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Should you draft Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, or Zamir White in fantasy football leagues?

Every 12 months, there are a handful of gamers it’s actually troublesome to get a learn on. This 12 months, Josh Jacobs is a kind of gamers. With a whole lot of uncertainty surrounding Jacobs, his future with the Las Vegas Raiders, and his function, fantasy football managers are left questioning whether or not they need to draft him in 2022 fantasy leagues. Or ought to fantasy managers goal Kenyan Drake or Zamir White as a substitute?

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The reply to each “should you draft this player” query is relative. Every single prime 100 is price drafting in some unspecified time in the future. To use an deliberately absurd instance, if Jacobs is out there in the tenth spherical, you’re drafting him.

In order to determine whether or not fantasy managers ought to draft Jacobs this season, we first want to find out if Jacobs is a participant price concentrating on.

Josh Jacobs’ utilization

Last season, Jacobs noticed a 68% alternative share in the Raiders’ backfield, averaging 18.8 alternatives (targets + carries) per recreation. That marked a noticeable drop from his 21.2 alternatives per recreation in 2020.

The excellent news for Jacobs was that he noticed a rise in passing-game work final season. Jacobs’ goal share jumped from 9.8% in 2020 to 12.4% in 2021, and he had the Eleventh-highest goal share amongst working backs.

Jacobs has averaged between 14.7 and 15.4 PPR fantasy factors per recreation in every of his three NFL seasons, ending someplace between RB12 and RB15 every year. If Jacobs sees comparable utilization this season, he’ll nearly definitely be a worth at his ADP.

The Raiders are a a lot totally different crew than final season

This is the $64,000 query. On the floor, there’s not a lot of a purpose for the Raiders to cut back Jacobs’ workload. However, the Raiders underwent a number of impactful adjustments since final season.

It’s a toss-up between two strikes for essentially the most impactful. First, the Raiders employed Josh McDaniels as their head coach. Next, they traded for Davante Adams. Both of those strikes affect Jacobs.

McDaniels will carry over a brand new offensive philosophy that he discovered from his time in New England. In New England, the Patriots typically used a number of backs and by no means had the identical lead again for greater than a few seasons.

Adams’ presence suggests a transfer to a extra pass-heavy system. Derek Carr threw the ball 626 occasions in a 12 months the place his prime receivers have been Hunter Renfrow and Zay Jones. With Adams main a trio of him, Renfrow, and Darren Waller as Carr’s prime cross catchers, it wouldn’t make sense to return to a run-heavy offense.

How would a pass-heavy system affect Jacobs’ fantasy worth?

Here is the place issues get very murky. A discount in Jacobs’ carries isn’t essentially a nasty factor. Targets are price roughly 3 times greater than carries in fantasy football. If Jacobs is dropping a few carries a recreation, however gaining even only one goal per recreation, it’s at worst a internet impartial. The drawback is a few different offseason strikes counsel that will not be the case.

Is 2022 Jacobs’ closing 12 months with the Raiders?

Jacobs is on the ultimate 12 months of his rookie deal. The Raiders already declined his fifth-year possibility, and we all know second-contract working backs are traditionally a nasty wager. Perhaps that is the Raiders’ plan with Jacobs. They might nonetheless theoretically signal him to an extension, however declining his fifth-year possibility sends a transparent message that they don’t thoughts dropping him.

The Raiders signed two working backs that additionally play particular groups in Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden. As if that wasn’t sufficient, in addition they drafted Zamir White in the fourth spherical of the 2022 NFL Draft. Oh, and Kenyan Drake continues to be there.

If 2022 is Jacobs’ final 12 months with the Raiders, issues might go considered one of two methods. Las Vegas might choose to run Jacobs into the bottom in his closing 12 months with the crew, not caring about his longevity since he gained’t be there. They might additionally resolve to transition him away from being the point of interest of the working recreation, getting their rookie extra concerned, significantly because the 12 months progresses.

As a lot as I’d love to take a seat right here and inform you which path they’ll go in, I simply don’t know. But neither does anybody else. That’s exactly why Jacobs’ ADP is about 6-8 spots decrease than the place he’s completed over his first three seasons.

Is Jacobs price drafting at his ADP?

It’s presently early August, and usually, ADP information will get stronger as we get deeper into the month. As issues presently stand, Jacobs’ ADP is around RB20. If you need to draft him, you’ll have to seize him late-third/early-fourth spherical.

Jacobs presents considerably extra threat this season than he has in years previous. If Jacobs’ utilization is similar as we’re accustomed to seeing, he’ll carry out higher than his ADP. However, Jacobs won’t ever be a league winner. He simply doesn’t have that type of upside. We’ve seen his ceiling and in a best-case situation, he’s a low RB1.

In the realm Jacobs goes, I a lot want the extensive receivers there. Guys like Diontae Johnson, Michael Pittman Jr., DK Metcalf, DJ Moore, and Terry McLaurin all supply extra of a ceiling than Jacobs.

Similarly, at working again, I’d quite take a shot on the unknown ceilings of Breece Hall and Travis Etienne than the recognized capped ceiling of Jacobs. I’d even quite wait a spherical and seize AJ Dillon.

Ultimately, Jacobs is unlikely to torpedo your championship hopes. Given his value and previous efficiency, even when his function is diminished, Jacobs ought to nonetheless produce sufficient to be a worthwhile RB2 in fantasy. My concern is he’s a flooring choose who isn’t as protected as he’s been in earlier seasons.

I are inclined to prioritize upside when drafting my fantasy groups, so Jacobs is somebody I’m most likely avoiding except he falls significantly farther than he ought to in 2022 fantasy football leagues.

What about Zamir White and Kenyan Drake?

Things get somewhat difficult right here as a result of I’m not likely in White or Drake both. White’s highest faculty goal share in a season was 3%. He’s a two-down grinder, and I don’t anticipate him on the market on passing downs. His solely actual path to fantasy worth is a Jacobs harm. Absent that situation, White goes to hinder Jacobs’ fantasy worth extra so than have his personal.

As for Drake, I’m barely . With the Raiders drafting White and Drake coming off a damaged ankle, Drake appears to have been fully dismissed by fantasy managers.

Drake largely goes undrafted, however he’s nonetheless simply 28 years previous. Last season, he averaged 8.5 ppg. While that’s nothing spectacular, it’s nonetheless RB4 numbers. Fantasy rosters include not less than 4 working backs, and Drake will most likely be related in fantasy football leagues.

I’m not one to purchase an excessive amount of into coaching camp noise, however there have been a number of studies of Drake having a significant role in the passing recreation. It wouldn’t shock me if Drake noticed 4-6 carries per recreation and 3-5 targets. As a consequence, at value, I want Drake essentially the most out of the Raiders’ prime three backs.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can comply with him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and discover extra of his work right here.

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