It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We start off with the quarterbacks. Today, we take a look at Lamar Jackson, who missed a handful of games for the first time in his career last year, and is missing his #1 wide receiver from the last couple of seasons. Can we trust Lamar Jackson in 2022 fantasy football leagues?
Lamar Jackson ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: QB4, Pick 50 Overall
Average Auction Value: $13.8
Lamar Jackson Statistics:
|Year||4 PPTD||6 PPTD||4 PPTD/G||6 PPTD/G||Year||Att||Yd||TD||YPC||Att/G||Yd/G|
aDOT+ represents a player’s depth of target compared to the league average for that season. Air yards data is from FTNFantasy.com/air-yards. The remainder of the statistics are per Pro-Football-Reference.com
2022 Lamar Jackson Fantasy Football Overview:
Lamar Jackson finally missed multiple games last season. It was an inevitability. After all, mobile quarterbacks take too many unnecessary hits, so injuries are commonplace. So, of c—what’s that? He was hurt on a regular dropback? And he didn’t even scramble around? Well, he took a step back last season prior to that, which is why he was so far down the ra—hmm? He was averaging the fourth-most fantasy points per game prior to his injury game?
Well, that’s just great! It turns out that Lamar Jackson’s downfall last season was greatly exaggerated, and those looking at him on a per-game basis get tricked by his injury happening just ten snaps into a game, after four pass attempts and two rush attempts. Jackson took a step forward in 2021 after taking a step back in 2020, averaging two additional rushing yards per game, and nearly 80 extra passing yards per game. This more than offset his loss of a half-touchdown per game last season. All-in-all, he took a step forward because the Ravens believed in him, and put the ball in his hands.
That’s what makes the Marquise Brown trade so head-scratching. Hollywood is now a Cardinal, and the Ravens sent about a third of their air yards his way since he entered the league. That leaves Baltimore with Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman, and a lot of question marks, or as Aaron Rodgers would call it, “a massive upgrade.” I’m not too spooked by the loss of Hollywood, as it will likely get Lamar back to rushing. That will more than offset what Lamar Jackson did with Hollywood Brown in the passing game. After all, a rushing yard is worth 2.5 as many points as a passing yard, and a rushing touchdown is worth 1.5 as many points as a passing touchdown.
2022 Lamar Jackson Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
Currently, Lamar Jackson represents one of the better values in both snake drafts. Paradoxically, he’s a fallback option at his price point in salary cap drafts. In snake drafts, Lamar Jackson is currently QB4 at pick 49 overall, a round after Justin Herbert, and 20 picks after Patrick Mahomes. Those three are all $11-$12 in salary cap drafts, so if you look at the dollar value, and look at the ADP, you can see why I prefer Lamar Jackson at his snake draft price but not his salary draft price.
But, however you look at it, by price, he’s the last quarterback who has a legitimate claim on the QB1 throne for 2022. So, if he’s going for $11 and you believe in him, hop in. But I’d rather have any of the other guys I outlined at the same price. In redraft, if you want to make him your fourth-round pick, I certainly wouldn’t argue with you… as long as Mahomes and Herbert are gone. They’re a tier, but there’s a clear pecking order in that tier.
Best Case Scenario: He rushes for 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns while slinging the ball to Rashod Bateman, Mark Andrews & company for 35 or so touchdowns and finishes as as the QB1… so basically, 2019 all over again.
Worst Case Scenario: Distraught by Hollywood Brown wanting a trade after rumors swirled about Hollywood retiring to become a Twitch streamer, Lamar Jackson dedicates his life to gaming, hoping to one day best Hollywood on the field of digital battle. He gains 150 pounds, and stops bathing, but successfully 360 no scopes Hollywood in Fortnite before turning his life around. I guess this is a best-case scenario, from a certain point of view.
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[Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/Lamar_Jackson_passing_2020_%28cropped%29.jpg, cropped under CC BY SA 2.0]