Dynasty Dilemma: Lamar Jackson
By Jonathan Walker
Since being drafted with the 32nd overall pick in 2018, Lamar Jackson has redefined how we look at the quarterback position. He would almost instantly be compared to former Falcon and Eagles QB Michael Vick, with the way he could run the ball and also throw it making him a true dual-threat player. Now, Lamar in his 6th season could be a dynasty dilemma because he is seeking a long-term fully guaranteed contract but the Ravens will not give him the contract. At the end of last season, we saw Lamar go down with a knee injury and sit out the rest of the season (5 games, including the postseason), even after reports said he was good to play but decided to rest. Some rumors around the NFL stated that Lamar was sitting out due to not reaching a new contract. Obviously with Lamar out for the remainder of the season fantasy football leagues took a massive hit.
With entering the 2023 season and still failing to reach agreements with a new contract the Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar, meaning he could still seek a trade but whatever team sends him an offer sheet the Ravens would have a chance to match them. The opposing team would also have to send two 1st round picks for Jackson and still pay him the new contract. So to bring it all back together, why is Lamar Jackson a dynasty dilemma? The answer to that question is if Lamar sat out the last 5 weeks of the 2022 season (including the postseason) due to not receiving a new contract. Why wouldn’t Lamar sit as many games as it takes to reach a new contract with the Ravens or to get traded?
Why should you draft/trade for Lamar Jackson? Lamar is ranked as the #4 QB in fantasy and even sitting out the last 5 games of the season last year he still had 2,242 Passing yards, and 17 passing TDs with a QBR of 59.1 (9TH in the NFL). Lamar also ran for 764 yards and 3 TDs. If Lamar would have played the final 5 games of the season he could have been in the same stat bracket as Jalen Hurts or any other dual-threat QB in the NFL.
Why trade Lamar Jackson? With Jackson potentially sitting out the remainder of the 2022 season due to not reaching a new contract, what would stop Lamar from sitting out as many games as it would take to either get a new contract or to be traded? Trading Lamar could bring in great value with draft picks and or top-tier players, possibly both. Drafting Lamar in the 1st round could ruin your fantasy season. Having a great QB is vital to a successful Fantasy and wasting a 1st round pick on a player who might not even play is not worth the risk.
If I had Lamar on my roster I would trade him in return for at least a 1st round pick and a top-tier WR or TE. With my 1st round pick I would draft a rookie QB or use it to trade for a veteran QB and with the other 1st round pick I would get a dynamic rookie player.
If I was starting a new league I would pass on Lamar Jackson in the 1st round. Instead, I would select either a top WR or TE due to those positions being important to a good fantasy season.