After entering the league with very high hopes and proceeding to disappoint for two consecutive seasons, Darren McFadden finally appears to have figured it out.
The Raiders' back had his second consecutive big game on Sunday, burning the Rams for 145 yards on 30 carries. Add that to a first outing in which he had 150 yards from scrimmage and a TD, and McFadden has been one of the league's best running backs in 2010. Not only is he gaining 5.0 yards per carry, but he also is tied for the league lead with 56 touches and trails only Texans RB Arian Foster in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage.
One of the major differences with the Arkansas product this year has been his ability to break tackles instead of going down on first contact. That has allowed him to pick up additional yardage after the initial hit and turn short gains into long ones. It took longer than expected, but he finally has been able to turn his immense talent into on-field production.
The only problem with this for fantasy owners is that McFadden has done this with Michael Bush (thumb) sidelined. With Bush expected back in the next week or two, it's likely the Raiders will go to some type of backfield timeshare. However, given the team's big investment in McFadden and the improvement that he has displayed thus far, it's likely he will remain the lead back and a productive fantasy player.