Hello Fantasy Faithfuls, and welcome to the official start of the 2020 fantasy season here at csdfantasy.com. I actually did a sneak start of the 2020 season on the YouTube channel with two videos looking at D.J. Moore and Mecole Hardman. They were the first two players of my new series called, Making the Leap.
Today I will start the off-season series called Fantasy Breakdown. If you have not seen this series before it focuses on the new fantasy stars of the league and how they scored their points. I take a deep dive into the numbers that impact my projection algorithm to learn who might have been a one season wonder and who will continue to dominate. Starting off I'm of course looking at Lamar Jackson. Let's dig in!
We all know that Lamar Jackson's big thing is his points from rushing. But, I wanted to focus on his passing trends as they too are very impressive. Well, maybe not the Passing Patterns as they are very average. He throws more to the short right than left, which is not ideal for fantasy for instance.
What is interesting about the Passing Patterns is the amount of throws he has over the middle. The league average is 20% of your passes to the short middle zone which is a huge difference compared to Jackson. He is actually the only high end fantasy Quarterback with this trait, the rest of the guys that have this high are Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Speaking of Jimmy Garoppolo, he is one of the few Quarterbacks that have a higher completion rate than Jackson over the deep middle. You see 75% in a deep zone and you have to react. This is extremely rare, especially in a zone with 6% of your targets in. You see Quarterbacks with over 60% if they have 2-4% of their targets, meaning the only take the deep shot when it is all open. This however, indicates that not only is he willing to throw deep over the middle but he's also one of the best in the league at it.
Furthermore, he has the 5th highest completion rate in the short left zone. This is the best zone for fantasy production among Quarterbacks. So a high completion rate here is a huge boost for your fantasy scoring.
The only week spot in his passing game is the yards per completion to the short left and right. The short middle is again a strength for him about 0.5 yards above the league average. As a side note, he doesn't really have any impactful Wide Receivers that has high yards after the catch on short passes so it is not solely on him.
It is interesting to see that his yards per completion in the deep zones is not in the high 30's or 40's. I would have thought the numbers to be a little bit higher but still, 1-2 yards above league average in all zones shows just how stable he is in his performance.
Jackson was of course the most usable Quarterback in the league. I don't think I need to go too much in depth into this. He had 13 weeks he should have been started, and to clarify, the max usability a player can have is 15 due to the bye week and that I do not count Week 17.
If we compare this to Mahomes MVP season from last year. He had 14 weeks he should have been started. But, he only had 8 weeks of above QB1 production, Jackson has 9 weeks he scored above the QB1 average. That is incredible and won a ton of fantasy leagues!
Looking more into his performances and seeing where he differs from other Quarterbacks I looked into how he handles Downs and Quarters. With the downs, he is of course above the league average in general but the interesting thing is just how much better he is on 4th down. That let's me know that when things get difficult and the play really really matters he will step up his game and deliver. As most Quarterbacks go down in the yards on 4th down, Jackson even does better.
I was looking back at my Mahomes article from last year as I was writing this one and noticed just how similar they are in this aspect. My line on Mahomes was "Looking at quarters we see that Mahomes comes out the starting block like a cannon and finishes off his opponent in the 3rd quarter before slowing down in the 4th." This is so true for Jackson as well, look just how good he is in the first quarter compared to the rest of the league. This also let's us know that he never really relies on garbage time for his fantasy production, a great sign for a stable scorer!
Last thing I wanted to look at was his situation splits. This showcases where he scores more fantasy points, where 50% is his average. He scores a ton more points at home than he does on the road. You can actually see that in the Usability chart above, the bad games are all road games. He scored more against teams that struggled against Quarterbacks which is not a big surprise. I like that the difference is not as big as with the home/away split as that would have been a red flag. It would have helped us to project his scoring on a weekly basis, but it would indicate less usable games in the future.
The same can be said when looking how he does against teams with winning or losing records. Jared Goff for instance scored 16% below his average against teams with a winning record, that is a tough stat going into the NFC West next year!
Next Monday I will be looking into Kenny Golladay and this Saturday I will explain why Calvin Ridley is Making the Leap on the YouTube channel
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Til next time! // CSD