The QB1 debate between Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes in fantasy football has gone back and forth all offseason. Both have put up their own version of a historic MVP season from a running ability or passing ability. I am here to tell you that Lamar is in his own tier, above Pat Mahomes. I have been on record saying that the top QB tiers go:
and I will stick by that. Lamar Jackson provides the safest floor and highest upside of any QB in fantasy football. He should be the first QB taken in every draft and even though I am against early QB strategies, Lamar is the outlier.
If I had a dollar for every time somebody mentioned regression when talking about Lamar, i could buy the Ravens franchise. Will he regress in some categories? Yes, but even if he does he was still 6 PPG better than the next QB.
When looking at his numbers it's easy to point out categories that he will regress in. The 9% TD rate will surely drop as it will be almost impossible to repeat such an efficient total. It's possible that his rushing yards decrease as 1200+ rushing yards is not an easy feat from a QB. Even if that happens he still has the highest shot of all QB's to finish as the QB1.
Regression will happen in some categories, but everybody loves to ignore the possibility of positive regression.
This is something that I have yet to hear in the Lamar Jackson conversation. His Passing TD rate is the most talked about number for regression, yet his rushing TD rate is never brought up. I know he scored a high number of rushing TD last year, but when you actually look into the rate at which he did it, he was historically inefficient in the TD category. When you put him up next to the top 12 QB's in carries last year this is where he ranked in terms of TD rate.
Pretty low and we could expect improvement for sure. But I think to paint a better picture of how much improvement we could see I took the top 10 QB's all time in single season carries this is where he ranked.
Yeah only Mike Vick had a lower rate than both of Lamar's seasons which ranked 1 and 2 all time in carries. So the next time somebody brings up TD regression in a Lamar conversation, show them this. Oh and rushing TD are worth more than passing TD.
It's well known just how good and dominant this Ravens team was last year. Their dominance allowed Lamar to sit out in one game and sit out 14+ percent of snaps in 5 games. That is a lot of fantasy points left on the table that nobody seems to recognize. Let's not forget that in a game where he was trailing vs the Titans he put up 508 TOTAL YARDS.
Lamar Jackson provides an advantage unlike any other QB we have seen. Running the football. In 6 games where he threw for less than 200 yards he averaged 23.7 PPG. Do you understand just how insane that is? He doesn't need to rely on a good day through the air, because at this point his good passing games are a bonus. Why has Tyrod Taylor always been a viable fantasy option? Because he runs the ball! Rushing yards for QB's may be the most valuable points in fantasy football and Lamar Jackson is the best at getting them.
Lamar > Mahomes
When people have Mahomes over Lamar it just makes me mad. I don't care if Mahomes is the best QB in football, it doesn't always translate to fantasy football. In fact a lot of the time bad NFL QB's translate to great fantasy QB's (See Jameis Winston, Josh Allen, Ryan Fitzpatrick). Even in Mahomes near record breaking TD season he averaged 2 less PPG than Lamar last year. He has nowhere near the rushing ability of Lamar. Lamar's rushing yards per game = 2 passing 2 TD for Mahomes. It's just such an elite advantage that nobody can match. Let's also look at their weekly finishes to see just how good they were for you on a week to week basis. Ill take both of their best years for the comparison.
Lamar was winning you more weeks while also providing the same floor. What's more likely; Lamar has similar rushing totals or Mahomes throws for 50 TD again.
And don't even start with the Lamar is more likely to get hurt. There is a reason he has missed 1 game in his entire college and NFL career combined, because he knows how to protect himself. Just watch him play it's pretty easy to recognize. oh, and Mahomes is the one who has actually gotten hurt so...
We have never seen an NFL franchise entirely scheme their offense around a rushing QB. The Ravens game plan is to have Lamar and those RB's run the rock. He is set up for greatness and I am expecting another amazing season out of him. He won't provide the value he did last year based on ADP but I still see him providing the elite advantage at the QB position. At his ADP in the late second round it will be hard for me to take him. But for the first time in my years of playing fantasy football I am not against taking a QB early and that is because you are able to draft Lamar Jackson. If your league is letting him fall into the late third, make them sorry that they did that.In the Fantasy Football Throne league he went at the 3.05, amazing value there. As @fantasyguides said, "Lamar Jackson is the brightest star in fantasy football".