Will the Raiders backfield have value in 2010?

I am trying very hard not to get sucked into the black hole of fantasy football called the Oakland Raiders.

But when I hear the term “every-down back” at a time when backfield committees rule the NFL, it’s hard not to listen

Coach Tom Cable expressed his desire to use either Darren McFadden or Michael Bush as a featured back next season during an interview at the NFL Annual Meeting.

“We’ll move forward with those two guys,” Cable told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I think it will help both of them that they will get more work. The question with (Darren) is, now that he’s healthy, can he be an every-down back? And I think he can be.”

Obviously, McFadden is the favorite for the top spot on the depth chart if for no other reason that he was a high first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

He has shown some flashes of potential with the Raiders, but they’ve been few and far between.

There’s also the concern over his lack of durability. McFadden has missed seven games due to an assortment of injuries in his first two seasons. Fantasy owners also need to keep in mind that Bush might actually be a better option as an every-down back.

Bush has averaged an impressive 4.6 yards per carry in his two seasons with the Silver & Black. McFadden has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in that same time.

On a positive note, the eventual winner of this imminent backfield competition will have an advantageous FPA rating. And again, we’re talking about either McFadden or Bush having the chance to become a featured back.

That alone makes me want to take a chance on one of these guys in the middle rounds on draft day. That doesn’t mean I’m going to pick McFadden or Bush ahead of someone like Pierre Thomas, Jerome Harrison or Brandon Jacobs.

Again, we are talking about the Raiders.

With that said, I would take McFadden over someone like LaDainian Tomlinson or Ricky Williams, neither of whom have a chance at a featured role.

Yes, it’s a roll of the dice. But in a time when confusing backfield committees dominate the NFL, I don’t think it’s a bad move to target either McFadden or Bush when a featured role is at stake.

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