If you are a Lamar Jackson fantasy owner, Thursday night against the Jets is not the time to bench him.
If Lamar Jackson were a running back, he would be RB13 in standard scoring fantasy leagues (141.7 points, counting -2 for a lost fumble). But of course he’s a quarterback, and either the No. 1 or No. 2 overall fantasy scorer depending on standard or PPR scoring.
As a running quarterback, Jackson is naturally more exposed to injury. He emerged from last Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills with a quad injury, which he attributed to a hit that occurred throwing from the pocket, and on a short week ahead of Thursday night’s game against the New York Jets there’s concern about his ability to operate at full capacity.
Jackson was listed as a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. Though he was listed as questionable on the injury report, that appears to only be because the NFL eliminated the probable designation a couple years ago.
The Jets are second in the league against the run (78.8 yards per game), and 18th against the pass (242 yards per game). That strength against the run seems to be a detriment to Jackson using his legs effectively, apart from any idea his quad is not 100 percent. But Jackson is also a unique talent.
In terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, the Jets are in the top half of the league entering Week 15. But they’ve allowed less than 250 passing yards in four straight games, against Dwayne Haskins, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick, with the latter three combining to throw one touchdown pass.
The Ravens should be able to handle the Jets, and it’s possible Jackson does not play a full game if they get out to a comfortable lead. But he’ll surely be a key reason they get out to said hypothetical lead, with plenty of production in a half or three quarters. There’s also the risk of a hit that injures him, especially with the quad he injured four days ago as a target for the Jets’ defense.
Unless Jackson is a surprise inactive Thursday night, he has to be locked into the lineups of his fantasy owners without concern. There’s more risk than there’s usually been, in multiple ways, but there’s a solid floor to go with week-winning upside to start Week 15 on a big right foot.
It’s been prudent to have a fallback option all week, in case Jackson were in line to be out. But if Jackson has brought you this far this year as a fantasy owner, don’t over think it as long as he’s going to be in uniform against the Jets.