Fantasy Football: Pass or Grab? (Vol. 1)
Note: average draft positions (ADPs) are based on those reported by Fantasy Football Calculator, and when points are referenced it is based on my league's scoring settings.
Darren McFadden (RB - OAK): McFadden is so unbelievably tempting in this year's draft. He's proven time and time again that he is an elite talent. He was leading the NFL in rushing yards before getting injured nearly halfway through last season, but that's just the problem - he always gets injured. His upside is through the roof, but he never seems to be able to reach it due to various nagging injuries. One day it's his hamstring, the next it's his shoulder, the next it's his foot. He just can't seem to win when it comes to his health. So where do pull the trigger on a guy like this?
Pass early second round, grab mid-late second round. There's no way in hell I'm taking him at his current ADP of 6.7, and he probably won't be around in the mid-late second, but that's fine - let someone else deal with his injury issues.
Chris Johnson (RB - TEN): Johnson had a down year in 2012 after holding out through much of the preseason. He got off to a slow start, but still finished with more than a thousand yards rushing. He's obviously one of the more talented runners the game has ever seen, as he holds the record for yards from scrimmage in a single season. Injuries have never been an issue for Johnson, as he seems too quick for defenders to get a clean hit on him. So will he bounce back or is he already past his prime?
Don't pass, just grab. After the top-3 running backs (Foster, Rice, McCoy) are off the board, Johnson is the best available. Players who miss preseason always get a slow start to the year, and the case was no different with Johnson. Now he's got a full offseason of work and should be ready to roll on opening weekend. Also, the Titans should have an improved passing game with the addition of Kendall Wright, and Kenny Britt being healthy. I'd definitely recommend picking Johnson at his current ADP of 7.1 or even earlier.