No running back may be more anxious to show owners what he’s capable of during the fantasy football 2012 season than Darren McFadden–who only played in seven games during the 2011 season–of the Oakland Raiders.
After two decent seasons from 2008-09, McFadden finally looked like the former Arkansas star he was during the 2010 season after recording 1,157 rushing yards and 507 receiving yards to go along with 10 total touchdowns. Obviously, McFadden has the work ethic and size to be considered one of the league’s top running backs when healthy, but that’s also one of the factors that makes owners cautious of selecting him early on–his health.
McFadden has yet to play a full season during his first four seasons with the Raiders–so obviously that fact alone makes him a risk to select early. If McFadden could manage to stay healthy, there’s no question he would have the potential to be a top-five pick in most leagues, but he’ll most likely fall late in the first round or the second round in most leagues.
Of course, many fantasy owners will be tempted to select McFadden if available with the intention of high-risk, high-reward. If McFadden does manage to stay healthy and lives up to the hype by producing big numbers for Oakland in 2012–he could end up being a second or third round steal for some owners.
Unfortunately, with the amount of talent at other positions, it’s highly unlikely McFadden goes in the first round of most drafts, but there will most likely be some owners out there willing to take the risk.
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