Popular Features

  • NFL Conference Championships NFL SPORTS BETTING premium
    December 30, 2019
    2019-20 NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Rankings

    2019-2020 NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Rankings No one ever wants to QUIT playing fantasy football. In fact, if we could get fantasy football year-round, I am pretty sure most of us would sign up. Thankfully, NFL playoff fantasy football exists and you can play in many different formats and at all different stakes. Michael Leone and…

  • Way-Too-Early 2020 NFL Fantasy Football Rankings
    January 7, 2020
    Way-Too-Early 2020 NFL Fantasy Football Rankings

    Way-Too-Early 2020 NFL Fantasy Football Rankings Last week, I did massive overload of my Dynasty NFL fantasy football rankings  but I know that many of you do not play that format and are already starting to think about how you can win your redraft league in 2020. There are some real strategic reasons to start thinking…

  • Early Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings premium
    January 8, 2020
    Early Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

    Early Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings As we transition into the offseason (though the playoffs are still happening right now), we will be picking up our dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings coverage here and on SportsGrid. Dynasty fantasy football is one of our big passions here at RX and my early dynasty fantasy football rookies…

  • Three Dynasty Fantasy Football Players To Trade FOR This Offseason
    January 22, 2020
    Three Dynasty Fantasy Football Players To Trade FOR This Offseason

    Three Dynasty Fantasy Football Players To Trade FOR This Offseason If you are anything like me, you have already started planning out your dynasty fantasy football offseason. If you haven’t started to evaluate your rosters, I suggest you start now. Regardless of how your 2019 season ended (and of course we hope it ended with…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Tee Higgins, Clemson
    January 13, 2020
    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Tee Higgins, Clemson

    2020 NFL Draft Scouting Prospect Profile: Tee Higgins, Clemson With the NFL regular season over, the playoffs more than halfway over and the NFL Draft approaching, it is time to start grinding the future of the league. Our series of prospect profiles will attempt to capture all of the dynasty fantasy football relevant players at…

  • Postseason NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update premium
    January 1, 2020
    Postseason NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update

    Postseason NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update The regular season of the NFL in 2019 has finally left us which means….dynasty fantasy football players are ready to start grinding their 2020 rosters. I know that of my 10+ dynasty leagues, I have already started to figure out what I need to add to my roster…

  • Fooled By Randomness: Derrick Henry
    January 15, 2020
    Fooled By Randomness: Derrick Henry Isn’t Teaching The Lesson You Think

    Fooled By Randomness: Derrick Henry Isn’t Teaching The Lesson You Think I know you have heard it. “DERRICK HENRY MATTERS!!!!” “Turns out some Running Backs DO matter, nerds!” As the Tennessee Titans shut down the juggernaut Baltimore Ravens with an emphatic victory in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs (after thoroughly dunking on the…

  • NFL Playoff Simulations And Betting Angles
    December 31, 2019
    2019 NFL Playoff Simulations And Betting Angles

    2019 NFL Playoff Simulations And Betting Angles Our passions here at RotoExperts and SportsGrid is data-driven analysis. When I get a chance to use full NFL Playoff Simulations to fuel my betting action, you can bet that I am going to take advantage of that. While not every bet you make needs to be fed…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
    January 21, 2020
    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin For the first time in recent memory, there may not be a running back taken in the first round of the NFL draft. While Jonathan Taylor put together a mesmerizing career at the University of Wisconsin, he is perhaps not the style of SaQuon Barkley-style player that…

  • Wild Card Weekend NFL Sports Betting
    January 3, 2020
    Davis Mattek’s NFL Sports Betting Picks For Wildcard Weekend

    Wild Card Weekend NFL Sports Betting: Picks Against The Spread Ricky Sanders did a great job running through the SportsGrid model picks earlier in the week with his looks at the best bets for each of the four wild card games but there was no way after a successful regular season of NFL sports betting that I…

Lamar Jackson: Fantasy Football League Winner In 2019

Lamar Jackson: Fantasy Football League Winner In 2019
Davis Mattek August 13, 2019 11:18AM EST

Lamar Jackson: Fantasy Football League Winner In 2019

When drafting a quarterback in fantasy football, absolutely nothing matters but upside. This general dictum holds true in 99% of fantasy football leagues. There are some examples (16+ team leagues or massive Superflex leagues) where this is not the case but chances are, in your league, you just want to draft for upside. It doesn’t matter if your quarterback gets injured or benched or traded because there is likely a waiver wire replacement readily available. Lamar Jackson is the perfect example of this dictum.

