Is Josh Jacobs worth drafting in fantasy this season?

In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Matt Harmon and Andy Behrens break down Las Vegas Raiders Josh Jacobs’ outlook for the 2022 season and debate if he is worth using draft capital on for fantasy managers.

Video Transcript

[LOGO MUSIC]

Matt Harmon: One of the premises of why I'm excited to do the podcast this year is that, I've said this before, we all see the game differently, and I want to foster good disagreement for the listeners to benefit from it and see which side of the aisle they fall down on. Scott hates Josh Jacobs. I mean, he and I have buried Josh Jacobs on two of the two podcasts, we've done in the last couple of weeks. He's got him at wide receiver-- or excuse me he's got him at running back 30, you've got him at running back 20. So tell us why you're not willing to--, well, you're sort of to be on an Island at this point in the fantasy community as a pro Josh Jacobs guy.

Andy Behrens: Josh Jacobs, and I can't put it any simpler than this. I think Josh Jacobs is a really good back. I think he is clearly separate and apart from the rest of this backfield. I don't know that they'll use him exactly that way and I recognize that the big concern within the fantasy space is that, somehow we've started describing the New England backfield last year as if it was a nightmare, as if it was difficult, as if it didn't produce a guy who scored 15 touchdowns, as if it didn't produce Rhamondre Stevenson in the second half of the season who was a flex starter everywhere, right?

Like it was a really good backfield, you're not insulting the Raiders situation to say that, Oh no what if it's like New England? That would be effing awesome, if it's like New England. New England was great last year there was a rich running environment, we loved it. Like I don't think that's bad. If he's not seeing 20 to 25 touches a game, that's fine. The key points with Josh Jacobs are he just forces a ton of missed tackles. This is a really difficult guy to-- like the first defender almost never takes him down. People describe him as if he's like just a guy easily replaceable. Josh Jacobs was right behind Javonte Williams and Jonathan Taylor in terms of missed tackles force last year. He was third in the NFL in missed tackles forced on rush attempts tied with Nick Chubb. Like, that's who he is. He was that guy as a rookie too. Like he was a mystical machine as a rookie, played through a bunch of injuries in his second season. But we should also give him credit for playing a bunch of games while he limped off the field after every carry in his second season.

I think he's a really good player. I fully recognize that we're running out of people in fantasy who think he's a really good player. I happen to think he's a really good player. I think he should get upwards of 15 touches a game in this offense, unless Zamir White is a thing, which could happen. I don't think there's anybody close to Josh Jacobs. I think he's great. I think I think he's an actual great running back. I think all of the advanced numbers back that position up, I do get irritated at the-- like I've had a handful of people on Twitter come at me with this idea that Javonte Williams is a superstar because of missed tackles. And they are some of the same people who will tell you that Josh Jacobs is just a guy.

If you like the data that supports your Javonte argument then unfortunately, you may not realize it, but you like Josh Jacobs too, because he's about as elusive as it gets. I think he's great. And there's one open question about Josh Jacobs entering last season and that was whether he could have any receiving role and whether he could catch the ball and he nailed it. What was it? 54 catches on something like 64 targets, he was great as a receiver. So, he can do it all, I don't know that they'll use him that way.

The other benefit to drafting Josh Jacobs is, if I'm wrong about the Raiders intentions for him and they really do plan to make him a trade candidate. The Eagles would take him, I would guess the Rams would take him. Like he would very clearly be the best running back in a lot of pretty fun offenses. So I'm into that too.

Matt Harmon: One of the things you said on a podcast with me that stuck with me and you alluded to it here it was a few months ago, but you were like, I know that nobody really cares about miss tackles per attempt unless it fits their argument.

[LAUGHS]

Josh Jacobs is the post boy. Which by the way, is true of. All stats, I mean, I have people that use my data to support their argument about this player but then they still want to totally disregard it. So that's the truth of NFL stats by the way. And I'm like that. Once again here for two podcasts in a row. We're ending on like a wide range esoteric note there with fantasy.