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Lamar Jackson Fantasy Value Could Be Sky High If He Maintains Rushing Pace From 2018 NFL Season

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens in action against the Los Angeles Chargers during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

With only seven pro starts under his belt, it's already clear that Lamar Jackson is something we've never seen at the NFL level.

Despite primarily being a gadget player for the first nine games of the season, he finished his rookie year with 147 rush attempts, setting the single-season record for most ever by a quarterback.

He had run the ball only 28 times heading into the Baltimore Ravens' Week 10 bye before taking over as the starter. He then notched at least 11 rushes in each of his regular season starts, averaging a ridiculous 17.0 per game. That would put him on pace for a season-long mark of 272.

It may not be realistic to project elite running back-type volume for his sophomore season, but Baltimore beat writers aren't being shy with their projections.

Rushing volume can mean big things for a quarterback's fantasy football upside, and we saw that with Jackson in 2018. Despite never throwing for more than 204 yards or two touchdowns in a game, he topped 15 fantasy points in all seven of his starts, averaging 18.6 per game. That would have ranked 11th among quarterbacks on the season.

He's being drafted well below that spot in 2019, with an average draft position (ADP) of QB17. Considering he has also reportedly made positive strides as a passer, Jackson becomes an intriguing fantasy target.

Jackson is all but a lock to regress from his 17 carries per game from 2018, but that could be made up for by his progress throwing the ball. If the Ravens' beat reporter is right and he turns in another historic year on the ground, Jackson could prove to be one of the biggest fantasy football draft steals of the 2019 season.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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