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Why You Should Pump the Brakes on Lamar Jackson

Fresh off an MVP campaign and the title of #1 Fantasy Football QB, Lamar Jackson’s value couldn’t be any higher heading into the 2020 Fantasy Season. While we expect Jackson to be a Tier 1 QB yet again in 2020, ADP is here to tell you that passing on Jackson in your upcoming Fantasy Football Drafts might actually be a smart move.

You might be reading this and calling us crazy, but let’s examine the facts and try to show you our side of things. First and foremost, yes we admit, Jackson had an insane 2019 season, he had 3127 passing yards, 36 passing TD’s, 1206 Rushing Yards, and 7 Rushing TD’s. Jackson finished the season having played 15 games and amassed 415.7 fantasy points where the #2 QB, Dak Prescott (who played 16 games), had a total of 337.8 fantasy points. The biggest thing these insane stats did, other than help you possibly win a fantasy championship, is blow up Jackson’s fantasy value. And even though you might not see this as a big deal on the surface, when it comes to the Fantasy Draft it’s all about value and price.

We say this pretty much every year, but it pays off to wait on selecting a QB during your Fantasy Draft. At Jackson’s current average draft position adding him to your team will likely cost you a late 2nd round pick or early 3rd rounder. This can be a tough pill to swallow as drafting Jackson at that point in time will mean you are passing up on a #1 WR or a #1 RB, which are both positions that are much more valuable than QB. In the same breath the drop-off in talent/production between the next several QB’s will be much lower compared to the WR or RB that would be available to you in the 4th/5th rounds.

On top of this obvious issue is the fact that there WILL BE natural regression when it comes to the stats of Jackson in 2020. And trust us here, we aren’t trying to be biased, we 100% understand that there is no QB like Jackson in the NFL and that he is basically a RB and QB rolled into one. But the fact remains, this happens every single year at no matter the position. We saw it in 2019 with Patrick Mahomes and even if he hadn’t gotten injured the regression was taking place before our very eyes. Simply put, historic seasons aren’t readily repeated year after year, not only because the individual player could take a step back but it’s also expected for defenses to adjust, injuries can occur, and the overall offense could struggle in different areas.

Speaking of the Baltimore offense we expect a bit of a regression there and that will likely result in an overall decrease in total scoring and TD conversion rate. The drafting of J.K. Dobbins by the Ravens is also an intriguing move as it could make one think that the Ravens want to limit Jackson’s scrambling by adding another RB in the mix. After all, as important as scrambling is for Jackson we have seen run heavy QB’s get hurt while on the move (i.e Cam Newton, Carson Wentz, etc.).

Overall our concerns with drafting Lamar Jackson are the following:

  • The current price tag for Lamar is too high (2nd/3rd round)

  • QB’s is a position where you can still get a Top 5 option in double digit rounds

  • Selecting Lamar in the 2nd/3rd round means you passed on a #1 WR/RB (both of which are more important positions)

  • If you are SET on drafting a Tier 1 option, Patrick Mahomes (who we currently have as #1 projected Fantasy QB in 2020) is going several picks later than Jackson

  • There will be natural regression for Jackson and the Baltimore offense

  • Jackson is a run first QB which increases his injury chances

At the end, our advice is simple: While taking Jackson might be tempting in the early rounds your roster will be stronger overall if you focus on RB/WR and address QB afterwards. The goal should be to find the NEXT Lamar Jackson in later rounds as opposed to paying up for the overpriced version!

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