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Lamar Jackson and his Ravens supporting cast will win you fantasy football matchups in 2023

The former MVP is expected to return to form after a 2022 season hindered by injury.

With fantasy football right around the corner, it’s a great idea to talk about one of the NFL’s best fantasy players in NFL history: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The dual-threat superstar who earned league MVP honors on the field and won countless championships in 2019 for Jackson’s fantasy owners is expected to be on the resurgence, especially after a couple of stumbling seasons. With a new coordinator, new weapons and a new contract, Jackson appears ready to dominate, and he’s been working hard in the offseason with highlight clips building chemistry with wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie Zay Flowers.

But first, a look back on last season to give an honest assessment of the franchise’s star.

2022 fantasy performance

Jackson was the No. 14 QB last season, earning 243.1 points, coming out to a 20.3-point average.

Jackson was no stranger to fluctuation last season, where he found resounding highs in two 40-point games, but also struggled at times, scoring fewer than 16 points on three occasions (four if you count the game he suffered a first-quarter injury). Largely, the Ravens’ offense needed Jackson to be Superman, which is good for fantasy, but with injuries taking out the little wide receiver talent the Ravens had on the roster, Jackson had few weapons to work with.

Best-case scenario

A return to 2019 MVP form is a realistic venture. Okay, maybe not to true 2019 peak form, but resoundingly closer to his star-studded domination than you would think. The Ravens have the greatest offense assembled on paper in the Jackson era. They have four former first-round picks at wide receiver between Beckham, Flowers, Rashod Bateman and Nelson Agholor. That’s a deep squad if Agholor enters as your No. 4 wide receiver.

Jackson has weapons to throw to. He’ll have fewer heavy-man fronts and boxes affording the ability to spy on Jackson due to stretching the defense. He’ll have green grass ahead of him, and with it comes those sweet, sweet rushing yards and touchdowns that he vultures from the running back corps and funnels into fantasy owners’ point totals.

Also, quick reminder, there’s still that star tight end on the Ravens’ roster. Somehow many have forgotten Mark Andrews, Jackson’s favorite target, is healthy and ready to dominate this season. This could be the year Andrews can’t be double-teamed and in bracket coverage every snap. This will surely lead to greater points from the Ravens’ offense, particularly Jackson’s numbers.

There’s a resounding hype train rumbling through Baltimore and if we’re talking best-case scenario, Jackson will be the star worth reaching for. He’s a fantasy football dynamo and with a full array of weapons and a complementary system to air it out, passing touchdowns will be aplenty.

Worst-case scenario

There are concerns regarding the Ravens’ new-found weapons. Beckham is coming off a non-contact ACL injury, and one that he suffered two Super Bowls ago. He then spent a year not playing in the NFL. He’s become a veteran in this league and it’s a question of if he’s still got it. Then, you factor in Bateman who has not remained healthy in the NFL. If these two go down, the depth quickly fades.

If we’re factoring simply “Jackson suffers an injury” out of the worst-case scenario, because that could be the blanket statement for every player’s worst-case scenario, I’d say Jackson struggles in adapting to Monken’s system. Maybe the offense predicated by former offensive coordinator Greg Roman was a protective shell on Jackson’s abilities, not a limiter. The Ravens’ may have seen deficiencies in his passing game, or play, and for that reason they built the offense with that in mind?

Now, is that the truth? Not necessarily in my mind, but that could be a worst-case scenario and one that you must imagine. The depth depletes, Jackson can’t deliver the balls efficiently and effectively and Andrews remains blanketed in coverage while Jackson attempts to force-feed the passing game to his favorite target and the interception total adds up.

2023 outlook

Many I’ve already stated but here’s the bulleted list.

  1. Ravens have their best wide receiver corps in Jackson’s history with the team.
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Rashod Bateman
  • Zay Flowers (r)
  • Nelson Agholor
  • Devin Duvernay

2. The tight end unit is still the best in the NFL.

  • Mark Andrews
  • Isaiah Likely
  • Charlie Kolar

3. The Ravens’ running backs are a year removed from both suffering significant knee injuries. Expect a full-fledged assault with the Ravens’ offense, with Jackson, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.

4. Possibly the most important factor is new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Expect a wildly different offense than we witnessed from Jackson thus far. Monken’s a coordinator who leans on the passing game to compliment a rushing attack, and he’s delivered successful offenses both at the college level, helping the Georgia Bulldogs win back-to-back National Championships, and leading NFL offenses as he did with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Handcuff player recommendation

I don’t know if there’s a worthy handcuff option for Jackson. Right now, there’s not even a certainty of the backup quarterback in Baltimore, as the Ravens have a competition between Tyler Huntley, Anthony Brown and veteran Josh Johnson.

Other Ravens Players to Consider

  • Mark Andrews
  • Rashod Bateman
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Zay Flowers
  • J.K. Dobbins
  • Gus Edwards
  • Isaiah Likely