By Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros), Thu, Sep 1st 2022, 10:27am EDT
Lamar Jackson had a season to forget in 2021, as he dealt with a plethora of injuries/illnesses and regressed immensely as a passer. Two key metrics at PFF that are important to analyze for QBs are performance in a clean pocket and throwing at the intermediate level.
Jackson ranked 28th in passer rating from a clean pocket (90.4) and 22nd in PFF passing grade at the intermediate level (70.0). Despite all his shortcomings as a passer, Jackson still finished the season second in expected fantasy points per game (23.8) and seventh in fantasy points per game (21.3).
His expected fantasy point per game output marked the highest of his career thanks to the Ravens' willingness to throw more in 2021. From 2019-2020, Jackson had 37 or more passing attempts in a game only four times. He did so five times in 2021, with Baltimore throwing at a 60% clip.
However, I would not anticipate the pass-heavy approach to continue into 2022. Their philosophical change on offense was forced out of necessity based on the injuries. But a lack of passing doesn't impact Jackson they way it does most other QBs with his greatest fantasy asset being his legs.
Jackson may never recapture his 2019 rare MVP form when he averaged north of 28 fantasy points per game, but a 22-point per game average seems like his norm based on his last two years of fantasy production. In 2020, he led all QBs in fantasy points per dropback. That cements him as a clear-cut top-5 fantasy QB.