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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Josh Jacobs - The Next Beast Mode?


Since the NFL Draft, Josh Jacobs has been the talk of the fantasy community. With his selection to the Oakland Raiders, speculation has been all over the place in terms of his value in not only dynasty formats but also redraft leagues. He may very well be the replacement for Marshawn Lynch in this offense. But the question remains, can he hold up to the workload?

During his time at Alabama, Jacobs was rarely used in a deep backfield for the Crimson Tide. Finding touches behind the heavily-used Damien Harris were few and far between. Over his first two seasons, he tallied only 132 rushing attempts while adding in another 28 receptions. What he did with the touches is what counts. His 6.4 YPC were among the best in the country, but he had a tough time getting into the end-zone (7 total TDs). That would be vastly improved in his junior season with 14 total TDs. His usage increased also, jumping up to 121 carries on the year. The tread on his tires will be thin entering the league, but his production in limited usage does raise eyebrows for fantasy owners.

In comparison to Marshawn Lynch, there will be some pros and cons as we try to determine just what Jacobs will be at the next level. Lynch came into the league right out of the gate to heavy usage (330 carries and 65 receptions). One can only hope that this is what we see with Jacobs early on. The benefit that Lynch saw for most of his career was that he was the centerpiece of the offense with a limited passing attack. That's something that Jacobs may not be held back by with the weapons around him. But, let's take a look at his pros and cons to determine his fantasy value moving forward.

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!

 

Pros

Usage- This will be a great factor in Jacob's value early on in his career. The veterans around him, Doug Martin, and Jalen Richard, are nowhere near as talented. Jacobs should be given the role as lead back from the start of training camp and the run game will be molded to best fit his talents. Sure, he will get spelled from time to time by Martin and on some passing situations by Richard. But a majority of the touches in the backfield will belong to Jacobs. He should prove to be a three-down back early on with upside to develop into an RB1.

Running Style- Jacobs is not the classic bruiser in running style that we were accustomed to seeing with Lynch. But he gets the job done his own way. His elusive rating in college (7th at 109.8) and his percentage of missed tackles on first contact (4th in the nation at 42.1%) proves that he has the moves to get to the second level with ease. Running behind an offensive line that ranked 28th in the league in 2018 doesn't bode well to help Jacobs find success in the open field but this group should be better with Kolten Miller moving to left tackle. With the focus equally being on the Raiders newfound passing game with Antonio Brown, Jacobs should not see the stuffed boxes by opposing defenses. Giving more opportunities to get out of the blocks quickly.

Receiving Threat- Although in college we only saw him bring in a total of 48 receptions over his three years, Jacobs has the upside of a dual-threat. He is the type of weapon that a coach like Jon Gruden will find ways to utilize to make him more efficient. He will have competition for catches in the backfield with Richard, but talent wins out in the end. Jacobs may not see the high ceiling of catches early in his career that we have seen from Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, or Christian McCaffrey, but a solid floor of 35-50 should be expected. If the team moves on from Richard, it can only help Jacobs rise to RB1 value.

 

Cons

Limited Usage in College- What may be deemed as a pro in one sense can be looked at as a con in another. The number of touches in college could show us that he is not capable of a heavy workload against better competition. He fought small injuries during his time at Alabama and could never fully beat out the backs ahead of him on the depth chart. Could it be that he may only pan out as a situational back in the NFL as well? We will find that out early on as the coaching staff will lean on him.

Quarterback Situation- Coming into the pros, Jacobs should see just how reliant the running game is with the play of the quarterback. In college, he had the threat of great college QBs to keep defenses honest. Now as a Raider, he has to play with Derek Carr. A QB that is for lack of a better term, not good. Defenses could view Carr as not important enough to focus on and leave more defenders in the box. Yes, the receivers the Raiders now have are better than what they've had to work with for a few years now, but it remains on Carr's shoulders to show he can get them the ball.

