As Sunday’s action for Week 11 of the NFL season draws closer, one name making headlines is Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. While the former University of Louisville star has yet to start a regular-season game, it’s looking like that may change this week. With the Ravens set for a huge divisional game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Jackson’s number is expected to be called as the starter.
As ESPN’s Jamison Hensley revealed, the “most likely” scenario is that the Ravens start Jackson at quarterback, with Robert Griffin III mixing in.
This news comes due to a hip injury which Has plagued starter Joe Flacco over the past two weeks. In turn, it could be on Jackson to help the Ravens keep pace in the AFC North, as they sit at 4-5 on the year behind both the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1) and Bengals (5-4).
With the talented but unproven player set to become yet another rookie signal caller to start an NFL game this season, there’s a good chance it could have a fantasy football impact. Let’s take a look at whether Jackson should be in consideration as a starter this week for fantasy teams.
*Update: Obviously, Jackson starting for fantasy teams is only an option if Flacco is ruled out for this game. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that Jackson is expected to start.
Should You Start or Sit Lamar Jackson?
There’s no denying this is an interesting spot for Jackson both with the Ravens and from a fantasy perspective. Week 11 is one of two which features six teams on bye (tied with only Week 9), but the only huge name not playing is Tom Brady. Along with Brady, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has made his way into the starting conversation in some leagues as well and he has the week off.
One of my main concerns when it comes to starting Jackson is that we don’t know exactly how many snaps Griffin could take from him. But if the rookie hits the ground running, it’s tough to envision him being taken off the field much.
A big positive for fantasy players is Jackson’s rushing ability, as he racked up 50 scores on the ground over three collegiate seasons. The rookie signal caller also scored three rushing touchdowns in the preseason along with three more through the air. His matchup with the Bengals is a good one also, as they’ve allowed 2,911 passing yards and 21 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season.
I’d have a tough time recommending a player who’s going to have accuracy issues as a starter in most leagues. He’s worth playing in two-quarterback leagues, and in 16-team leagues or larger. For 14-team leagues, if you are in desperate need of a starter, you could do worse than Jackson as a waiver wire add. At the very least, the Ravens quarterback should have a high floor due to his rushing ability.