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What to do with Josh Jacobs in Week 8 fantasy football

Josh Jacobs has delivered incredible performances this season as well as some quiet afternoons. Which version of the Raiders running back will show up this Sunday against the Browns?

Josh Jacobs #28 of the Las Vegas Raiders runs with the ball while being tackled by Lavonte David #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter at Allegiant Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Game day update: The weather should benefit Jacobs in this matchup. Wind gusts of nearly 50 mph means the passing games could be ineffective, or at least suppressed to a certain degree. We’ll still see some passing, but look for the Raiders to lean even more on Jacobs. ESPN projects Jacobs to score 18.0 fantasy points in PPR leagues.

The Las Vegas Raiders have gotten off to a 3-3 start and, at times, look like a potential playoff team in a division dominated by the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs. While their status within the AFC fluctuates on a week-to-week basis, they possess enough talent to overcome even top-shelf opponents.

One of those talented players, running back Josh Jacobs, has become increasingly integral to the performance of the Raiders offense.

Fantasy Football analysis: Raiders RB Josh Jacobs

While Jacobs remains a developing talent, he has already displayed a considerable ceiling as an all-around running back. In his first game of 2020, he delivered 129 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns, one of the biggest outputs of any player this season. That game didn’t prove to be a one-off either, as Jacobs managed an 85-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Kansas City Chiefs just three weeks ago.

However, those matchups in between underscore Jacobs’ downside. While the second-year back doesn’t bear the full responsibility for the comparatively poor production in his other outings — the Raiders have dealt with numerous issues along the offensive line and inconsistencies in the passing game — those games outnumber the good ones so far this year. Accordingly, Jacobs looks more and more like a lottery ticket from a fantasy perspective and Las Vegas’ matchup will have an even greater impact on how the running back performs.

And thus far, the Cleveland Browns have done a commendable job slowing down opposing ground attacks. Through seven games, their defense has allowed less than 69 rushing yards to running backs and averaged one rushing touchdown per outing. The unit has also only yielded one receiving score to running backs. Jacobs has the potential to overcome those impediments, but fantasy managers must still account for them.

Though Jacobs appeared on the Raiders’ injury report this week and only practiced on a limited basis, he will suit up Sunday in Cleveland.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Jacobs as an RB1 in all formats.