Is Brandon Jacobs A Viable RB2?

Perhaps, Brandon Jacobs sheer size caused people to get giddy, thinking that he would simply run through people and into the end zone, racking up the TDs and ultimately causing him to be overvalued…

The thing is, could the correction have gone too far?  Given his injury history it is understandable that fantasy owners may have soured on Brandon Jacobs heading into 2010, but according to Mock Draft Central he is currently the 25th running back off the board.  That makes him, on average, the 52nd pick on draft day, or a fifth round draft pick.

Instead of a starting running back, that would make him a FLEX option, and to me that doesn’t make sense.

Clearly, there’s a risk involved in drafting him.  His running style has certainly led to his fair share of bumps and bruises, not playing in 16 games since his rookie year.  Last year was just a disappointment across the board, despite playing in, and starting, 15 games:

835 yards (3.7 yards/carry)
5 TD
2 runs of 20 yards or more

Throw in a virtual nonexistence in the passing game (career high is 23 receptions in 2007 and 184 yards in 2009), and you get a running back that is scary to depend on.  I get that.

I just don’t agree with it.

While I’m not about to draft him as my RB1, let’s not forget that he’s just a year removed from rushing for 1,089 yards and 15 TD.  In 2007 & 2008, he averaged 5.0 yards per carry.  Do we really think that at 6’4″, 264 lbs, he can’t get back to those types of numbers?  Do we really think he can’t return to converting goal line plays into touchdowns?

Let’s not forget that the Giants offensive line, which had been the offensive rock, suffered injuries last season, which played a part in things.  Yes, they are aging and may have lost a step at a few spots, but they are still a talented group and should be able to create enough holes for Jacobs to break through.

Also, you have to remember the Giants and Jacobs thrived when he had Derrick Ward working as a 1-2 punch.  Ahmad Bradshaw showed flashes in 2009 of being that secondary back (778 yards and 7 TD) and could help to shoulder the load with Jacobs.  That extra breather should help to keep Jacobs fresh and therefore more productive all year long.

I know there are concerns, but Jacobs has the potential to return to his 2008 form.  That makes him worth drafting as a RB2 in my book.  I have him ranked slightly higher then he’s going now (20th among RB), and certainly would be willing to draft him as a main cog on my team in the late third or early fourth round.

Would I make sure I got another RB with upside (like a Jahvid Best or Ben Tate) just in case?  Absolutely, but the talent is there and he certainly is worth targeting on draft day.

What are your thoughts on Jacobs?  Is he worth drafting as a RB2 or would you feel more comfortable as a FLEX?  How early would you draft him?

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