee. The Raiders will probably roll with the hot hand, and that will only provide frustration for fantasy owners. While Jones-Drew is more effective in the passing game than McFadden, sharing the workload will not provide Jones-Drew with any advantage.
I wouldn’t touch Jones-Drew until the 10th round if I wanted to draft him, and I am going to completely avoid McFadden. Either of these players could become a flex play, but you can’t trust them as starters for your team.
Even when more information is learned about the planned number of carries and usage for the running game in Oakland, neither of these players will be able to lead your team to glory.