I know that there are some Midrashim that "blame" Ya'akov for sending messengers to Esav. But, after he sends them, they return and report that Esav is coming after him with 400 men.
We see that he sends Esav gifts to try to appease him, and he prepares to defend himself. And, he prays to G-d for help. One thing that doesn't seem apparent, is that assuming that Ya'akov knew that he was outnumbered, and that he was afraid of his brother, why didn't he run away, try to outmaneuver his brother or hide in a cave for a while until he calculated that Esav would eventually give up searching for him?