Overreaction Theater: McFadden best RB ever!

Raiders fans are known for their overreactions. Don’t believe me? Greyhound had to shut down its servers last night because Raiders fans flooded the system booking travel to Dallas for the Super Bowl following Sunday’s beat down of the Broncos, which proved — beyond a shadow of a doubt — that greatness is in the future for the Silver & Black.

Or something about the autumn wind, I get confused.

Fantasy enthusiasts have not been much better in this department, as everybody seems to be falling over themselves to find superlatives for RB Darren McFadden‘s epic performance against the Broncos. I tend to chalk this up to a generational thing. Everybody in this generation revels in hyperbole. It’s the kind of talk that typically rolls off my back, like when some kid in his 20s — who has never seen Caddyshack or Animal House — says that the Hangover was the greatest comedy ever.

So if this is you, excuse me while I try to add some context around McFadden’s performance. Yes, it is amazing when a player puts up nearly 50 fantasy points, but let’s remember that this came against the Broncos — the same organization that thought trading RB Peyton Hillis for QB Brady Quinn was a good idea.

Those points still count the same, mind you, even if they come against the Broncos, Cardinals or the Rams. But most likely, those points were left on your bench — just like mine — because McFadden said he was only 70 percent heading into the game. That is the very reason why I refuse to believe that McFadden can be trusted as a No. 1 back. His injury history hangs over his fantasy performances like the Sword of Damocles.

Watch what happens this week. Many of us will start McFadden, either because of his great Week 7, or because we have Michael Turner (as I do), Ray Rice, Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, Ahmad Bradshaw or Hillis on a bye this week. And just watch, because McFadden will either be stuffed by the Seahawks’ second-ranked rush defense, or the roar of the 12th man will cause his hamstring to pop.

Then what will we think?

If McFadden does come through this week, I will likely begin starting him over Bengals RB Cedric Benson and others, and even inch toward calling him a No. 1 back. Call me old-fashioned, but I need a little more convincing.

Adam Rank

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