The number 28 is a special one when it comes to running backs in the NFL so it is safe to say that Josh Jacobs chose wisely in that aspect. Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin, Adrian Peterson, Corey Dillon, and Fred Taylor all wore the number 28. But there is one more legend who toted the rock that wore 28 and that is my personal favorite, Warrick Dunn. Growing up a Tampa fan, Dunn captured my admiration in the late 90’s and early 00’s. He left Tampa the year before they finally got over the Super Bowl hump for dirty south neighbor (but not yet division rivals) the Atlanta Falcons. Dunn actually had a couple of his best statistical seasons in Atlanta in 2004 and 2005, but he’ll always be a Buc to me, dammit! Plus, it’s hard to say anything negative about a guy who has helped build and gifted 145 houses to single parents in need.
While Jacobs has a lot to live up to in an inconsequential aspect, he got off to a good start in his rookie season with the Oakland Raiders. If yards per carry mattered for fantasy, he fared pretty well in that category with 4.8. But, it was the first of hopefully many 1,000 yard rushing seasons by a stud that got his season cut short with a December shoulder injury.
Jacob’s draft day value was right on par with his performance in the 2019 season. He was the 17th running back off of the board in PPR leagues and finished as the 19th PPR running back and 15th in fantasy points per game. While there were periods of the season when Jacobs’ production was relatively quiet, Jacobs did have 4 games with over 20 PPR points.
I expect the amount of big weeks to increase in 2020. Jacobs only caught one pass in the first 3 weeks of the season, but got a little more involved in the passing game as the season went on, adding 19 more catches over the next 10 games. While Jacobs almost certainly isn’t the next Austin Ekeler in the passing game, with his pedigree, it would make sense that he sees an uptick in his 2020 campaign.
Workhorse running backs are becoming harder and harder to come by as the NFL seasons pass us by, but Jacobs is firmly entrenched into the lead role for the now Las Vegas Raiders. While DeAndre Washington did a fine job for fantasy owners who handcuffed Jacobs, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who views Washington as a threat to Jacob’s touches in the future. When it comes to the Las Vegas offensive line, it was pretty average last season, but serviceable.
As I previously mentioned, Jacobs was drafted late in the 3rd round or early in the 4th round in most fantasy leagues. Heading into 2020, he’s being taken right in the middle of the second round. In keeper leagues, you would be gaining at least one round of profit. I don’t even view that as a largely important aspect in Jacobs’ case. I think Jacobs easily top 5 back potential heading into 2020 with even more touches ahead of him. His 7 touchdown total in 2019 should turn into double digits in 2020 if things go right.
Keeper Rating: Very Good