Rashad Jennings Is Must-Start Fantasy RB with Darren McFadden Injury

Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden is, once again, injured, making backup Rashad Jennings a must-start fantasy football player until he returns to action. 

McFadden is nursing a sore hamstring. He hasn’t practiced as of Friday, Oct. 4, and is listed as “doubtful” on the team’s official injury report for Sunday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers

Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group reported the former Arkansas Razorbacks star could play even without having practiced, but Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune doesn’t think he’ll be back until after the team’s bye in Week 7:

Coach Dennis Allen said Darren McFadden doesn’t necessarily have to practice Friday if he is to play Sunday.

— Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) October 3, 2013

Most likely McFadden scenario (just a guess) _ we’ll see him after bye week. Raiders have SD, KC, then bye.

— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) October 4, 2013

Even if McFadden does suit up and attempts to play this weekend, nobody should expect him to put up big fantasy football numbers playing on a hobbled leg. 

The same can’t be said for Jennings, who is the Raiders’ primary backup. 

Though not as explosive a runner as McFadden, he is an elusive runner and possesses an above-average ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. 

After coming in for McFadden when he left the game early with his hamstring injury in Week 4 against the Washington Redskins, Jennings quickly became a focal point for Oakland’s offense. 

Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em advice from B/R

He totaled 116 yards in the game, making a significant impact as a receiver out of the backfield with eight catches for 71 yards.

Backup quarterback Matt Flynn was abysmal in that contest, which enabled the Redskins to stack the box and keep Jennings in check in the running game (just 3.2 yards per carry). 

But with Terrelle Pryor making his return to the field in Week 5 after missing the previous game with concussion symptoms, per Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune/Bay Area News Group, Jennings will have more room to run inside.  

Throughout his career, the former Liberty star has proven to be a reliable back. With a career average of 4.2 yards per carry and seven touchdowns to his credit, Jennings is a solid workhorse who will give the Raiders good production while McFadden is out. 

How many yards will Jennings total in Week 5 against San Diego?

How many yards will Jennings total in Week 5 against San Diego?

  • Under 50

  • 51-75

  • 76-100

  • 100-plus

Starting in Week 5, he should thrive. San Diego doesn’t feature a strong run-stopping contingency on defense, allowing 5.2 yards per carry. 

For the season, the Raiders have attempted 116 passes and have rushed the ball 110 times. Thanks to this balanced approach on offense, Jennings will get plenty of chances to make plays this Sunday night against the Chargers.

Projected Stats: 85 rushing yards with one touchdown and six receptions for 60 yards. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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