It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout July and August. Today, we take a look at the surprise 2022 RB1 in fantasy. Can Josh Jacobs repeat and, more importantly, is the public doubt in that sinking his draft stock to a decent value? Let’s take a look at 2023 Josh Jacobs and try to figure it out, together!
Josh Jacobs ADP and AAV:
Josh Jacobs Statistics:
|Year||G||GS||Rush||Ru Yds||Ru TD||Tgt||Rec||Yards||TD||Touches||Opp||Total Yards|
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tch||HPPR Pts/Tch||PPR Pts/Tch|
|Draft Year||College||Height||Weight||Draft Data|
Oakland Raiders / 1st / 24th pick / 2019
2023 Josh Jacobs Overview:
At the age of 45, I have made a career change: I now teach 5th grade. But that doesn’t mean I won’t keep bringing the hard-hitting, no-holds-barred fantasy analysis I always have! Let’s begin…
Raise your hand if you are reading my article. That’s great. Thank you to those of you who raised their hands. Those of you who didn’t: I’m confident in your ability to make good choices moving forward.
2022 Josh Jacobs was a huge whiff for most of the fantasy industry, myself included. The Raiders had declined to pick up his 5th-year option, drafted another running back in round four, and even played him in the earliest preseason game. The fantasy industry collectively had no idea he would go on to be the number one running back in standard (0 PPR) scoring, and #3 in half- and full-PPR.
And that’s okay: Mistakes breed new learning. So let’s turn this negative into a positive by examining what we have learned from this misstep.
The first thing we’ve learned: You can’t make any sense of what the Raiders are doing, ever.
Seriously, no hyperbole (recall our figurative language lessons): I was a Raider main for 35 years. My fandom consisted of seemingly non-stop baffling draft picks (they had 5 picks in the first two rounds of the 2020 draft, and none are still with the team), ridiculous front-office moves (let’s sign Jon Gruden to a $100 million contract), and antics like whatever the hell was going on with coach Josh McDaniels and franchise QB Derek Carr last season.
I’m realizing I made didn’t make a good choice with my language there. I will choose better words in the future, but that’s just a sign of how gosh darn, rootin’-tootin’ mad I am at the Raiders’ inscrutability as an organization.
The second thing we’ve learned: Josh Jacobs isn’t cooked.
Jacobs led the league in creating missed tackles on a per-game basis. That’s what you have to do to get fantasy production behind the Raiders’ persistently-poor offensive line. 2023 looks to be no different: PFF has their O-line ranked 19th and Pro Football Network only has them one spot higher. Unlike 2022, there isn’t negative buzz over the Raiders’ valuation of Josh Jacobs. Oh, wait a minute, Josh Jacobs is currently in a contract negotiation situation and it’s speculated he will hold out at training camp. Running back salary valuation might be at an all-time low, known producers such as Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott are still unsigned as of the publication of this article.
So, anyone drafting Josh Jacobs has to bake a potential holdout into his value. While we usually think of his 2022 and 2023 situations in terms of fantasy value, the perspective becomes much clearer when we think of Jacobs as a human being. The Raiders started him in the Hall of Fame Game, the first preseason game. The Raiders declined to pick up his fifth-year option in 2022. Despite this, he ran his back pockets off for the team last year. In response, the team has dragged its feet on a new contract. I’m not Josh Jacobs, but if I were I would not be rushing to sign a discount deal to play with this team after all that. So I’m personally predicting the Josh Jacobs’ holdout to go long and get ugly.
2022 Josh Jacobs Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
You can tell by the double-digit discrepancy in my value vs the average auction value that I’m not high on Jacobs. I like the “fantasy” part of “fantasy football,” and tying up 20+% of my auction funbux to a player that may sit out in real life gets in the way of that fantasy. If he signs I will definitely move him up on my boards and give this section a rewrite.
Factoring in a potential holdout into draft ranking is difficult, and I would argue pointless. All it takes is for one manager to go into the draft assuming the holdout won’t last and you won’t get him regardless of whatever chart or rankings system you are using. I would say if every manager is cool on him he’s worth a pick at the end of the second round or $30/$36 in ten team/twelve team auctions. If he does end his holdout he’s established himself as a bell-cow back that the offense revolves around. The swap from Carr to Jimmy Garoppolo does nothing for the passing game: Josh McDaniels can go ahead and try to throw it more but he’ll soon find that he won’t get better results than he did last year.
Best Case Scenario:
Jacob signs a deal and picks up where he left off. You snagged yourself a top-3 RB in the second round you handsome person of your gender, you.
Worst Case Scenario:
Le’Veon Bell held out for a new contract in 2018 after finishing as the fantasy RB2 the prior year. His 2018 season stats? Zero rushes, zero receptions, zero fantasy points. Draft Jacobs at your own risk. Your actions have consequences.
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Image Souce: Isaiah Spiller on Twitter]