Elijah McGuire, More Updated Fantasy Outlook After Isaiah Crowell's Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 09: Elijah McGuire #25 of the New York Jets is congratulated on his touchdown by Brian Winters #67 in the fourth quarter during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on December 9, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The New York Jets announced Thursday that Isaiah Crowell is out for Saturday's game against the Houston Texans, so they will turn to Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon to carry the load out of the backfield. 

Not only will New York be looking to replace Crowell's production, but fantasy football owners will be as well. But is McGuire worth a fantasy football roster spot?

McGuire has seen some time in the Jets' backfield following Bilal Powell's neck injury. He has 151 rushing yards as well as 90 receiving yards on 11 catches in five games this season.

The 2017 sixth-round draft pick is poised to become the primary ball-carrier, but that may not mean too much. He's only averaging 3.8 yards per carry, and the Jets rank 30th in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders.

Even if McGuire gets a healthy amount of touches, he may not gain enough yards to make much of a fantasy impact.

The Texans also rank fifth in rushing defense, allowing 88.2 yards per game, so Week 15 doesn't present a favorable matchup.

Heading into the season, Cannon was firmly the third option in the backfield behind Crowell and Powell.

As Crowell and Powell had a near 50-50 split in terms of carries through the first seven weeks, it left few rushing attempts for other Jets backs. That meant Cannon, among others, saw very little time on the field.

In the wake of Powell's injury and now Crowell's, Cannon will be called upon a little more frequently, perhaps on passing downs in particular. The rookie out of Virginia State hauled in 21 receptions during his final collegiate season. He had five receptions for 75 yards prior to Powell getting hurt—and eight catches for 40 yards since Week 8.

Cannon's skill set intrigued the Jets enough to use a sixth-round pick on him and had New York coach Todd Bowles looking for ways to get him involved in the offense.

"Trenton is fast," Bowles said in August, per NYJets.com's Randy Lange. "We understand what he has talent at, and we understand what he needs to work on as well."

It took Cannon some time to get a look, but now, he should get a better opportunity to show what he can do. However, fantasy owners may want to evaluate his status on a week-to-week basis, given he doesn't have a track record in the NFL yet.

Both Crowell and Powell offered fantasy owners possible starting options depending on New York's matchup. The same cannot be said for either Cannon or McGuire at this point, though. Neither player has been able to consistently put up numbers thus far, making them beyond risky plays for fantasy owners.


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