The Oakland Raiders don’t seem to be settled on a starting running back quite yet. One thing we know, though, is they are hoping by bringing back Darren McFadden and adding veteran back Maurice Jones-Drew, is that they can get better. Getting better, at least for now, may involve McFadden sticking as the team’s starting running back come week one, as McFadden apparently has the “starting edge” in the competition, per Sports Illustrated.
A recent training camp report suggested the younger and more explosive McFadden figures to have the slight lead, but that Oakland is more than likely still going to roll with a “committee approach” in their rushing attack. All of that makes sense, as even an aging Maurice Jones-Drew seems to provide some value in spurts, as he’s a superior blocker and inside runner in comparison to McFadden.
That being said, McFadden is still just 26 years old and carries much more upside. He’s a more explosive and dynamic back and if the Raiders are going to succeed at all in 2014, they’ll probably need a career year out of him. While that’s not likely, McFadden getting the first crack in the rotation certainly is. Then again, it may not matter, considering McFadden has as shaky of an injury history as a running back can have.
MJD is aging rapidly and even admitted earlier this summer that he was close to retirement. Rightfully so. Oakland is throwing caution to the wind here, and it’s not all that unlikely that the talented Latavius Murray ends up being the Raiders running back to own in fantasy football leagues. For now, though, McFadden is the running back with the upside and the better role. You can strangely find him after Jones-Drew in many drafts, which should make him the better value pick. If you can snag McFadden as a RB4 or RB5, you have to feel pretty good about it.
*Photo Credit – June Rivera via wiki commons.