It took longer than expected, but the inevitable has finally been foisted upon Darren McFadden owners. Run DMC sprained hi ankle in the 2nd quarter of the Oakland Raiders loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Moving to his right, Tampa cornerback EJ Biggers came in low to hit #20 below the waist and delivered a glancing blow that took his feet out from under him, putting extra torque on his left foot as he planted. It did not look bad at all. McFadden got up exhibiting no noticeable limp and even stayed in for one more play before heading to the sidelines. It’s being dubbed a high ankle sprain, but it did not look serious. It must be noted that McFadden’s “mild foot sprain” that morphed from one thing to another before being called a Lisfranc last year looked even more innocuous, yet pragmatically ended his season in 2011. Mike Goodson is next in line. The former Panther decided he wanted to “be like Mike” and suffered a high ankle sprain of his own. Neither back has been ruled out for this Sunday’s matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Goodson, Taiwan Jones and Marcel Reese are all in play as speculative buys. Jones is fragile and Goodson is quickly earning a reputation as being far from durable. The upside play here is Reese. We mentioned him in this space a few weeks ago as having monster upside. The only problem is the Raiders don’t know what they have here or we would have seen a LOT more of him even last year. They like to move him around a lot at wide out and fullback but need to line him up at tailback and give him the rock. He is 6’3”, weighs 240, and runs a 4.42 40. There is a very high fantasy ceiling here. The problem is that has always been the case and yet the Raider brass has been allergic to giving him more than just a couple of touches here and there. Against the Bucs he did not receive a carry, but hauled in 8 catches for 95 yards. If you only knew that he’d get 15+ carries every game the rest of the way then he’d be worth as much as 90% of your remaining FAAB (depending on your needs), but that just seems unlikely.
If you are desperate for a wide receiver with upside and are almost completely out of FAAB dollars, then Danario Alexander is your Huckleberry. Accept that there is an 85% chance that he’ll get injured within the next three games and you won’t be disappointed. From that point anything you get is gravy.
I’m thinking of starting my own ‘pay-per-view’ column where I simply list the players that I have recently dropped. This year it seems to be the mother lode of predicting short term fantasy gold on the waiver wire. When I finally lose patience, that’s when it happens. Sigh. In the mean time I’ll just tell you that I dropped Justin Blackmon a couple of weeks ago, which should be all you need to know about what was behind 5 catches and a touchdown. You could do worse as a WR4 during these final byes. T.Y. Hilton was another of my ‘casualties’ that got the memo. Thanks to Donnie Avery’s hip injury, the rookie burner (4.34 40) saw a season high 11 targets on his way to 6 catches for 102. The Colts have a quick turnaround before facing the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night making Avery’s status precarious. Hilton would be a serviceable WR3 with upside if Avery were inactive.