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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: Lamar Jackson No. 38

Lamar Jackson comes in at 38 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

Owings Mills, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) passes the ball during an OTA at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson didn’t live up to his impossible expectations from his MVP season 2019, but 2020 still showed he is a Top 10 fantasy quarterback even when things don’t go exactly his way. A bounce back season is very much a possibility for 2021.

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official and often updated fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 38, Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens, QB

After a 2019 season where Jackson threw for 3,127 yards, 36 touchdowns and six interceptions while rushing for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns, Jackson fell in his passing stats in 2020. He still had over 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, but fell to 2,757 yards passing for 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He’ll need to up his passing stats to get back to his elite statistics.

Competition for touches

The Ravens run the ball as much or more than any team in the league, but the good news for Jackson is that he’s a huge part of the running game. Compared to other quarterbacks in the league he barely has to give way to other players when it comes to fantasy stats.

Team offensive expectations

Despite dealing with COVID-19 trouble for much of the season, the Ravens still managed to rank 11th in Football Outsiders offensive DVOA. The team didn’t add much on offense this offseason, but did bring in wide receivers Sammy Watkins and rookie Rashad Bateman. Expectations are for a better output than last year.

What’s his upside?

We saw Jackson’s upside in in his 2019 MVP season. His passing touchdown rate was the best in the league that year, so getting back to that will be tough, but somewhere in between last year and that year is very much a possibility.

What’s his downside?

A season like last year is going to be his downside as long as he’s still able to rush as well as usual. The idea that teams have “figured out” Jackson is a possibility, but Jackson doesn’t have to be Dan Marino as a passer to still be a Top 5 fantasy quarterback. His floor remains high.

Projection

275/420, 3,225 yards, 30 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 150 rushing attempts, 1,000 yards, 7 touchdowns