There has been a debate going on in the industry all off season about which quarterback deserves to come off the board first in season long redrafts this summer, Patty or Lamar? These two without question make up the top Elite Tier at the position. So I felt it was a good opportunity to dive into the debate and see which one I feel deserves the distinct honor of being the first quarterback drafted in 2020. Now if you listened to my draft secrets pod last week, if you didn’t go check it out, you will know I am a firm believer on waiting at quarterback. So what this means is I will not be in the Lamar or Patty business this season because their 2nd to 3rd round, sometimes 1st in those crazy home leagues, ADP is not a value.In standard one quarterback leagues any given week you will be starting up to 3 running backs and 4 wide receivers so this is where the focus early in drafts needs to be. Especially at the running back position as it drops off so quickly. However, for those hell bent on landing one of these studs this summer here is my argument for each and who ultimately should be the #1 QB taken.
Making the Case for Mahomes
There is no question that Mahomes belongs in this Elite tier even coming off a “down” year in 2019. Mahomes entered the 2019 season fresh off an unbelievable 2018 campaign that captured him his first of likely many MVP titles. So, like he will be this season, he was being taken as one of the first two quarterbacks off the board. Mahomes started the first six games very solid putting up weekly fantasy finishes of 5, 1, 4, 11, 11, and 9. Then in week 7 he suffered the knee injury forcing him to miss the next two weeks essentially derailing many fantasy seasons. When Mahomes returned he just didn’t seem quite right or himself until the stretch run. In week 11 Mahomes finished 15th, in week 13 he finished 12th, and then in week 14 finished 19th in weekly fantasy points. This is not the production expected of a top tier quarterback drafted number one at the position. However, despite the missed time Mahomes still managed to finish as the QB6 on the year.
The thing that makes Mahomes appealing to us in 2020 is his upside and ceiling as an Elite passer. We know, from 2018, that Mahomes’ ceiling is 5,000+ yards and 50 touchdowns. Many would say that will never happen again because it was a “historic” season. To that I quote the great Dr. Andre Nowzick of The League, “Child Please.” Drew Brees is living proof that a quarterback with high end ability and talent can achieve the 5,000 yard mark multiple times through their career, as he achieved the feet 4 times over his storied hall of fame career. Mahomes no doubt will be able to do the same as he possesses that same top end talent. Many look to the contract that Mahomes just received and say he is being over paid, and that no athlete deserves that type of money. I say he is being under paid. Compared to what other high end athletes make in other sports Mahomes is getting the short end of the stick, because his upside and ceiling is so high he deserves to be paid as such. Any given year Patrick could put up that 5,000+ and 50 passing touchdown line due to his unbelievable talent as a passer. Another area that makes Mahomes desirable is his safe floor. We know his floor, if he can play a full 16 games, is going to be 4,500 yards and 32 touchdowns. Those floor numbers are most professional quarterbacks’ ceilings, such as a Goff or Cousins.
Making the Case for Jackson
So the upside that Patty has through the air Lamar brings on the ground. What Lamar was able to do last year as a rusher was simply incredible. It was especially incredible in terms of today’s fantasy scoring system. What I mean by this is every 40 yards a quarterback rushes for equates to one passing touchdown. So we look at Lamar’s insane 1,206 yards rushing last year and divide that by 40 what do we come up with. I’ll do the math for you the answer is 30. YES, 30 passing touchdowns is what Lamar’s rushing yards equated to. That’s sick in itself but then you add up his actual passing touchdowns, which was 36, that would mean it was like Lamar threw for 66 touchdowns in 2019. That would be 11 more touchdowns thrown then Peyton Manning’s single season record of 55 set back in 2013. That would mean 16 more than Mahomes’ 2018 total. As insane as the rushing total was for Lamar last season, we fully expect a slight regression in 2020. Also we can expect a significant regression in the passing touchdown department as well. I have Lamar projected in the 26-28 passing touchdown range for 2020, which is still good when packaged with the rushing juice. I have Lamar rushing for 900 yards on the nose in 2020.
Lamar much like Mahomes offers that safe weekly floor, which puts him solidly within the top tier of quarterbacks. In 15 games played last year Lamar finished top 10 in 14 of those games. Not only was that unbelievable consistency, but he did it when it mattered most during our fantasy playoffs. Lamar finished as QB1 and QB3 during weeks 15 and 16 propelling many teams to league titles. It is this consistency, floor, and upside that makes him an Elite option at the position.
The Winner Is?
We have to keep in mind one important rule when moving season to season, especially in redraft after a “historic” season, and that is always be looking forward and not backwards. Historic means in the past and we can’t assume as fantasy players that Lamar can duplicate what he did last season. Does he have the talent to do so, absolutely. However, it is just very unlikely for any player to enjoy record setting seasons year after year. Even if Mahomes didn’t get injured last season he would have not matched the numbers put up during his MVP season. So with that said here are my projections for each player and expected fantasy points for 2020.
As you can see I have Mahomes just one point ahead of Lamar, meaning that either guy is capable and deserving of the number one spot. Both of these players are projected to finish with at least 30 more points than Russell Wilson who projects as my QB3 in 2020. Each player has a path to the top spot, Mahomes’ will be through the air, and Jackson’s will be on the ground. I would give the edge to Mahomes over Jackson if presented the opportunity this summer in drafts. Jackson will have some negative regression in passing touchdowns and rushing yards which will be enough for me to lean towards Patty Mahomes being the first QB taken in drafts in 2020.