There was a little bit of concern around which role Josh Jacobs would play in this Oakland offense as a rookie. For some reason, after being a do-it-all player in Alabama, Oakland’s RB2 Jalen Richard still looked like a threat to eat from Jacobs’ opportunities in the passing game. And although Richard was fairly out-snapped in Week 1 (43 to 9), he has played in many more offensive plays as of late (still about a 2:1 ratio in favor of Jacobs, though). No matter the playing time, Jacobs is the clear go-to option in the Raiders backfield, and his production has been better than that of Richard so far. The most disappointing thing, though, is that Jon Gruden promised more passes going Jacobs way entering Week 4, but that was far from true with the RB seeing just two targets.
That rushing/receiving split has been the tale of the season so far for Jacobs. He’s got 307 yards on 62 rushing attempts already, but only three receptions on five targets. That last bit of information is crucial as those are targets are way fewer than he should be seeing given his production: 57 yards for a massive 11.4 yards per target, with 50 yards gained all by himself after the catch. Jacobs has so far performed up to the expectations. He leads all rookie RBs (min. 15 carries) in yards, attempts, touchdowns and yards per game, but it is also true that he has only faced one defense ranked 22nd or better against the run (Minnesota, eighth). Jacobs is currently a borderline RB2 with an average of 12.9 fantasy points per game, and although he has shown a good ceiling (24.3 fantasy points in Week 1) he also had middling outings of 9.9 and 4.4 points in weeks two and three.
Fantasy football analysis, Oakland Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
Those 4.4 points came against the best defense Jacobs faced in Minnesota’s. This week, Chicago is on schedule, and they are even better at stopping the run than the Vikings. The Bears are giving up just 19.5 fantasy points per game to RBs (seventh-best mark) and have been able to hold Aaron Jones and Dalvin Cook to a paltry 40 yards rushing each. While Chicago has surrendered almost the same amount of rushing and receiving yards (235 and 226) to RBs, the fact that Jacobs is virtually unused in that facet of the game won’t help him this weekend. Oakland enters Week 5 as a 5.5-point underdog and the game is in London, which ... you never know. Chicago should hold onto the lead they’ll probably jump out to early, and the Raiders will need to catch up through the air. While that could help Jacobs see more targets, don’t bank on it as his fantasy ceiling doesn’t look so high this weekend and a really low floor is surely in play.