Lamar Jackson Fantasy Football Outlook & Value 2019

Ranking: QB19, ADP: 13.11, Auction Value($200): $23, Team: BAL, BYE: Week 8

Apparently at minicamps, someone forgot to inform Lamar Jackson they were changing their offense. In a video posted on the official team twitter, he mentioned how blindsided he was by all the changes they made. Of course, these changes are probably for the better, as the Baltimore Ravens are changing to an offense that they hope will accentuate Jackson’s strengths more.

Last season, despite a 22nd ranked passing offense, the Ravens were 9th in total yards, thanks to their 2nd ranked rushing offense. Jackson’s replacement of former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was a big part of that, as his run oriented game helped spark the Ravens. Once they substituted Jackson for Flacco midseason, they immediately went on a run that ended up taking them to the playoffs, where they bowed out to the Chargers. Still, Jackson is a quarterback, and he’ll be expected to make big time throws when necessary. The addition of rookie receiver Marquise Brown should help, along with rookie running back Justice Hill.

FPTS 2018 YDS YDS/Gm 300+ YDS CMP% YDS/ATT YDS/CMP TD INT QBR Yahoo PTS/GM
161 1201 75.1 0 58.2% 7.1 12.1 6 3 84.5 10

Upside

Although his passing game needs polish, Lamar’s running prowess was evident from the start, as he rushed for almost 700 yards and had 4 rushing touchdowns in just 7 starts. Although the new offense is expected to be more pass oriented, that doesn’t mean they won’t utilize Jackson’s running gifts. If he can take the steps necessary to even become an average passer, than he could become one of the better dual threat quarterbacks in the league. If he has a smooth integration into the new system, Jackson could conceivably throw for around 3000 passing yards and 20 touchdowns, along with 800 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Floor

Part of what made Jackson so successful is how he surprised people. The switch from Flacco to Jackson was like night and day for the Ravens offense, and it showed. Many defenses struggled containing Jackson, but with the element of surprise gone, that may be hard to replicate. If Jackson can’t make the necessary steps he needs to take as a passer, then defenses will be able to hone in on containing his runs. If that happens, things could go south for Jackson quickly. This could lead to some regression, and it’s possible his floor is under 2500 yards and 15 touchdowns in the air, with just 500 yards rushing and under 5 touchdowns on the ground.

What to Expect

Baltimore RavensJackson is currently rated as the 19th overall player at his position, with an average draft position in the 13th round. His auction value with a $200 budget is projected to be $23. This is extremely high for a second year player that’s only started for half a season. When you consider that more consistent quarterbacks like Cousins and Rivers are much cheaper, this evaluation seems overpriced.

His draft position seems fair, as he hasn’t shown enough to be a starting quarterback but picking him up as a backup in the draft for his potential makes sense. Still, expect him to be an up and down pick with flashes of brilliance but stretches of poor play. He’s still a young quarterback who could progress as the season goes on, but he still shouldn’t be your starter.

I think Jackson will progress as a passer, but defenders will be more equipped to stop him as the element of surprise will be gone. I personally believe Jackson will surprise as a passer, but fail to be as successful in the running game as he was last season. I’m predicting a 2800 yard season with 18 touchdowns, and 600 rushing yards with 6 rushing touchdowns.

  
Despite being born in Orange County growing up as a die hard Lakers fan, his fandom is pretty diverse and extends as far as Syracuse University. Aside from sports journalism and analytics, he’s passionate about video games and critiquing movies. Eventual goals include ownership of the entire NBA and NFL.

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