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Dynasty Player Profile: Lamar Jackson (2022 Fantasy Football)

Dynasty Player Profile: Lamar Jackson (2022 Fantasy Football)

Lamar Jackson 2021 Production

Career Contextualization

2022 will be a make-or-break year for Lamar Jackson for various reasons. Jackson missed the season's final four games due to an ankle injury. He's also playing in the last year of his rookie contract, and the Ravens and Jackson seem somewhat far apart on a long-term deal.

But what's especially concerning about the former 2019 MVP is that he hasn't taken the strides as a thrower many had hoped. Jackson threw only 16 touchdowns in 2021 and tossed a career-high 13 picks. Jackson's accuracy also wasn't much to write home about. According to ProFootballReference.com, 19.7 percent of Jackson's throws were deemed as poor. In addition, Jackson's on-target throw rate of 73.3 percent ranked 28th among QBs, including players like Baker Mayfield, Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold and Taylor Heinicke.

Jackson's fantasy value was always more on his mobility. However, Jackson's average rushing yards per game dropped for the second straight year. After rushing for 80.4 yards per game during his MVP season, Jackson rushed for 63.9 yards per game in 2021. That was still the best mark in the league and offers a tremendous floor for fantasy. However, Jackson's upside might not be quite as high as opposing defenses continue to discover ways to keep him in the pocket.

Jackson finished as the QB15 in fantasy last season, which isn't terrible considering he missed five games. But he wasn't what fantasy managers expected, even when healthy.

Current Situation

One of the primary reasons Jackson didn't have as much success in 2021 was the erosion of Baltimore's offensive line. Jackson was sacked 38 times in just 12 games, which is the most in his career. The return of a healthy Ronnie Stanley will undoubtedly help solidify Jackson's blindside. But the Ravens will need veteran free-agent additions Morgan Moses and Kevin Zeitler to solidify the right side and give Jackson more time to turn a play.

Baltimore's passing game runs through tight end Mark Andrews, who finished fifth among all pass-catchers with 107 receptions. He's Jackson's top target and operates primarily in the middle of the field, which is where Jackson prefers to throw the ball.

The Ravens have an exciting set of young skill position players, but they're hardly proven commodities. Running back J.K. Dobbins missed his entire sophomore season due to a torn ACL. Baltimore's running back room should have more stability with both Dobbins and Gus Edwards back from injuries. The team also might add veteran Melvin Gordon.

Receiver Rashod Bateman showed flashes as a rookie and could emerge in year two. Marquise Brown quietly put together a solid year, hauling in 91 passes for 1,008 yards. But aside from those two, the Ravens don't have much else in the pass-catching department. Adding a slot receiver in the draft could pay big dividends.

General Prediction for 2022 and Rest of Career

Jackson is a hard player to gauge. When he's at his best, he's an elite fantasy quarterback who offers you a weekly floor thanks to his rushing. But there are a lot of questions. Not many franchise quarterbacks end up playing out their fifth-year contract. Clearly, there's some doubt within Baltimore as to whether or not Jackson is their guy.

Quite frankly, Baltimore's hesitance is fair. It's no secret Jackson's accuracy decreases as he's forced to throw outside the hash marks. As a result, his rushing production is as close to a given as it gets in fantasy football. But that also leaves him more liable to injuries than some of the other quarterbacks on his level.

Jackson is a hold or a conservative buy for me from a dynasty perspective. He certainly isn't untouchable, but his current trade value likely won't reflect his full potential. Everything went entirely wrong for Baltimore and Jackson last year. I suspect the only way he can go is up in 2022, especially considering it's a contract season.

CTAs


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