Will Josh Jacobs be a better receiving back for the Las Vegas Raiders?
Running back Josh Jacobs was one of the better rookies in the NFL last season. For the then-Oakland Raiders, Jacobs had 242 carries for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns in only 13 games. While he showed us why he was worth the first-round pick coming out of the University of Alabama, Jacobs wasn’t much of a factor in the receiving game for the Silver and Black.
The Fantasy Footballers set the bar pretty high for Jacobs to cross an important receiving threshold of 35 catches out of the backfield. The reason that benchmark of 35 is so significant is it is incredibly difficult to be a top-10 running back in fantasy football if you can’t approach three dozen receptions out of the backfield. Does Jacobs have what it takes in their eyes?
Jason Moore and Andy Holloway have Jacobs upwards of 40 catches out of the backfield for the Silver and Black in 2020. Mike Wright wants to get him to 35, but comes up one reception short at only 34. He recognizes how run-oriented the Raiders offense has been and will be under third-year head coach Jon Gruden. Jacobs hasn’t had more than 20 catches in a season since 2016.
Does Josh Jacobs assert himself as a top-10 fantasy running back in 2020?
Having another year of familiar with the Raiders offense should be a plus for Jacobs as a receiver. So is starting quarterback Derek Carr’s proclivity for hitting the check down like his life depended on it. Not having longtime Raiders running back DeAndre Washington on the team any more also opens up more opportunities for Jacobs to improve as a receiving back.
Overall, the guys do view Jacobs as a top-10 running back in 2020. Holloway has him as his RB6 heading into this upcoming season. We know what Jacobs can do in the ground game, but has left a lot to be desired as a receiver. Though we should be skeptical of him breaking the 35-reception threshold, the best thing he’s got going for him is three extra games than he played in 2019.
Had Jacobs played in all 16 games last year for the Silver and Black, he would have had 24.6 receptions. Of course, that’s not anywhere closer to 35 from where it was at 20, but one more catch out of the backfield a game as a second-year pro should do the trick. Regardless, Jacob should be an RB10 anyway this fall no matter how much of a factor he is in the receiving game.