After four seasons of ranking between RB14 and RB30 in Cleveland, Isaiah Crowell was signed by the Jets to a three-year deal. It doesn’t come without competition from Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Thomas Rawls and Trenton Cannon, but Crowell still finds himself in a great spot for carries on what could be an improved offensive attack. The Wolf isn’t particularly excited, listing Crowell as his RB40 heading into 2018 — 3 spots ahead of Powell and 14 ahead of Rawls.
Isaiah Crowell is always an interesting fantasy piece to keep an eye on. He was considered one of the lone bright spots on a dismal Cleveland offense during his time there, but even with ample opportunity he was never able to step up and really lead the offense. Nobody else in the Jets backfield has ever been able to do so, either, so they gave him 12 million over three years to see if he can change that narrative and top 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. And especially with the Jets’ impending QB situation, the running back position is an important one.
Following the 2018 NFL Draft, the Jets currently have 5 QBs on their roster — Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, Christian Hackenberg and 2nd overall pick Sam Darnold. McCown started 13 games for New York last season but turns 39 in July. Bridgewater threw for over 3,200 yards in an 11-5 Vikings season in 2015, but missed virtually two full seasons after a gruesome leg injury. Hackenberg has looked terrible in the preseason and has never thrown a regular season pass. Darnold complicates the situation as a rookie who the team used a very high pick on, but is unlikely to see the field this year, as he is more of a project.
Whoever’s under center for the Jets in 2018, they’ll need some help from the backfield. Powell has started 30 games over seven seasons for the Jets but never topped 200 carries in a season, and Rawls showed glimpses of greatness in Seattle, yet he could never stay on the field due to lack of production and injuries. While Crowell never made the leap in Cleveland, he’s coming off a two-season stretch where he rushed for over 1,800 yards and started all 32 games. The Jets had PFF’s 30th ranked offensive line last season and did nothing to address it during the draft or free agency, so Crowell will have his work cut out for him — coming from Cleveland’s very solid OL. Provided he proves his worth in the preseason, Crowell should be at least a 175-750-6 kinda guy, likely making a solid FLEX play in strong matchups.