Josh Jacobs' Updated Fantasy Outlook After Raiders' Week 4 Loss to Chargers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVOctober 5, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs in isolated action during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Josh Jacobs didn't exactly play Monday night hero for fantasy football managers looking for one final push to a Week 4 victory.

The Las Vegas running back averaged a paltry 3.1 yards per carry on his way to 40 rushing yards in his team's 28-14 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Los Angeles' defensive front deserves credit for quickly filling in any rushing gaps, although Jacobs at least provided some solace for those in points-per-reception leagues with five catches for 17 yards.

The 2020 Pro Bowler has been anything but dominant in the early going this season.

In fact, he is yet to run for more than 40 yards in either of his two games this year. While he gets something of a pass against the Chargers since he was dealing with an ankle injury after missing the last two contests, it is still alarming for fantasy football managers.

Those looking for silver linings can point to the fact Jacobs had 13 carries compared to just one for Kenyan Drake and one for Peyton Barber, although the latter exited with a foot injury.

Jacobs went from totaling 10 carries to Drake's six in the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens to a clear-cut advantage in Monday's loss. A healthy Barber may have changed the equation considering he was coming off 111 rushing yards against the Miami Dolphins, but Jacobs was the unquestioned go-to back in the latest game.

There is also a track record to trust.

The Alabama product went over 1,000 yards rushing in each of his first two seasons and still found the end zone twice in the win over the Ravens. Recent history suggests he will be a fantasy force at some point this year, especially once he is fully healthy and hitting his stride.

Jacobs is an auto-start for now, but the situation is at least worth monitoring.

The Raiders haven't hesitated to air it out with Derek Carr, and Barber could eat into his carry totals if the 27-year-old veteran is healthy. That lowers the overall ceiling for Jacobs, who has been missing the burst he showed last year at times.

He is still a fantasy starter at this point, but Jacobs looks more like an RB2 or RB3 than an RB1 this season.


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