When Detroit Lions starting running back Kerryon Johnson went down with a serious knee injury in Week 7, fantasy owners were quick to jump on the Ty Johnson train, likely blowing their FAAB budget in the process.
However, fellow lions running back JD McKissic was probably had for a quarter less than what one had to pay to acquire the rights to Johnson. Could the cheaper player end up being the most productive?
Find out if McKissic can deliver a wealthy return on investment for fantasy owners against a struggling New York Giants defense.
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JD McKissic’s Fantasy Outlook vs. New York Giants
JD McKissic certainly saw an uptick in usage once Kerryon Johnson left the team’s lineup a week ago. However, McKissic has been a prominent chess piece in the Lions offense for much of the 2019 season. He played nearly 30% of the team’s offensive snaps from Week 5 through Week 6. To put that in a better perspective, that’s more than every receiver on the Lions (not named Kenny Golladay or Marvin Jones) over that span.
That statistic is crucial for two reasons. For one, it shows that just because fellow running back Ty Johnson is the team’s new “starting” running back, McKissic was able to see the field even when Kerryon Johnson was available due to his specific skill set. Secondly, tying into his skillset, McKissic, a former college wide receiver by trait, can impact the game through the air as well as, if not better than, whoever the Lions decide to trot out as the third receiver.
Back in 2017, McKissic was used extensively in the Seattle Seahawks aerial attack. The running back reeled in nearly 35 receptions in just 13 games. He also caught 3+ receptions in more than half of the games he played in that season.
The New York Giants have allowed three opposing running backs this season to haul in 3+ receptions. Those three RBs accumulated an average of 13.2 fantasy points in those games. Furthermore, over four of the Giants’ previous five games, they’ve allowed opponents’ leading receivers from the running back position to average 57.25 receiving yards.
While his receiving ability is what makes McKissic an intriguing fantasy option, Week 7 also marked the most carries he’s seen in a Detroit Lions uniform. In fact, it was his most rushing attempts in a game since way back in Week 15 of the 2017 season, while still a member of the Seahawks.
For what it’s worth, while McKissic has rushed the ball just a meager 15 times this season, he’s been extremely impressive when given the opportunity. The Lions running back has racked up and impressive 7.3 rushing yards per carry average in 2019.
Should You Start or Sit JD McKissic in Week 8?
JD McKissic is an intriguing option, however, only in specific scoring-formats. If you play in a standard scoring league, McKissic may not even need to be rostered, as Ty Johnson is the clear Lions back to own. However, if you play in a PPR league, McKissic’s upside is intriguing, especially paired with an inviting matchup.
With that said, it is best to leave McKissic on your bench this week. Opt in favor of the wait and see approach. McKissic is currently no more than a low-end RB3 to a mid-range RB4 on Sunday.