Buy Low on a Former MVP
by Andrew Teuscher
Take your minds back all the way back to 2019 before the pandemic. Some running back playing quarterback went absolutely absurd and put up the 4th best fantasy QB season ever as he scored 415 points in just 15 games. Lamar Jackson was the QB1 in drafts going into 2020. Although everyone knew he wasn’t a great passer back then, people were still wondering if anyone could ever finish above Lamar again. His rushing upside is absolutely unrivaled by any QB in NFL history not named Michael Vick.
Now let’s take a leap in our time machine to 2020. The expectations for Lamar were sky-high! How did Lamar respond? He finished as the QB10. Yes, coming off of the pinnacle of fantasy stardom, Lamar had nine QBs finish ahead of him. Ryan Tannehill and a rookie Justin Herbert finished ahead of him. Both options that redraft players could have grabbed off waivers. Fantasy managers, on average (according to Fantasypros), took Lamar Jackson 17th overall in 2020 drafts. Fantasy players felt burned by the young mobile QB.
In regards to 2021, Lamar Jackson did not meet expectations again and he finished as the QB16. This lackluster result was greatly impacted by Lamar missing five games to injury.
So why on Earth do you want this guy?
Well, let me present the case as to why you should be snatching up Lamar onto your teams. Allow me to begin by taking a closer look at the ghosts of Lamar’s past that are haunting the minds of fantasy players. In 2020 Lamar was the QB10. That looks bad on the surface and is why a savvy manager like you can get him at a great value. This will be slightly different depending on your exact scoring, but for the sake of this article, Lamar put up 333 pts in 2020.
Why does this matter? This is big because 2020 was the year of the fantasy QB. There were spectacular performances left and right.
If Lamar would have had 333 pts in any other year going all the way back to 2012, Lamar’s 2020 season would have made him at least the third-best QB in any given season. DON’T MISS THIS POINT. 2020 was so good for fantasy QBs that Lamar and every QB finishing ahead of him would have been a top 3 QB. Therefore, do not let 2020 fool you and let it fool your league-mates. Lamar basically followed up his QB1 season with a QB3 finish. Context is king!
Injury ruined 2021, but on a ppg basis, Lamar was still the 8th best QB, and that includes the game he left early after just one series. Remove that game from the sample size and he was the 4th best QB in ppg. That means he was still a QB1 in fantasy if he hadn’t gotten hurt.
Lamar Jackson Dynasty Profile / Preview More Here!
Now that we have seen that Lamar has still been excellent these past years when he is on the field, let’s project forward. Lamar will be a top 10 QB every single season he isn’t decimated by injury because of his rushing floor. I’ll bet my house on that. The biggest complaint about Lamar is that he can’t throw. For starters, he doesn’t need to be a good passer to be a good fantasy QB. Look at Jalen Hurts this year. Lamar is still a fine-enough passer. He threw 36 TDs in 2019 which led the league. He did this throwing to an unestablished, second-year Mark Andrews and a rookie Marquise Brown. Don’t be confused because those are good names today. They were great options back then.
The Ravens clearly were also committing to improving the passing game in 2021 when they drafted Rashod Batemen in the first round. Bateman, along with one of the best receiving TEs, Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown is a great receiving core. 2021 did not go according to plan for Lamar or the tattered Ravens. 2022 should be better for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens as a whole.
Lamar should be viewed as no worse than a top 5 option in redraft leagues next year and he is a buy low in dynasty leagues. Mobile QBs are not viable past their age 30 seasons in the NFL. Lamar is only 25. Go get Lamar and don’t worry about paying an elite price or streaming QBs in 2022!
Andrew Teuscher is a fantasy-football enthusiast and certified fantasy try hard.