Elijah McGuire Fantasy Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: How to Approach Jets RB

Elijah McGuire

Getty New York Jets RB Elijah McGuire

The New York Jets will have a new lead running back for their Week 15 matchup against the Houston Texans. While the team has dealt with a variety of injuries which have held out key players this season, we can add another name to that list. Starting running back Isaiah Crowell will miss the Jets’ upcoming game against Deshaun Watson and company.

As ESPN’s Rich Cimini revealed Thursday, Crowell has been ruled out with a toe injury for Sunday’s game.

The absence of Crowell will open the door for two players in Elijah McGuire and Trent Cannon, but the former is the one who immediately grabs attention. McGuire has flashed upside at various points this season and could be a name for fantasy football players to consider grabbing off waivers.

Let’s take a look at his fantasy outlook with Crowell now sidelined, including potential workload and the matchup against Houston.

Elijah McGuire Outlook & Week 15 Matchup

One major downside to the fantasy value of McGuire this week is the fact that the Texans boast a solid run defense. Not only that, but they’re still battling for position in the AFC playoff picture as well. On the surface, though, there’s a chance McGuire could wind up seeing more than enough work to be worth rolling out as a fantasy starter.

On the year, the Texans defense has allowed just 874 rushing yards on 262 attempts with seven touchdowns to opposing running backs. One thing that does stand out is that they’ve also given up 75 receptions for 567 yards and five additional scores through the air to the position.

Interestingly, McGuire led the way last week with 40 offensive snaps (74 percent), per Football Outsiders. This came after Crowell left the game against the Buffalo Bills in the second quarter due to injury.

McGuire wound up having by far his most productive showing of the season while stepping in for Crowell. He received a season-high 17 carries for 60 yards and one touchdown. Although the yards per carry (3.5) weren’t great and he picked up the bulk of them on one 34-yard run, he still makes for an interesting Week 15 play.

Should You Start or Sit Elijah McGuire?

The matchup is a fairly brutal one for the Jets running back, and there’s an obvious reason to believe that he may have a tough time here. With that said, McGuire has shown the ability to produce as a pass-catcher as well, and when considering his increased workload, he makes sense as a play in certain leagues. Along with that, the team’s McGuire has some DFS value for the weekend as a salary-saving option.

While I wouldn’t go as far as rolling McGuire out in smaller leagues (10 and 12 teams), he’s a solid flex option or possibly a RB2 depending on depth in larger leagues. In 14-teamers and above, the Jets expected starter for Week 15 can be deployed as a high-volume flex play or possibly RB2 if you’re desperate for a starter.

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