Passing Game- The Raiders now revamped passing attack with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams gives Carr the weapons he is not used to having at his disposal. If Carr can find himself and become a better QB, then it inadvertently affects the value of Jacobs. If the passing game finds success the amount of touches that Jacobs will see lowers even more. Also, playing with a defense that is among the worst in the league will mean that the team will be throwing the ball quite a bit. If Jacobs doesn't become involved in the passing game, he may be a player that will be better targeted in standard scoring leagues than in PPR.

 

Conclusion

Yes, the hype on Jacobs is already out of control as you could see him drafted as early as late round two in redraft formats. He is undoubtedly the top overall pick in dynasty drafts, but can he live up to this hype? As things stand now I say yes. He is currently the 20th back in my dynasty rankings, but that could move even higher as we see him work in training camps.

As the Raiders continue to add pieces around him to help his transition to the NFL, he should eventually become an RB1 in fantasy. But if the injuries start to mount based on the workload, he could quickly become a player whose time in the league will be short-lived. Draft with confidence in the meantime as he should be one of the top backs in fantasy for a number of years.

More NFL Rookie Profiles




More Recent Articles

 

Running Back Start/Sit Advice - Week 14

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the running back position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit among those in RB3 or flex consideration. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest... Read More


Week 14 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


Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Zach Pascal, Jamaal Williams, Gardner Minshew

Whether this is the first week of your playoffs, the last week of your regular season, or the time to win a DFS league to pay for your holiday presents, this is the most crucial week of your fantasy football season. While my booms from last week (Robert Woods, Jack Doyle, Dede Westbrook, Kyle Allen)... Read More


Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 13 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. As many of you prepare for your Week 14 matchups, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which... Read More


Week 14 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are beginning in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  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 could easily be the difference in winning a championship.... Read More


Wide Receiver Start/Sit Advice - Week 14

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the wide receiver position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit among those in WR3 or flex consideration. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest... Read More


The King's Week 14 Lineup Rankings and Analysis (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Below you will find my Week 14 fantasy football lineup rankings for the first round of your playoffs. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR, and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions, especially on the weekends. Skill Position analysis versus... Read More


Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Playoff Panic

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More


Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 14

It's that time of year again! While many will be caught up in the thrills of the holiday season, those lucky few who have risen to the top of their fantasy leagues will be sweating over lineup decisions in pursuit of a championship (in most league formats). To our fantasy owners who have managed to... Read More


The Tape Tells All - Derrius Guice Fantasy Outlook

Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film. This week, I'm looking at Washington running back Derrius Guice, who's finally healthy and finally getting a chance to show why people were so... Read More


Quarterback Leaderboards Before the Fantasy Playoffs - NFL Next Gen Stats

You won't believe it, but you weren't dreaming. That turkey you stuffed your face with a few days ago? Real. Those three games on a Thursday? Real, indeed. Your weekly meeting with football on the telly this past Sunday? Also real. All of that together only meant one thing: the fantasy football regular season is... Read More


Fantasy Playoffs Warning Signs: Wide Receivers

We all know a good wide receiver is important. Most leagues are PPR and more receivers are played than other positions. But the key is finding those wide receivers with favorable matchups. Just like with other positions, it is difficult to know at draft time which defenses will be good or bad by the time... Read More


Offensive Line Rankings Analysis: Week 14

Week 13 had the season's first snow game, a potential SuperBowl preview, and an incredible play from the Miami Dolphins special teams! If you haven't seen it have a look and come back. Now let's move onto Week 14. If you aren't in playoff contention, then this article could help you with some DFS selections.... Read More


Week 14-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

The playoffs are here, and that means we're going to do things a little differently. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More


NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 14) - Targets and Avoids

If there were a dozen people left in a survivor pool this past week, odds are those pools are down to just several. The upsets began Thursday when the Bills beat the Cowboys, and continued Sunday when the Dolphins and Redskins won as 10-point underdogs. If you're somehow still alive in your pool with just... Read More