Josh Jacobs: RB1 Optimism
Josh Jacobs finished the 2019 season as an RB2 and flirted with being Top 15 numbers all season. If he didn’t miss those three games, he certainly would’ve cracked the Top 15 spot. While the "sophomore slump" is a very real thing, (i.e. Todd Gurley and Jordan Howard), Jacobs could very well still flourish.
Jacobs, who ran for 1,150 yards (ranking 8th in the league) was known for his receiving skills coming out of college, which undoubtedly was a major selling point to NFL teams. Despite this, the Raiders seldom used Jacobs as a receiver. Jacobs only saw 27 targets throughout the season. His efficiency as a runner made up for that, though. He averaged 4.8 yards per rush. He also finished with seven touchdowns. Earlier this month, it was reported by Rotowire that Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock said that the team expects Jacobs to increase his contributions in the passing game. With his receiving ability never in question, why didn’t Jon Gruden utilize him more in the passing game?
The answer was Jacobs' stablemate Jalen Richard, who accounted for 43 targets. This could be a cause for concern considering Richard signed a two-year extension with the Raiders in February. The reason that shouldn’t scare fantasy owners off is that Richard’s targets were down by 38 from the 2018 season.
Maybe in Jacobs' sophomore season, Gruden will take off the training wheels and let Jacobs shine.
Article Written by Andrew Thompson
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