Josh Jacobs’ fantasy outlook and projection for 2021

What is Josh Jacobs' fantasy outlook for the remainder of the 2021 NFL season after he was ruled inactive for the Raiders' Week 2 matchup?

It is only Week 2 of the NFL season, and Josh Jacobs’ fantasy football outlook for 2021 appears to be rocky. Not only is the presence of Kenyan Drake a concern, but Jacobs is already missing time with injury this season. Let’s take a look at what you can reasonably expect from Jacobs in 2021.

Josh Jacobs’ fantasy outlook for 2021

While Jacobs’ absence in Week 2 is a concern, there are some positives from his Week 1 performance. Jacobs led the backfield with 10 of the 16 carries in Week 1 and saw a crucial goal-line carry, leading to a touchdown.

However, there are clearly some downfalls. Firstly, Jacobs managed just 34 yards on 10 carries last week. He salvaged his day by finding the end zone twice, but without those, it would have been a miserable outing. He was also targeted just twice in the passing game. Now, he has never been a huge pass catcher for this Raiders team, but Drake led the backfield in targets with 5, and FB Alex Ingold also saw 4 targets.

The absence of Denzelle Good for the season with a torn ACL is a major concern. Throw in the uncertainty surrounding Richie Incognito and the line in front of Jacobs — it begins to be worrisome. The impact of a poor offensive line on Jacobs’ fantasy outlook cannot be overlooked.

Jacobs’ numbers were down in 2020

Unfortunately, Jacobs did not live up to the billing as an RB1 for fantasy throughout the 2020 season. In Week 1 against Carolina, he exploded for 93 yards on the ground and 3 TDs while adding 4 receptions for 46 yards. With 35.9 fantasy points, Jacobs concluded the week as the RB1.

However, in the weeks to follow, Jacobs acted outside the top 24 RBs in fantasy. His volume is what helped him to stay relevant, but often, it wasn’t enough.

In 2020, Jacobs rushed for a mere 3.9 yards per carry — nearly a full yard worse than his average as a rookie. Of running backs with 170+ carries, only Frank Gore and Todd Gurley had worse averages (3.5). Nevertheless, the high volume saved Jacobs, and he performed at an RB2 level or better in most games.

Yet, one of the Raiders’ free-agency acquisitions may change all of that.

Should you drop or trade Jacobs in fantasy leagues?

Right now, there is no reason to completely panic on Jacobs. There is little value in trading him. At one point this week, he was listed on the injury report not with an injury but with the designation “everything.” While that is probably someone in the Raiders’ PR team having some fun, it is also a major cause for concern.

If Jacobs can get healthy, he has the potential to be an RB1. With that offensive line and the competition in the backfield, it isn’t likely, but it is possible. When it comes to the running back position, possibility and potential are crucial. Dropping or trading Jacobs for a player with significantly lower potential would not be an optimal move at this stage. Hold tight and hope he returns quickly (and effectively) in the coming weeks.

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