Buyer Beware with this Price Tag
Every year there is a rookie running back who is worth some high draft capital, usually dependent on the draft capital a team spent on that player, plus the situation that player got drafted to. I know I said Josh Jacobs was in one of the best situations to break out in, but I’m not sure if the 3.09 price tag (according to ADP Calculator) is worth it.
The touches will be there. Oakland has seemed to show they will run a slight committee, but with a clear-cut front runner. We saw this with Beastmode last year. Martin still got snaps, but Beastmode was the clear guy to own in the backfield until his injury. Jalen Richard was usable too if you liked a 10-point floor to start in your line up for full PPR leagues only. Beastmode and Martin (whoever was the starter) had a floor of 10 carries in a game, and ceiling of 20, obviously game script dependent. Which is an okay amount of touches if Jacobs does the exact same thing.
One thing Jacobs has on these two, is fresh legs and no film on him. He will capitalize on his carries he’s given, and he will make each one count. We can’t forget though that Oakland had the 28th ranked offensive line after week 17 last season (according to ProFootballFocus). Greg Olson is also still a thing for some odd reason. The best an offense has ever done under him as OC: 2006 Rams Ranked 10 and 2015 Jaguars Ranked 14. Would you believe every other year was 18 and under? Even when his offenses were ranked well overall, they were bottom of the barrel in rushing. In theory the best running backs to own, will all be attached to high scoring offenses (most of the time, see Eagles and Patriots backfield for your fantasy sadness).
The question comes down to can the Raiders be a high scoring offense? They were fantastic in the passing games, some weeks in 2018 but it was not predictable. The easiest matchups for the Raiders would end up as their toughest. Only 7 total touchdowns for the Raiders on the ground last season between the two backs mentioned, with the second worst game script for running backs. If the TD rate continues, you’re looking a less than 50% chance Jacobs gets a TD in your line up. He’s currently being drafted by, Kerryon Johnson, Devonta Freeman and Derrick Henry. All of which are better picks, as at least you know what you’re getting yourself into. No, I’m not a believer in Freeman this season but at least his ceiling is higher than Jacobs. You’re paying RB2 price for a player on a team not projected to do well. It comes with draft at your own risk, but he’s a player you might be able to trade for at a cheaper cost later in the season if his final stretch match ups are good.