2019 was a terrific season for rookie RB Josh Jacobs. He finished as RB21 in PPR leagues and rushed for over 1000 yards on over 240 carries, even though he only played in 13 games. He made a name for himself and easily showed his worth as a first-round NFL draft pick. In the offseason, the Raiders made a lot of moves, including switching cities, which could impact Jacobs’ performance going forward. So what is Josh Jacobs’ fantasy value for 2020?
Josh Jacobs’ 2019 season was a success
Jacobs made an impact right out of the gate, which not all running backs can do. In his rookie debut in Week 1 for the Raiders, then 21-year-old Jacobs ran 23 times for 85 yards and two touchdowns, his first of three games with two TDs during the season. His final 2019 stat line was 242 carries for 1150 yards (4.75 ypc) and seven touchdowns, along with 20 catches on 27 targets for 166 yards (8.3 ypr) through the air. Jacobs definitely hit the ground running in 2019, pun intended.
Using PFN’s Offensive Share Metric (OSM), we can see just how much of his 2019 performance was of his own making. Over the entire 2019 season, Jacobs finished with an OSM of 16.14 (RB19), just ahead of fantasy RB studs like Ezekiel Elliott, Aaron Jones, and Dalvin Cook. Clearly, he’s in good company with how he performs on the field, and it’s just a question of if he can stay healthy enough to play every game.
Using PFN’s Consistency Score (CS) shows that not only can he perform over an entire season, but his weekly fantasy output was also consistent as well. Jacobs had a CS of 5.24, which ranked him as RB15 for 2019, just ahead of Todd Gurley, Joe Mixon, and Miles Sanders. Once again, Jacobs finds himself in great company, so not only was he great on the field, he was great in fantasy lineups too.
Raiders offseason changes: Arsenal upgrade
After the season ended, the Oakland Raiders made the move to their new home and officially became the Las Vegas Raiders. Along with this change, they added some amazing firepower to the offense, both in free agency as well as the draft.
To help their new stud TE Darren Waller, they added future Hall-of-Famer TE Jason Witten to give a veteran presence to the tight end room. At the NFL draft, the Raiders made waves again, drafting not one, but two terrific WR options in Henry Ruggs III in the first round and Bryan Edwards in the third. Both of these options should help open up the offense to a lot more scoring, as defenses will have to spread themselves around to cover all of the weapons.
Related | 2020 NFL Draft Grades: Las Vegas Raiders
Another weapon that the Raiders drafted was RB/WR Lynn Bowden in the third round. Of all of the picks, this one clearly impacts Josh Jacobs’ 2020 fantasy value the most. Bowden is widely considered a jack of all trades, but it’s expected that he’ll start his career playing the RB position, and the team will see how he adjusts from there.
Josh Jacobs fantasy 2020 outlook
Now that Jacobs has a lot of explosive teammates in the offensive meeting room, just how good is his 2020 shaping up to be? Matt Williamson recently ranked Jacobs as the 9th best running back in the NFL, which is not something to be taken lightly. This easily puts him in the top echelon at the position with high expectations heading into 2020.
While the team did add a lot of new weapons to the offense, they are still working with QB Derek Carr under center. Carr isn’t exactly considered a top QB in the league, scoring a meager 20.82 (QB26) in OSM for 2019. Odds are very high that the team is in the market for a new signal-caller before the 2021 season, if not sooner. Generally speaking, when the QB struggles, the WRs are likely to struggle along with him, but the team’s RB could be given a chance to shine. This means Jacobs could see consistent production even if the team decides to make a change at QB.
Lastly, he was barely used in the passing game at all last year, only getting 20 catches on 27 targets. He is practically guaranteed to get more targets this year, as he becomes more familiar with the offense. He should get more than 242 carries as well, meaning his RB16 finish last season is essentially his floor for 2020.
His current Fleaflicker ADP is RB11, which seems about right, but I think he can outperform that, as long as he stays healthy. For me, Jacobs’ ceiling is RB5, and his floor is RB15. This narrow range, with high upside, makes him a terrific RB1 target in 2020 redraft leagues.
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Andrew Hall is a writer for PFN covering the NFL and Fantasy Football. You can follow him on Twitter: @AndrewHallFF.