Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Rookie Spotlight - Josh Jacobs

After our recent RotoBaller rookie dynasty draft, organizer and lead editor Pierre Camus asked us if we could conceivably select one position to pick from, where would it be?

My answer was easy, although it sounded amateurish at first: Give me the first pick. Not because of the pomp and circumstance surrounding it. I want the first pick because new Oakland Raiders RB can be an instant impact fantasy player as a rookie, and it’s nowhere even close that he will immediately be the best fantasy player at his position.

Jacobs has a clear path to immediate playing time, and his versatility only adds to his upside as a rookie. In his first season, he has the potential to be a high-end RB2. He is an instant Top 20 in yearly leagues for me from a conservative viewpoint, and I could make a good case he can be ranked Top 15.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


The Ideal Scenario for Success

Jacobs was the final piece to completing the Raiders’ new offensive cast around Derek Carr, which started when Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams were acquired during he offseason. He should be a focal point immediately, easing pressure on Carr, and also allowing him to utilize play-action passing even more effectively than before.

The Raiders have completely paved the way for Jacobs to earn significant playing time and a large role as a rookie. They didn’t sign anyone as a true starter during the offseason, and Marshawn Lynch appears unlikely to return for one last hurrah. Isaiah Crowell was added as a stopgap and backup before he tore his Achilles.

Jacobs is going to do it all for the Raiders and thrill fantasy players in the process. He will gain big chunks of yardage as a runner, make plays from everywhere on the field as a receiver, and finish scoring drives as the unquestioned goal line runner. He enters the NFL with few question marks and a lot of promise. Most other rookie RBs will have to fight for playing time and/or have to earn their possible larger role.

As a runner, there is much to like about Jacobs. It has been most noted that he runs very well inside and is a strong finisher. He also runs very well in short space, displaying nifty cuts and change of direction abilities. He has been criticized for not having top end speed, yet when he sees a hole he can exploit, he can burst through it with authority and take off with determination for a big gainer. Lynch supposedly never had top end speed either, but his other outstanding skills led to some memorable long runs.


A Different Kind of Beast

Jacobs is not Lynch, though, in terms of overall style. He does not quite run with the same low base and he is more adept as a receiver.  He does run high, which can expose him to potential injuries, whereas Lynch used to look to burrow through defenders for the most part. Those thinking that Jacobs is the next Lynch are comparing two RBs with distinctively varying approaches.

Jacobs has excellent vision and can make defenders miss in short space. Near the goal line, he is very difficult to contain. As a receiver, he can be a significant threat to defenses from anywhere on the field. He even gets downfield well, with very good ball tracking abilities.

Jacobs also figures to be a three-down RB type because of his pass-catching skills and his respectable pass-blocking abilities. He also has some “fresh legs” coming out of Alabama, where he was not utilized heavily overall during his college career. That fact makes him even more appealing as a dynasty RB.

Jacobs was widely expected to be the only RB picked in the first round of the NFL Draft, and that is exactly what transpired. He was easily in a class of his own among this rookie group. Opportunity does not always lead to quality production as I always say, but this is an ideal scenario for success.

So where and when should Jacobs be drafted in yearly leagues?


The Fantasy Outlook for 2019

Well, there is a clear Top 10 at RB in PPR formats as a default, that ends with the likes of Joe Mixon. Nick Chubb is just outside of that group, but after that, no one has a firm hold on their spot in the Top 15 or so. Dalvin Cook has a lot of promise, but has battled a lot of injury issues in his young career. Leonard Fournette also is a health risk. Marlon Mack lacks a track record before 2018. Damien Williams must prove he can get the job done over a full season, he was a perennial NFL backup until last year. Phillip Lindsay and Derrick Henry still have to prove themselves some more.

What is the negative on Jacobs? That he is a rookie, nothing else.

I will likely rank many of those RBs ahead of Jacobs initially, except for maybe the final two mentioned among that group, putting Jacobs very close to the Top 15. If anyone wants to “bold” enough to rank them ahead of Cook or Fournette, who have already disappointed, I won’t hold any major debate with them. That could make Jacobs a Top 15 guy for me.

I can see Jacobs going anywhere from the third to fourth round in yearly drafts. Even without doing much during the preseason, Jacobs could rise in overall rankings and fantasy draft appeal. We have seen it before. Over certain short periods of time, some players see their stock rise in fantasy drafts for no apparent solid reason. The community simply raises the level of buzz and it translates into drafts.

I’ll take Jacobs as soon as round three if I have to in early drafts. I won’t wait for the hype meter to rise.

Rookie Season Projections: 1.075 rushing yards, eight TDs. 58 receptions, 576 yards, four TDs.

More NFL Rookie Profiles

More Recent Articles


Week 11 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 11... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 11 George Kittle (ankle, knee) has officially been ruled out. Matt Breida will not play in Week 11. Jay Ajayi... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 11

Welcome to our Week 11 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Week 11 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Welcome back to Mexico City. Last season, the Chiefs were supposed to take on the Rams in this game before field conditions moved the game to Los Angeles. Even though the game was moved, the fantasy output was amazing as both teams scored over 50 points and there was not an unhappy fan among us.... Read More

Wide Receiver / Cornerback Matchups To Target in Week 11

In Week 10, the Buccaneers defeated the Cardinals in a game that featured a whopping 57 points scored between the two teams. Christian Kirk was expected to exploit the Buccaneers weak secondary, and he exceeded all expectations by catching three touchdowns, finishing as the No. 1 wide receiver on the week. On the other side... Read More

Holiday Shopping - Who To Buy For The Playoffs Run

As the fantasy football season nears the home stretch, most owners should begin turning their eyes towards the remaining six weeks of the fantasy schedule. Either you're comfortably in the playoffs and need to see who you should be rostering in order to get the best matchups or you need that extra boost to qualify... Read More

Updated Week 11 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 11 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 11 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: George Kittle (ankle, knee) has officially been ruled out. Matt Breida will not play in Week 11. Jay Ajayi was signed by the Eagles and is expected to... Read More

The King's Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 11

Welcome to Week 11, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football season. These player selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More

Woos and Boos - Starts and Sits for Week 11 Lineups

If we learned anything from the fantasy scoring in Week 10 is that hitting on the right quarterback can make or break your week. Sure, the household names like Lamar Jackson (35.65 FP) and Patrick Mahomes (34.30 FP) paced the field, but it was the play from lesser QBs like Daniel Jones (33.40 FP) and... Read More

Week 11 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Week 11 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 11 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 11 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More

Week 11 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the bye weeks are in full swing; streaming becomes a more viable and almost necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions throughout the season could easily be the difference between missing the playoffs and having... Read More

Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Philip Rivers, Devin Singletary, O.J. Howard

Fantasy football players are going to have to go under the radar to find booms and busts this week because many of the NFL’s superstars will be on bye. Fantasy footballers will not be getting any Aaron Jones touchdown runs or Daniel Jones touchdown tosses this week, nor will they be getting any 300-yard passing... Read More

Late-Season Fantasy Football Surgers and Breakouts

Winning a fantasy football championship is about finding the right mix of players at the right time. It’s not easy to do, because it takes a full season process to build a roster that can win it all. You must start by drafting well, then making the right deals, pinpointing the best waiver pickups, and... Read More

Fantasy Football Mailbag - Q&A for Week 11

This article's content may vary week-to-week, but generally, it will be answering questions fielded from either the @RotoBallerNFL twitter account or my personal one (@RotoSurgeon). This week, the focus is on start/sit questions, and there were plenty. Every week, many of us struggle with which quarterback to start, or who to flex, and I am... Read More