The Jets don't seem to have a lot of faith in Elijah McGuire in 2018 because they replaced the retired Matt Forte with Isaiah Crowell and Thomas Rawls to compete with Bilal Powell and McGuire. The Jets also drafted Trenton Cannon in the sixth round. It seems like it will be hard for McGuire to get consistent touches this season barring an injury, and we expect McGuire to eventually be fourth on the depth chart behind Crowell, Powell and Rawls. McGuire should not be drafted in the majority of seasonal leagues, but he is someone to keep an eye on in case there's an injury in the Jets' backfield. McGuire could end up as a quality bye week or injury replacement during the season if he were to get increased playing time.
McGuire may serve as the Jets' third-down back this season, Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News reports. McGuire only caught 17 passes during his rookie season, but he did have 130 receptions in 51 games at Louisiana-Lafayette. He'll likely compete with Bilal Powell for snaps on passing downs, while offseason addition Isaiah Crowell is the favorite to lead the team in carries. The Jets might ultimately release Powell to clear up cap space if Crowell and McGuire look good during training camp.
McGuire finished the 2017 season with 88 carries for 315 yards and one touchdown as well as 17 receptions on 26 targets for 177 receiving yards and another score. McGuire never found consistent playing time while trying to grab carries away from Bilal Powell and Matt Forte, though he showed a glimpse of his upside in Week 4 against Jacksonville when he rushed 10 times for 93 yards and a touchdown while adding two catches for 38 receiving yards. Nevertheless, it was always tough to get consistent touches, something that may not be as difficult next year if Forte doesn't return. Unfortunately for McGuire, he'll still likely be behind Powell on the depth chart, which will limit his upside.
McGuire could take on an expanded role in the Jets' backfield Sunday following Matt Forte's (knee) placement on injured reserve, Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News reports. Jets head coach Todd Bowles has deployed a three-headed backfield of Forte, Bilal Powell and McGuire for most of the season, but with one fewer mouth to feed, both Powell and McGuire should benefit from more touches. Considering that Powell has outpaced McGuire in carries by a 72-15 count over the past five weeks, the former would seem to be a higher-percentage fantasy play than the latter, though it's possible that the distribution of snaps is more equitable in the season finale if the Jets want to provide the rookie the opportunity to audition for a larger role in 2018.
McGuire (illness) is active for Sunday's game against the Chargers. Like backfield mate Matt Forte (knee), McGuire wasn't able to practice in any capacity this week, but both players earned clearance to play in Week 16. The lack of practice time shouldn't result in a substantial downgrade in terms of workload for McGuire or Forte, as neither is asked to handle significant snaps with head coach Todd Bowles typically deploying a three-man backfield committee that also includes Bilal Powell. McGuire is coming off a productive showing in New Orleans last week, during which he accrued 72 total yards on seven touches (four carries, three receptions) and scored his second NFL touchdown.
McGuire (illness), who is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chargers, is expected to play Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. The rookie missed all three of the Jets' practices this week with the illness, but it sounds like his condition has improved over the weekend. Assuming McGuire and Matt Forte (knee) both suit up, the Jets will likely take a committee approach to the backfield in Week 16, with the aforementioned two players and Bilal Powell splitting carries. The arrangement makes it difficult to insert McGuire into fantasy lineups with any confidence.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|12||11/25||New England Patriots||17||17.47|
|16||12/23||Green Bay Packers||16||17.38|
|17||12/30||@New England Patriots||17||17.47|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||88||315||1||17||177||1||58|