Running back Josh Jacobs provided solid production for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2019. This upcoming season, he should have a similar kind of impact on the football field and fantasy leagues.Â
Jacobs immediately delivered in 2019. Even though he missed three games because of injuries, he finished the year with 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns. With all the additions the Raiders made this year, the Alabama product should have similar or better production in 2020. Fantasy Football will not be different and the sophomore running back will likely strive.
Although it might not be a good idea to choose quarterback Derek Carr early in fantasy drafts, Jacobs is different. Despite the fact passing numbers have gone up in football, running backs are still worth a selection high in drafts. Jacobs’ place in the top echelon of players at his position is the subject of discussions. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean he can’t provide solid production. There shouldn’t be much difference between the eighth and the eleventh best running back. Also, luck is in play more often than not, but that’s the subject of another column.
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Jacobs Brings Value to The Table and Your Fantasy Team
In a recent article, Andrew Erikson of Pro Football Focus talks about the value second-year running backs will have in 2020. Of course, Jacobs was one of the players Erickson went through. The analyst wrote that even though there may be outliers, “the best strategy with running backs is to acquire ones with a well-rounded skill set.”
Jacobs didn’t have much of an impact in the passing game in 2019. Last season, he saw 26 targets for 20 receptions and 166 yards. Nevertheless, Erikson argues “running backs entering their second seasons tend to progress in the passing game.” He later points out that running backs increase their catches in average in their second campaign.
Since 2013, running backs in their second seasons have seen an average increase in receptions by 19% and an average increase in targets by 16%. This comes from sampling all first and second-year running backs since 2013 who saw at least five targets. These percentages are encouraging for running backs’ receiving production entering Year 2. But when a few outliers are addressed, it further cements the idea.
With a new stable of wide receivers and a solid tight end group, the Raiders can open up their passing attack. Rookie Henry Ruggs III and a healthy Tyrell Williams should stretch the field. That in turn will generate opportunities for Jacobs and the short passing game. Therefore, it isn’t difficult to fathom the running back having better numbers in 2020 and becoming a high pick selection in fantasy drafts.
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