“Raiders and RB Josh Jacobs Strike New $12 Million Deal: Fantasy Impact Analyzed”
In a recent development, the Las Vegas Raiders and star running back Josh Jacobs have reached an agreement on an upgraded one-year contract valued at up to $12 million. Jacobs’ exceptional performance last season, leading the team with 393 touches and an impressive 19.3 fantasy points per game, has sparked intrigue among fantasy managers. This performance well surpassed his average draft position and he accounted for a staggering 33% of the Raiders’ scrimmage yards, second only to Derrick Henry in the NFL.
However, the looming question remains: will Jacobs stay with the Raiders beyond 2023? This is a concern particularly relevant to fantasy managers in dynasty leagues. Nevertheless, for those participating in redraft leagues, the decision to prioritize Jacobs demands consideration. Presently, draft trends position the 25-year-old as the RB8, presenting an enticing pick in the second and third rounds. An added boon is Jacobs’ consistent performance, having played 15 or more games in each of the last three seasons.
The quarterback dynamics have undergone a shift, with Jimmy Garoppolo now at the helm for the Raiders. Garoppolo’s history of injuries introduces an element of uncertainty. The team has also bid farewell to Darren Waller, who now belongs to the Giants. Additionally, the offensive line remains unimproved, and the Raiders contend with one of the league’s less formidable defenses. These factors suggest that Jacobs could face more frequent stacked defensive formations and may be subjected to unfavorable game flow scenarios, thus impacting his fantasy prospects.
One crucial aspect recognized by many fantasy managers is the connection between a running back’s age, workload, and future performance. In this context, Jacobs finds himself in rarefied company. Since 2006, only four running backs have managed over 330 rushing attempts and 50 receptions: Jacobs, Steven Jackson (2006), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006), and DeMarco Murray (2014). The question arises whether these three backs experienced regression in the subsequent year. The answer is an affirmative yes. Jackson’s fantasy points per game declined by 10.0, Tomlinson’s by 7.0, and Murray’s by 10.0. Considering this historical pattern alongside Jacobs’ current situation, it would be unwise to anticipate a replication of last year’s fantasy output. Setting realistic expectations becomes pivotal for those planning to draft Jacobs, and reaching for him is not advised.
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