Saints Fantasy Football: Saints Defense vs. Raiders RB Jacobs
New Orleans’ defensive performance against Tampa Bay in Week 1 was exceptional, scoring 17.0 Fantasy Points. Just as sensational in Week 1, Raiders second-year RB Josh Jacobs. The former Alabama Crimson Tide standout tallied 93 yards and 3 TDs on the ground en route to 31.9 Fantasy Points (Standard Scoring) against the Saints division rival, Carolina Panthers.
The stellar performances from both sides in Week 1 create a great Monday Night showdown. Jacobs, who has 1,200+ rushing yards in 13 career games, faces a New Orleans Saints defense that has not allowed a 100+ yard rusher in 44 consecutive games. Dennis Allen’s defense ranked fourth against the run in 2019 and only allowed 86 yards on 26 carries last week but will face a true fantasy RB1 this week.
Last week was the first time in Jacobs' young NFL career he has accumulated 30+ fantasy points in a single week. The next closest performance came in Week 5 last season against Chicago, where he ran for 123 yards and 2 TDs. Jacobs has five 100-yard rushing performances to his name, including two in his last five outings. The young stud RB has only one fantasy problem... his 10 career rushing TDs have come in 5 total games. Showing his fantasy “upside” weighs heavily on multiple TDs.
For the Saints defense, as a unit, they have not faced a running back like Jacobs since Week 4 of the 2019 season against Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys. In that matchup, the Saints held the Ohio State product to 35 yards and a TD on 18 carries. New Orleans returns an impressive DL unit from 2019 that, when healthy, was among the leagues best in pressures, sacks, and total run defense. This defensive group with linebackers Demario Davis, Alex Anzalone, and safeties C.J Gardner-Johnson, P.J. Williams, and Malcolm Jenkins will make running the ball effectively a distant dream against the Saints.
Jacobs is a true RB1 week in and week out and rightfully deserves the high round draft pick many used on him. In Week 2 the Saints offer a decent matchup for Jacobs, who should find some success both rushing and receiving. I like the Crimson-Tide RB to find the end zone for the first time since Weeks 8 and 9 last season but not to eclipse 100+ yards. It is a straightforward decision to start Jacobs as your top RB option this week.
Prediction: 82 Rushing Yards, 10 Receiving Yards, 1 TD
After one week, the Saints have the #1 ranked fantasy football defense/special teams. Who would have thought? New Orleans was opportunistic on defense in Week 1, forcing two turnovers and one that resulted in a pick-six. The Saints are ranked 10th in total defense after the victory.
Josh Jacobs should see plenty of carries on Monday night, and with Derek Carr and the plethora of young offensive talent will be another early-season test for the Saints. However, having faced a more talented offense, on paper, last week, the Saints defense should be an optimistic play this week against a team that racked up 372 yards and 34 points last week. Do not count on 17 points or more in back-to-back weeks, but the Saints are a top 15 play defensively against the Raiders.
Prediction: 17 Points Allowed, 3 Sacks, 1 INT
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