How Josh Jacobs' new deal affects his fantasy value

ByEric Moody ESPN logo
Saturday, August 26, 2023

The Raiders and RB Josh Jacobs have agreed to terms on an upgraded one-year contract worth up to $12 million. Last season, he led the Raiders with 393 touches and averaged 19.3 fantasy points per game, greatly outperforming his average draft position. He accounted for 33% of the Raiders' scrimmage yards last year andDerrick Henrywas the only running back in the NFL who accounted for more.

It remains to be seen whether Jacobs will remain with the Raiders after 2023, something fantasy managers in dynasty leagues should worry about, but should those in redraft leagues prioritize Jacobs? Our draft trends have the 25-year-old as the RB8 at the moment, making him an interesting pick in Rounds 2 and 3. Jacobs has played 15-plus games in each of the last three seasons.

Jimmy Garoppolo is now the Raiders' quarterback, and he's got a robust injury history. The team no longer has Darren Waller, who is now with the Giants, and they have an unimproved offensive line and one of the league's weakest defenses. Jacobs could encounter more frequent stacked boxes and be exposed to negative game flow scenarios, ultimately limiting his fantasy potential.

Many managers understand how a running back's age and touches influence his future performance. Jacobs finds himself in rarified air. There have been only four running backs since 2006 who have had more than 330 rushing attempts and 50 receptions. Jacobs, Steven Jackson (2006), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006) and DeMarco Murray (2014) are all on that list. You might be wondering if those three running backs regressed the next year. Absolutely. Jackson's fantasy points per game dropped by 10.0. Tomlinson's dropped by 7.0. Murray's dropped by 10.0. Considering this trend and Jacobs' situation, it would not be prudent to expect a repeat of last year's fantasy production. Having proper expectations is important if you plan on drafting Jacobs and I wouldn't recommend reaching for him.

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