When Lamar Jackson entered the NFL you just knew he’d be something special. It had been a long time since fantasy football had seen a mobile quarterback like this, and although his passing numbers didn’t impress in his rookie season, his rushing prowess was enough to make everyone excited.
Jackson followed up his rookie season with a brilliant second season, throwing for 36 touchdowns and rushing for 1200 yards and 7 touchdowns. Jackson finished about 80 points better than the next quarterback in fantasy scoring and was immediately a top-round draft pick in the 2020 season.
Unfortunately for Jackson (and fantasy players who drafted him last season), he was about to come back to Earth. Let’s take a deeper look at whether or not Jackson can return to 2019’s numbers, or if he’s settled into a lower norm.
ADP comes from our 12-team PPR and stats come from Pro Football Reference .
Lamar Jackson had a mediocre 2020 season, finishing as the QB10 and most likely disappointing those who drafted him as the first or second overall QB. Jackson completed 242 of 376 (64.4%) of his passes for 2757 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. His completion percentage and touchdowns both fell from 2019, and he threw 3 more interceptions. On the rushing side, Jackson ran 159 times for 1005 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Overall, Jackson’s passing took a step back, and his 2757 yards were ranked 22 nd in the league. He was almost beat out by Joe Burrow, who only played 10 games. Although he led the league in quarterback rushing stats, his passing yards and touchdowns just simply weren’t enough to make him a top 5 quarterback that you hoped he’d be.
Jackson led the Ravens to an 11-5 season but lost in the Divisional round to the Buffalo Bills.
The Ravens decided to invest a little into the receiving corps this offseason, adding veteran Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins and then drafting highly touted Wide Receiver Rashod Bateman at the end of the 1 st round of the 2021 NFL draft. It appears the Ravens haven’t been too impressed with Willie Snead, Devin Duvernay, and Miles Boykin, since Watkins and Bateman seem primed to take over those roles.
Willie Snead moved on this offseason and joined the Las Vegas Raiders.
Wide Receiver Marquise Brown and Tight End Mark Andrews are still there, as is Running Back J.K. Dobbins. With an apparent upgrade to the Wide Receivers, Lamar Jackson could be set up to regain some of those passing numbers.
Currently, Jackson is going at the beginning of the fifth round (5.01) and is the fourth Quarterback off the board.
This is a make-or-break type of year for Jackson when it comes to fantasy scoring since we’ve only really seen two actual productive seasons (if you don’t count his rookie year). Could Jackson have found his norm in his QB10 finish of 2020? Or was it an off year full of weird COVID issues and schedule changes?
Personally, I believe Jackson will fall somewhere in the middle of 2019 and 2020 performances. His 2019 year seemed a bit absurd (he threw a touchdown on 9% of his throws), yet his 2020 performance just seemed off. Jackson should be able to bring up those passing numbers again with help from newly acquired Sammy Watkins and Rashod Bateman, and I don’t think his rushing numbers will suffer. If anything, adding more talent to the receiving group only bolsters Jackson’s chances to run more freely.
Passing: 3100 yards passing, 28 touchdowns, 8 interceptions.
Rushing: 165 rushing attempts for 1100 yards and 6 touchdowns.
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