In 2018, 21 quarterbacks averaged 17 or more fantasy points per game in a standard league. 41 players attempted 100 or more passes and 49 quarterbacks started games. In 2017, the gap in fantasy points scored between the 12th QB and the 20th QB was 45 total fantasy points. Of all the positions in fantasy football, quarterback is most replaceable. There are several reasons for this. First, every team has one quarterback and they play the same amount of time. The same is not true for RB/WR/TE where teams deploy all of those positions differently across the league. The second is that passing in the NFL is up league-wide so you are more likely on average to find a similar opportunity in terms of attempts between the fifth-ranked and the 25th ranked players at the QB position. 14 quarterbacks averaged between 230 and 280 passing yards in 2018.

All of this is a long way of saying what you already know: rushing is the single most important aspect of evaluating fantasy football upside for quarterbacks. Quarterbacks who run get an almost unfair advantage in quarterback scoring. In 2017, five of the top 12 quarterbacks added at least 299 rushing yards to their tally. In 2018, five of the top 12 quarterbacks added at least 269 rushing yards to their fantasy point-scoring.

Since 2000, there have been 70 seasons where a quarterback has rushed the ball more than 65 times. The median outcome of those seasons is 17.3 fantasy points per game. That season would have finished as QB15 last year. The sample, of course, includes several dud seasons by the likes of Quincy Carter, Geno Smith, Deshone Kizer, and David Carr. When the cutoff is changed to a minimum of 100 rushing attempts, the median outcome on 20 seasons since 2000 is 18.9 fantasy points per game.

All of this is an incredibly long-winded way of saying that there is perhaps no quarterback with as much fantasy football upside as Lamar Jackson in 2019.

Jackson ran for an NFL record 147 times in 2019. That is more times than Michael Vick’s magical 2006 season when he became the first quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards and 21 more times than Cam Newton’s rookie season where he scored 14 rushing touchdowns. The Ravens coaching staff knows that the right way to utilize Lamar Jackson is to let him use his talents as a rusher. Jackson’s rushing stats alone last year would have made him equal to what Leonard Fournette did in eight games, more fantasy points than Royce Freeman and just a hair less than Kerryon Johnson.

From CBS Sports, during an appearance on the NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp Live, head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that Jackson won’t be on much of a “pitch count” this year. Former Ravens coach Brian Billick brought up when Cam Newton rushed 139 times in 2017, and without hesitation, Harbaugh said, “I’d bet the over on that one.” To prepare for the heavy rushing workload that he is about to endure, Jackson reportedly added 10 pounds of muscle during the offseason.

The Ravens specifically hired Greg Roman because of his success with rushing quarterbacks in the past. In 2016, he produced a top 12 fantasy season out of Tyrod Taylor with 95 rushing attempts, 580 yards, 6 touchdowns and 7.1 adjusted yards per attempt throwing the ball. In 2015 with Roman, Tyrod averaged 8.3 adjusted yards per attempt and ran the ball 104 times. From 2012 to 2014, Greg Roman was the offensive coordinator for Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers. Kap ran the ball 63 (in seven games), 92 and 104 times in his three seasons under Roman. He also averaged 8.3, 7.8 and 6.9 adjusted yards per attempt in those seasons. The Baltimore organization was aware of Roman’s history of success with rushing quarterbacks and that is why they chose to bring him in. If you were going to handpick a coordinator to make Lamar Jackson a fantasy football success, it would be Greg Roman.

Jackson recorded seasons of 163, 260 and 232 rushing attempts at Louisville while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He missed zero games with injury and posted a winning season in every year that he was the starting quarterback. If you are the sort of person who responds to all of this data with the idea that Jackson is not a “real NFL QB” or that you think Jackson will get injured or benched or just flat out suck, you are missing the point. Tim Tebow was not a good NFL QB; he averaged 19.11 fantasy points per game in his sole season as a starter. If Lamar Jackson is in fact so bad that the Ravens choose not to start him, you are allowed to cut him and pick up Matt Stafford/Andy Dalton/Marcus Mariota/Derek Carr/Ryan Fitzpatrick or whoever else is on your waiver wire that week.

Draft Lamar Jackson To Win Your Fantasy Football League

What we do know is that there is a 0% chance that backend quarterbacks who are pass-only like Tom Brady, Philip Rivers or Andy Dalton cannot win you your fantasy football league. Not while Patrick Mahomes, Andrew Luck, DeShaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers are still calling signals for their teams. The way to level the playing field as the truly elite offenses separate themselves from the pack is to find quarterbacks who run. Kyler Murray, Cam Newton, and Dak Prescott are all analogs for Lamar Jackson. Though they project as better passers than Jackson, none of them have the sheer rushing upside that he does.

