Josh Jacobs Fantasy Value Took A Huge Hit in the 2021 Offseason
At the end of the 2020 season, I would have said Josh Jacobs is a consensus top-10 RB in 2021 Fantasy Football, but after a tumultuous offseason for the Raiders, I question how much value Jacobs has now.
In non-PPR, which is the only correct way to play fantasy, Jacobs finished the season ranked as RB8. In 2020, Jacobs had 273 attempts, 1,005 yards, and 12 touchdowns. He also added 33 receptions for 238 yards through the air. His 273 carries ranked third in the league, while his 1,005 yards were ninth. Jacobs has been a bright spot on a disappointing Raiders team since Jon Gruden took over. However, there are two obstacles working against Josh Jacobs in 2021.
First, I would love to know what the hell Mike Mayock and that front office are doing. It seems in every draft, their first-round pick has turned heads and not in a good way. They made the executive decision to trade Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper and loaded up with picks. However, they have made some questionable draft picks since Mayock and Gruden arrived. In 2019 they took Clelin Ferrell 4th overall, 2020 they took Henry Ruggs at 12 and Damon Arnette at 19, and of course, in 2021, they took Alex Leatherwood at 17.
My distaste for the front office only heightened this offseason as they completely dismantled their offensive line. The first problem for Jacobs starts in the trenches. The Raiders traded Trent Brown to the Patriots for nothing, sent Gabe Jackson to the Seattle Seahawks, and the time had come to let go of Rodney Hudson. As I said, they drafted Alex Leatherwood, who played tackle at Alabama but will be an interior offensive lineman in the NFL. Every move the Raiders make, I scratch my head. How do you expect to replace three veterans on the offensive line?
The second problem working against Jacobs is the addition of Kenyan Drake. The offensive line moves, while questionable, made some logistical sense. Trent Brown only played five games in 2020, Gabe Jackson wanted a new contract, and Hudson’s time with the Raiders was coming to an end. However, the Kenyan Drake signing was just strange. You already have a 1,000-yard Pro-Bowl rusher and much more glaring issues on defense, and you think, “Oh, let’s sign another running back.”
Drake signed a 2yr/ $14.5M this offseason, which is not exactly cheap for your second-string running back. Drake is coming off his best season as a pro, where he rushed for 239 attempts, 955 yards, and 10 touchdowns for the Cardinals. He is a productive, bruising back who is going to get touches in this Raiders offense.
With a make-shift offensive line in 2021 and the addition of Drake, Jacobs’ production is going to decrease. While I would still draft Jacobs in maybe the third or fourth round, he cannot be trusted as an RB1. Besides Kolton Miller, I don’t like anyone else on their o-line, and Drake’s presence just worries me about how many touches he is going to take away from Jacobs.
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