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Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL) - 2019 Fantasy Football Sleeper


Heading into your fantasy football draft, remember that quarterback is not a position you need to target early in the draft. Historically, there always are sleepers available late that could help you win a championship. We had a perfect example of this last season with Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes was only the 16th-ranked quarterback in drafts last year. You can go further back and see players like Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck outperform their respective ADP.

That brings us to Lamar Jackson. He is currently only the 18th-ranked quarterback according to RotoBaller's rankings and carries an ADP of 133. Jackson has all the tools to have a breakout fantasy season. Jackson set a single-season record for most rushing attempts by a quarterback with a whopping 147 carries. Even more impressive is the fact that he accomplished this feat in a mere seven starts.

Jackson's potential rushing workload gives him a unique upside - an upside that is higher than the other quarterbacks in his draft range. As a result, he is a much more intriguing option than players like Kirk Cousins and Philip Rivers (the 15th and 16th ranked QBs).

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A True Dual-Threat Quarterback

I already touched on Jackson's potential rushing workload. However, the upside is not just enticing; it is historically unlike anything we have ever seen. If we project Jackson's rushing attempts to remain in line with his 17 attempts per start last season, he would finish the year with a colossal 272 carries. That would have placed second in the entire NFL last season.

If we assume Jackson's Y/A remains constant at 4.7, he would have recorded 1,278 rushing yards. That would have been good enough for third in the NFL. We also have to factor in rushing touchdowns. The Ravens were not afraid to run the ball with him in the red zone. In fact, he was tied for seventh in the NFL with 108 red zone carries last season.

Now, Jackson's rushing pace from 2018 may be hard to duplicate, especially as a quarterback. It is always dangerous letting your quarterback run in the open field. However, that is where Jackson is at his best, and the organization does not seem to be shying away from it. While on Inside Training Camp Live on NFL Network, head coach John Harbaugh was asked if Jackson's rushing attempts would exceed Cam Newton's career-high of 139. Harbaugh responded with the following: "I'd bet the over on that one. I'd bet the over for sure".

That brings us to his passing. After all, he is a quarterback. This is where Jackson receives a lot of criticism. He was on pace to finish only 26th in the NFL in passing yards as a starter and many questioned his mechanics and overall ability. However, we have to remember Jackson was a rookie quarterback, not a finished product. Jared Goff, for example, recorded less passing yards and a lower QB rating than Jackson as a rookie starter.

Jackson thrived throwing the football at Louisville where he recorded 3,660 yards in 13 games during his senior season. As enters a season with legitimate NFL experience, I expect him to take a step forward throwing the football. Jeff Zrebiec of the Athletic was impressed with Jackson during training camp and stated that he has "made huge strides since the start of camp. He looks like a different quarterback than he even did back at the mandatory minicamp in June".

At QB 18 and 154th overall, Jackson is well worth your selection. Sure, he may not reach his ceiling this year, but even if he doesn't, you still essentially have an RB1 combined with a low-end QB2. That is still valuable and could make him an interesting starting option week to week. However, if he does reach his ceiling, he could be a top-five fantasy quarterback and breakout performer.

More ADP Values and Sleepers


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!