In the perfect scenario for Jackson, he develops better than expected as a passer and is able to steadily move the chains while occasionally taking deep shots to Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin. Our median projection for Lamar Jackson has him at 159 rushing attempts; his ceiling projection could blow by 200 carries (and coach Harbaugh has already suggested that is a real possibility). The Ravens lead the NFL in total plays run last year by a significant margin while throwing the 16th most passes. If they are able to be a league-average offense in terms of yards per play, the sky is really the limit for what Lamar Jackson can do you for your fantasy football team.

Access premium NFL coverage 365 days a year with the RotoExperts. Season Long Draft Kits. Fantasy Football Projections. Best Ball Coverage. Dynasty Rankings. NFL Draft Coverage. Expert Chat. Betting and much more. Save 10% when you use the promo AMICO at checkout. Learn More HERE.

Popular Features

  • NFL Conference Championships NFL SPORTS BETTING premium
    December 30, 2019
    2019-20 NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Rankings

    2019-2020 NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Rankings No one ever wants to QUIT playing fantasy football. In fact, if we could get fantasy football year-round, I am pretty sure most of us would sign up. Thankfully, NFL playoff fantasy football exists and you can play in many different formats and at all different stakes. Michael Leone and…

  • Way-Too-Early 2020 NFL Fantasy Football Rankings
    January 7, 2020
    Way-Too-Early 2020 NFL Fantasy Football Rankings

    Way-Too-Early 2020 NFL Fantasy Football Rankings Last week, I did massive overload of my Dynasty NFL fantasy football rankings  but I know that many of you do not play that format and are already starting to think about how you can win your redraft league in 2020. There are some real strategic reasons to start thinking…

  • Early Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings premium
    January 8, 2020
    Early Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

    Early Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings As we transition into the offseason (though the playoffs are still happening right now), we will be picking up our dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings coverage here and on SportsGrid. Dynasty fantasy football is one of our big passions here at RX and my early dynasty fantasy football rookies…

  • Three Dynasty Fantasy Football Players To Trade FOR This Offseason
    January 22, 2020
    Three Dynasty Fantasy Football Players To Trade FOR This Offseason

    Three Dynasty Fantasy Football Players To Trade FOR This Offseason If you are anything like me, you have already started planning out your dynasty fantasy football offseason. If you haven’t started to evaluate your rosters, I suggest you start now. Regardless of how your 2019 season ended (and of course we hope it ended with…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Tee Higgins, Clemson
    January 13, 2020
    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Tee Higgins, Clemson

    2020 NFL Draft Scouting Prospect Profile: Tee Higgins, Clemson With the NFL regular season over, the playoffs more than halfway over and the NFL Draft approaching, it is time to start grinding the future of the league. Our series of prospect profiles will attempt to capture all of the dynasty fantasy football relevant players at…

  • Postseason NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update premium
    January 1, 2020
    Postseason NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update

    Postseason NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update The regular season of the NFL in 2019 has finally left us which means….dynasty fantasy football players are ready to start grinding their 2020 rosters. I know that of my 10+ dynasty leagues, I have already started to figure out what I need to add to my roster…

  • Fooled By Randomness: Derrick Henry
    January 15, 2020
    Fooled By Randomness: Derrick Henry Isn’t Teaching The Lesson You Think

    Fooled By Randomness: Derrick Henry Isn’t Teaching The Lesson You Think I know you have heard it. “DERRICK HENRY MATTERS!!!!” “Turns out some Running Backs DO matter, nerds!” As the Tennessee Titans shut down the juggernaut Baltimore Ravens with an emphatic victory in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs (after thoroughly dunking on the…

  • NFL Playoff Simulations And Betting Angles
    December 31, 2019
    2019 NFL Playoff Simulations And Betting Angles

    2019 NFL Playoff Simulations And Betting Angles Our passions here at RotoExperts and SportsGrid is data-driven analysis. When I get a chance to use full NFL Playoff Simulations to fuel my betting action, you can bet that I am going to take advantage of that. While not every bet you make needs to be fed…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
    January 21, 2020
    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin For the first time in recent memory, there may not be a running back taken in the first round of the NFL draft. While Jonathan Taylor put together a mesmerizing career at the University of Wisconsin, he is perhaps not the style of SaQuon Barkley-style player that…

  • Wild Card Weekend NFL Sports Betting
    January 3, 2020
    Davis Mattek’s NFL Sports Betting Picks For Wildcard Weekend

    Wild Card Weekend NFL Sports Betting: Picks Against The Spread Ricky Sanders did a great job running through the SportsGrid model picks earlier in the week with his looks at the best bets for each of the four wild card games but there was no way after a successful regular season of NFL sports betting that I…