Punch Drunk Wonderland

Expect a Resurgence of Darren McFadden in Week 16

Darren McFadden, DMC, Raiders, Week 16Darren McFadden has been frustrating for fantasy owners in 2012. Obviously, coming into the season we knew he had injury issues and that he hasn’t been able to play a full 16 game season since he’s been in the league. 13 games is about the best you can expect to get out of DMC. In addition to injuries limiting his production in 2012, the offense has been through changes that have resulted in a decrease in the kind of numbers we’re used to seeing from McFadden. The team installed a new zone blocking scheme in an effort to create greater opportunities for their RB, and the hope was that they would see the kind of success that Houston has seen with their zone blocking scheme and running backs. Unfortunately, the scheme evidently doesn’t fit with McFadden’s style and it hasn’t worked. It’s been a clumsy mess for a decent chunk of the season. That’s been the story of 2012. Small successes, trouble with schemes, offensive struggles, and injuries limiting production for McFadden.

Amidst these struggles McFadden has averaged 7.3 fantasy points per week which puts him 25th among 2012 running backs. That’s not very good. That said, DMC has had two decent weeks since coming back from injury in Week 14. In Week 14 versus Denver he had 11 rushes for 52 yards and 2 receptions for 12 yards and a TD. The next week against KC he tallied 30 carries for 110 yards and 4 receptions for 39 yards. These last two weeks have been his best since Week 8, and two of his better games of the season.

Going into Week 16 McFadden and the Raiders will be facing Carolina. While this game is likely going to go in the direction of the Panthers, DMC stands to have a good performance.

Carolina is giving up the 7th most points to running backs and are giving up an average of 17.6 fantasy points to running backs per week.

The Panthers have only given up less than 15 fantasy points to opposing RBs 5 times in 2012. Obviously, there is concern that Mike Goodson will take some carries away. However, 30 carries last week is a great sign of whose back the team gets to ride on when it comes to the running game. That many carries suggests McFadden is healthy and the coaching staff is willing to give him the work. Look for DMC to have a strong performance this week. I realize this is fantasy championships in most leagues, so you’re looking for whatever edge you can get. Count on McFadden this week. He’s going to score 15+ fantasy points.

K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...

One Comment

  1. The Kommish (K. Smelser)

    December 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Swing and a miss on DMC. That was a disappointing performance all around.