Yearly, there are a handful of gamers it’s actually troublesome to get a learn on. This yr, Josh Jacobs is a kind of gamers. With a whole lot of uncertainty surrounding Jacobs, his future with the Las Vegas Raiders, and his function, fantasy football managers are left questioning whether or not they need to draft him in 2022 fantasy leagues. Or ought to fantasy managers goal Kenyan Drake or Zamir White as a substitute?
The reply to each “must you draft this participant” query is relative. Each single high 100 is price drafting sooner or later. To make use of an deliberately absurd instance, if Jacobs is accessible within the tenth spherical, you’re drafting him.
In an effort to determine whether or not fantasy managers ought to draft Jacobs this season, we first want to find out if Jacobs is a participant price concentrating on.
Josh Jacobs’ utilization
Final season, Jacobs noticed a 68% alternative share within the Raiders’ backfield, averaging 18.8 alternatives (targets + carries) per recreation. That marked a noticeable drop from his 21.2 alternatives per recreation in 2020.
The excellent news for Jacobs was that he noticed a rise in passing-game work final season. Jacobs’ goal share jumped from 9.8% in 2020 to 12.4% in 2021, and he had the Eleventh-highest goal share amongst working backs.
Jacobs has averaged between 14.7 and 15.4 PPR fantasy factors per recreation in every of his three NFL seasons, ending someplace between RB12 and RB15 every year. If Jacobs sees related utilization this season, he’ll nearly actually be a price at his ADP.
The Raiders are a a lot completely different crew than final season
That is the $64,000 query. On the floor, there’s not a lot of a cause for the Raiders to scale back Jacobs’ workload. Nonetheless, the Raiders underwent a number of impactful modifications since final season.
It’s a toss-up between two strikes for essentially the most impactful. First, the Raiders employed Josh McDaniels as their head coach. Subsequent, they traded for Davante Adams. Each of those strikes impression Jacobs.
McDaniels will carry over a brand new offensive philosophy that he realized from his time in New England. In New England, the Patriots usually used a number of backs and by no means had the identical lead again for greater than a few seasons.
Adams’ presence suggests a transfer to a extra pass-heavy system. Derek Carr threw the ball 626 instances in a yr the place his high receivers had been Hunter Renfrow and Zay Jones. With Adams main a trio of him, Renfrow, and Darren Waller as Carr’s high cross catchers, it wouldn’t make sense to return to a run-heavy offense.
How would a pass-heavy system impression Jacobs’ fantasy worth?
Right here is the place issues get very murky. A discount in Jacobs’ carries isn’t essentially a foul factor. Targets are price roughly thrice greater than carries in fantasy soccer. If Jacobs is shedding a few carries a recreation, however gaining even only one goal per recreation, it’s at worst a internet impartial. The issue is a few different offseason strikes counsel that will not be the case.
Is 2022 Jacobs’ ultimate yr with the Raiders?
Jacobs is on the ultimate yr of his rookie deal. The Raiders already declined his fifth-year possibility, and we all know second-contract working backs are traditionally a foul wager. Maybe that is the Raiders’ plan with Jacobs. They may nonetheless theoretically signal him to an extension, however declining his fifth-year possibility sends a transparent message that they don’t thoughts shedding him.
The Raiders signed two working backs that additionally play particular groups in Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden. As if that wasn’t sufficient, in addition they drafted Zamir White within the fourth spherical of the 2022 NFL Draft. Oh, and Kenyan Drake remains to be there.
If 2022 is Jacobs’ final yr with the Raiders, issues might go one among two methods. Las Vegas might decide to run Jacobs into the bottom in his ultimate yr with the crew, not caring about his longevity since he received’t be there. They may additionally determine to transition him away from being the point of interest of the working recreation, getting their rookie extra concerned, notably because the yr progresses.
As a lot as I’d love to sit down right here and let you know which course they’ll go in, I simply don’t know. However neither does anybody else. That’s exactly why Jacobs’ ADP is about 6-8 spots decrease than the place he’s completed over his first three seasons.
Is Jacobs price drafting at his ADP?
It’s at present early August, and sometimes, ADP information will get stronger as we get deeper into the month. As issues presently stand, Jacobs’ ADP is around RB20. If you wish to draft him, you’ll must seize him late-third/early-fourth spherical.
Jacobs presents considerably extra danger this season than he has in years previous. If Jacobs’ utilization is similar as we’re accustomed to seeing, he’ll carry out higher than his ADP. Nonetheless, Jacobs won’t ever be a league winner. He simply doesn’t have that type of upside. We’ve seen his ceiling and in a best-case situation, he’s a low RB1.
Within the space Jacobs goes, I a lot choose the broad receivers there. Guys like Diontae Johnson, Michael Pittman Jr., DK Metcalf, DJ Moore, and Terry McLaurin all provide extra of a ceiling than Jacobs.
Equally, at working again, I’d reasonably take a shot on the unknown ceilings of Breece Corridor and Travis Etienne than the identified capped ceiling of Jacobs. I’d even reasonably wait a spherical and seize AJ Dillon.
Finally, Jacobs is unlikely to torpedo your championship hopes. Given his price and previous efficiency, even when his function is decreased, Jacobs ought to nonetheless produce sufficient to be a worthwhile RB2 in fantasy. My concern is he’s a ground choose who isn’t as protected as he’s been in earlier seasons.
I are likely to prioritize upside when drafting my fantasy groups, so Jacobs is somebody I’m most likely avoiding until he falls significantly farther than he ought to in 2022 fantasy soccer leagues.
What about Zamir White and Kenyan Drake?
Issues get a little bit tough right here as a result of I’m not likely inquisitive about White or Drake both. White’s highest school goal share in a season was 3%. He’s a two-down grinder, and I don’t count on him on the market on passing downs. His solely actual path to fantasy worth is a Jacobs harm. Absent that situation, White goes to hinder Jacobs’ fantasy worth extra so than have his personal.
As for Drake, I’m barely . With the Raiders drafting White and Drake coming off a damaged ankle, Drake appears to have been utterly dismissed by fantasy managers.
Drake largely goes undrafted, however he’s nonetheless simply 28 years previous. Final season, he averaged 8.5 ppg. Whereas that’s nothing spectacular, it’s nonetheless RB4 numbers. Fantasy rosters comprise a minimum of 4 working backs, and Drake will most likely be related in fantasy soccer leagues.
I’m not one to purchase an excessive amount of into coaching camp noise, however there have been a number of experiences of Drake having a significant role within the passing recreation. It wouldn’t shock me if Drake noticed 4-6 carries per recreation and 3-5 targets. Because of this, at price, I choose Drake essentially the most out of the Raiders’ high three backs.