Lamar > Mahomes in Fantasy
There is a good debate going on right now between which QB to draft, Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson. @FantasyPros ADP has them neck and neck at picks 21 and 22. The past two seasons we’ve seen both put up historic seasons with Lamar’s being the better of the two. Mahomes scored 417 points in 2018, Lamar was on pace for 442 last season. I don’t advise drafting either at their current ADP, but I can justify a late 2nd with Lamar. I can’t say the same for Mahomes.
"Lamar’s rushing ability presents unique upside like we’ve never seen before." — Fantasy Guides
Lamar’s rushing ability presents unique upside like we’ve never seen before. We have had athletic QB’s before, but the only QB that we can compare to him athletically is Michael Vick. Possibly RGIII. The difference, and this is HUGE is that those QB’s did not have a coaching staff that was using them the way Baltimore is with Lamar. Last season he attempted 176 rushes. The most Vick ever attempted was 123. His rushing yards could very likely be 900-1,000 every year. That’s something we’ve never seen before. It’s an advantage that Patrick Mahomes will never have. Mahomes may be the best QB in the game, but not for fantasy. For example, when Peyton Manning broke the NFL record for passing TD’s in 2004, he wasn’t even the best fantasy QB that season. Daunte Culpepper threw 10 less TD passes but outscored Manning 373-360 in fantasy points. Why? Rushing yards. Culpepper had 406. In 2010, Tom Brady threw 36 TD passes and just 4 INT’s. He finished behind Michael Vick in scoring. Why? Again, rushing yards. Vick threw 15 less TD’s than Brady and still outscored him because he rushed for 676 yards and 9 TD’s.....oh, and he did that in just 12 games. 😳 A QB has to have a lot of things go right to throw 35+ TD’s. A QB like Lamar just needs a few scrambles each game to make up for it.
I think we all expect Mahomes to throw more TD’s than Lamar just based on passing volume, but he will need to throw substantially more to outscore him. Lamar is giving you an advantage of 8.44 points per game over Mahomes with his rushing ability. Mahomes practically has to throw 2 more TD passes than Jackson each game to make up for it. That’s hard enough to do against an average QB, let alone the reigning MVP.