Well, almost 300 – 296.5 touches to be exact. His RB1s actually averaged 266 touches per year, but when adjusted for missed games and guys taking over workloads a few weeks into the season, there was actually some serious opportunity for his lead back. Even with that high touch total, there was still room for his RB2 to get touches as well. So even if a guy like Jalen Richard remains the primary passing down back, Josh Jacobs seems to be walking into one of the only obvious opportunity voids in the NFL.
Jacobs has legit ability in the passing game, and with Gruden’s passing offenses providing 30% of target share to RBs, Jacobs can potentially grab 40+ balls in his rookie year, assuming his role is limited to being the guy on early downs. Gruden’s history suggests that there’s a possibility he gets some work on passing downs, as well; both Michael Pittman and Charlie Garner were primary options in both the run and pass game in Gruden’s offense.
The role itself is as safe as it comes, and even if you’re not sold on Jacobs, we’ve seen less talented RBs take advantage of opportunity. When it comes to fantasy, follow the opportunity for the floor, and let any talent hopefully provide some upside. The fact that Jacobs will be involved in the pass game (even if it’s just on early downs) keeps his floor relatively high.
Cadillac Williams, in particular, had a ridiculous rookie year under Gruden. He had 290 carries and 20 receptions during that rookie year, and that was only in 14 games; his 16-game pace was 343 touches. Last year, Marshawn Lynch was on pace for 290 touches before he got hurt, and he was 32 years old; that was while averaging only 50% of snaps per game last year, and I would assume Jacobs sees a higher percentage because of an increased role in the pass game.
In the third round, he might be the safest high-volume RB, assuming he doesn’t completely drop the ball in training camp. Last year, only 11 RBs had more than 266 touches last year, and five RBs have gone over 300 touches; he’s being drafted as the RB17 right now towards the end of the 3rd round.
Swipe right for more on why I drafted Josh Jacobs in a recent mock. Lmk your thoughts! 👇👇