Lamar Jackson Fantasy: Outlook if Ravens QB Starts vs. Bengals

Lamar Jackson

Getty Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson

The quarterback situation for the Baltimore Ravens is on the verge of getting interesting in the very near future. With rookie quarterbacks starting on a variety of teams across the NFL this season in certain spots, we may be able to add one more to the list when Week 11 rolls around.

While the Ravens are on bye this week, they’ll face the Cincinnati Bengals at home next Sunday in a crucial AFC North battle. And as The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec revealed, there’s a chance it could be first-round pick Lamar Jackson under center due to a hip injury plaguing Joe Flacco.

Although we’re still a bit away from that game, the potential for Flacco to miss time would provide Jackson the opportunity to prove he’s ready to play at the NFL level. Even beyond that, it could be a chance to help get the Ravens’ season heading in the right direction again after the team has lost three-straight games.

With the Ravens sitting at 4-5 on the season and the Bengals at 5-3 (both behind the 6-2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers), a Week 11 win would be crucial. Going past that aspect of it, Jackson also provides an intriguing upside from a fantasy football perspective. Let’s take a look at the rookie’s fantasy value if he gets the nod next week.

Lamar Jackson’s Fantasy Football Value

When the Ravens moved up to select Jackson in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, it was apparent the team envisioned him as the future. This is a player who was electrifying in three seasons at the University of Louisville, throwing for 69 touchdowns over that span. Even more impressive was Jackson’s 4,132 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns on the ground in three seasons.

That type of upside and playmaking ability for a rushing quarterback can’t be understated in the world of fantasy football. Jackson saw a fair amount of preseason action as well, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for three more, but completing just 50 percent of his passes over five games.

Unfortunately, it’s a complete unknown how Jackson will perform during a regular-season NFL game. I do believe he’s worth rostering in fantasy football due to his upside. I’d likely only add him in 12-team leagues where you have a potential bench spot, or in 14-team leagues or larger. All of these scenarios depend on your current quarterback situation as well, because if you have a top signal-caller, there’s no desperate need to add Jackson.

The matchup would be appealing for Jackson, as the Bengals have allowed 2,646 passing yards and 18 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season (through Week 9). They’ve also given up 159 rushing yards and two scores to the position.

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