What to do with Josh Jacobs after another quiet performance?
I mean at this point I’d say we have to eat our vegetables with Josh Jacobs, because that’s just about what it’s felt like having him in your starting lineup, right? Seven weeks into the season, and nobody is excited to have him in their lineup, and understandably so. He’s really got us cornered with what we’ve seen from him so far, because his production hasn’t been anything close to what we came to expect to see from him after last year – but his utilization isn’t really bad at all, either. 16.8 expected points per game coming into this one ranks 9th in the NFL among all running backs. And given the game script in this one and the troubles at quarterback, I don’t think we can fault him in this game.
That being said, nobody is going to want to trade for him and you’re almost guaranteed to be taking a loss in any deal where you’re shipping him away, so to follow up on the analogy earlier, I think we just have to continue to sit at the dinner table and be served up the carrots and green beans that has been Josh Jacobs starts this season. You have to hold him. There’s a better chance that he can turn things around this season than there is in you being able to flip him in a trade for something better. I think we can start talking about him as more of an ideal RB2 start than a low-RB1 with upside moving forward, but there’s plenty of football left.
Is it time to sell Jahmyr Gibbs after his first (and only) strong performance of 2023 so far?
As someone who’s got a lot of draft capital tied up in him this season, I’m definitely gonna cling to this performance as vindication for investing as much in him as I did. And I’m sure that’ll be the case for a lot of his managers this week too – you stuck it out while he was injured and didn’t have tons of production, and now he finally comes through. You almost don’t know what to do - but I think that there’s definitely some merit to the idea of selling him.
We’re coming up on the midway point in the season, and the only time Gibbs delivered came in a game where David Montgomery wasn’t playing, Craig Reynolds wasn’t healthy, and the Lions got completely boat raced. The point about the game script in this game isn’t as big of a concern for me as the fact that his competition in the backfield wasn’t there to compete with him - so of course his workload increased.
I think there are situations where Gibbs could catch six or seven passes even with Montgomery in the lineup, but that’s the problem: those games won’t happen nearly as often as games like we’ve seen from him these first few weeks, and it’s pretty clear that David Montgomery is the running back the Lions want on the field when he can play. I’d definitely field offers for him, but I don’t know if I’d be going around and shopping him because we do know that Gibbs has this type of performance in him.
I’d throw him on the trade block and just let everyone know that I’m willing to listen to trade offers - but if nobody bites and you aren’t getting solid compensation, I’d roll with him for another week. There’s a chance he could be even more valuable a week from today than he is now, and at that point we could be talking about him being a quality piece moving forward. But there’s nothing wrong with looking to sell right now.
Is the Colts' offense legit after that great performance against the Browns' defense?
The game we were looking forward to the least happened to be the game that was the best in the early window. Gardner Minshew continues to breathe life into this Colts team - he keeps fumbling balls and commits turnovers, but he gives his guys a chance. He threw for 300 yards in 2 straight games, he ran 2 TDs in this week, and threw for another 2… and that allowed Josh Downs and Michael Pittman to get it done. Pittman didn’t get it going until that late 75 yard TD from Minshew, but he ultimately came through for you – and Josh Downs continues to see a high target share from Minshew. 26% target share against the Browns is completely legit, and he’s still available in a ton of leagues, so he’ll be a top waiver wire pickup this week once again.
And by the way, we’re still seeing a split in the Colts backfield - 50/50 split in terms of snaps, both had 18 carries, but JT saw 3 more targets. First big game we’ve seen from JT in a while though - 75 yards rushing a TD, with another 45 yards through the air… it seems like Zack Moss might continue to be startable as a flex.