Josh Jacobs’ dynasty value is at a very pivotal point entering the 2022 season. After three consecutive high-end RB2 seasons, fantasy managers are left wondering if this is the best the Las Vegas Raiders running back can be. How should dynasty fantasy football managers value Jacobs going forward?
Josh Jacobs’ dynasty profile for 2022
I’ve never been a huge fan of Jacobs. He was a first-round pick in 2019 for the Raiders, but most agree that was because he was just the largest fish in a small pond of running backs. The 2019 running back class was relatively weak and Jacobs happened to be the best back in that class.
Jacobs’ rookie performance was better than expected. He averaged 14.9 PPR points per game and finished as the overall RB15 (minimum eight games played). That led to him being a first-round pick in 2020 redraft leagues.
In an ironic twist of fate, Jacobs was largely viewed as a disappointment in 2020 despite averaging 15.7 ppg, a 0.8 ppg improvement upon his rookie year. As a result, Jacobs’ 2021 ADP plummeted to the fourth round. He went on to average 15.3 ppg and was viewed as a value.
If this is all Jacobs is, how valuable is that for dynasty managers in 2022?
Fantasy projection for Jacobs
Jacobs has been remarkably consistent on a seasonal level in his three NFL seasons. Part of the problem with Jacobs’ overall value is fantasy managers are wise to his week-to-week volatility.
Over Jacobs’ first two seasons, he simply did not catch passes. Jacobs averaged 2 targets per game as a rookie and 3 on average as a sophomore. His 2020 season was viewed as a disappointment because although he averaged 15.7 ppg, he scored 28% of his total fantasy points on the season in just two weeks. While 15.7 may have been his average, he only scored above that number five times all season.
In 2021, Jacobs had the opposite problem. He reached double-digit fantasy points in all but one week. However, he eclipsed 20 fantasy points just twice all season. Jacobs was quite consistent and reliable but never a difference-maker.
What is Jacobs’ future beyond 2022?
Now entering his fourth season, Jacobs is still just 24 years old. However, he’s in the final year of his rookie contract and his future is uncertain.
The Raiders have a new head coach and new general manager. I can’t imagine the new regime is pleased the team spent a first-round pick on a running back, let alone on a replacement-level talent like Jacobs.
Is Jacobs good enough to produce fantasy numbers when given volume? Absolutely. Will a team make him their feature back in 2023? I’m not sure.
Jacobs’ age and history of production make him an appealing fantasy asset for dynasty managers. In 2021, he was finally utilized in the passing game and proved capable, catching 54 passes for 348 yards. If you told me Jacobs was going to get a three-down role on some other team beginning in 2023, I would say to buy him.
The problem is I don’t think Jacobs is perceived as a difference-making RB among NFL general managers. If I had to guess, I’d say the Raiders don’t re-sign him after the 2022 season. He’ll undoubtedly get a job somewhere else, but he may be part of a committee. Jacobs may only be a two-down back as it’s difficult to shed that stigma of not being a pass catcher.
Where Jacobs ends up and what role he’s asked to play will heavily impact his dynasty fantasy value.
What can fantasy managers expect from Jacobs?
In the short term, Jacobs looks like a reliable high-end RB2 for 2022. That’s what he’s been for three seasons and there’s no reason to expect anything different. The addition of Davante Adams should only help Jacobs, as a better overall offense means more scoring opportunities.
If you’re ready to win now in your dynasty league, Jacobs can help you. Hang onto him if you have him or perhaps try and acquire him for picks if you don’t.
If you’re a rebuilding team, Jacobs is young enough to be part of your future. At the same time, his value may never be higher than it is right now. This is one of those situations where you need to converse with your league mates and figure out if Jacobs is more valuable on your roster or as the centerpiece of a trade.