Road to QB1: Lamar Jackson

Breaking down how the Baltimore Ravens quarterback can reclaim his title of the fantasy QB1 in 2024.
Can Lamar Jackson post another QB1 season in 2024?
Can Lamar Jackson post another QB1 season in 2024? / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

Lamar Jackson has been absolutely electric as the starter in Baltimore, leading the Ravens to a record of 58-19 in games he has started, behind only Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen during that time. He is the quintessential dual-threat quarterback, with over 15,000 passing yards and 5,000 rushing yards since he came into the league in 2018.

Since Jackson became the Ravens' full-time starter, he finished as the QB1 in his first MVP season in 2019 and has never finished below QB9 in fantasy points per game. Coming off of another MVP season and a QB4 finish in fantasy, we’ll look and see how he can reclaim the top spot in fantasy.

The Ravens squad will look similar to 2023 and they also continue with Todd Monken as their offensive coordinator who is much more pass-heavy than with previous OC Greg Roman. Their big addition comes in the run game via Derrick Henry who signed a 2-year, 16 million-dollar contract in free agency. While he is no longer the best version of himself, he is the best running back the Baltimore team has had since JK Dobbins got injured before the 2021 season.

Baltimore will also get Mark Andrews back from injury, who missed the final 6 games of the season after having ankle surgery. Rookie sensation Zay Flowers had just under a thousand yards and showed up huge in the playoffs with over 100 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs. Flowers and Andrews will make up a huge part of the passing offense, supported by Isaiah Likely, Rashod Bateman, Nelson Agholor, and rookie Devontez Walker.

With two-star pass catchers, a great running back, and a solid core of role players, this version of the Ravens offense is set to continue their run of success after posting the fourth-most touchdowns in 2023. 

How Lamar Jackson can supplant Josh Allen as QB1

Back in 2013, Rich Hribar coined the phrase “Konami Code” to describe how mobile quarterbacks are basically a cheat code in fantasy football. When a quarterback can run the ball successfully it gives them an edge over the statue quarterbacks who do not run, essentially giving them extra fantasy points for rushing. We have seen this many times over the years, and it is a key to fantasy success without having to have an outlier touchdown season.

To this end, Lamar Jackson has been the best rushing quarterback the league has ever seen, evidenced by his NFL-record 61 rushing yards per game. Averaging 876 rushing yards per season, Jackson is only 851 yards short of Michael Vick for the top spot by a quarterback.

Even with Baltimore putting more emphasis on their passing game, Jackson should be able to continue to post big rushing numbers and could certainly improve on his touchdowns as he has never had more than seven in a season. Last season, Jackson accounted for only five rushing touchdowns while the Ravens had 26 as a team, so he doesn’t even need the team to score more touchdowns, he could just pull the ball and run it in himself instead of giving it up in the red zone. 

In 2023 the Ravens threw the ball more than ever in the Lamar Jackson era, leading to another MVP season for the quarterback on the back of a 13-win season and the no. 1 seed in a stacked AFC. There is no reason to think this trend won’t continue while Jackson maintains his efficiency as a thrower.

The key to a QB1 season for Jackson will likely be his passing touchdown total, much like his previous season as the QB1 when he finished with 36 passing touchdowns. He threw for only 24 last year even though he set career highs in completions, attempts, completion percentage, yards, and yards per attempt. Jackson has the full trust of the Ravens coaching staff and is being given more responsibility at the line of scrimmage this year, so we could see this offense hit another gear. 

Jackson will have what is probably his best set of weapons since he entered the league. Mark Andrews has been one of the top tight ends, Zay Flowers entering year two off of a great rookie season where he led the team in targets, receptions, and yards.

In the backfield, 'King Henry' is not only a threat as a runner but gives additional value in play action due to his presence. If Flowers can take the next step towards stardom, we could see this passing offense really take off as they have been missing a difference maker at receiver ever since Jackson took over as the full-time starter. 

For Jackson to reclaim his throne as the fantasy QB1 he will need to be healthy and have a little bit of touchdown luck fall his way, and his team is set up perfectly to allow him to ascend back to the top.