Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews' Fantasy Outlook After Lamar Jackson's Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 12, 2021

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown runs a route against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Baltimore Ravens have a number of offensive weapons, and it will be up to those playmakers to lead the way after quarterback Lamar Jackson suffered an ankle injury in the first half against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and was ruled out for the duration of the contest.

Jackson's injury could send shockwaves throughout playoff races in the AFC and fantasy football leagues if he is forced to miss significant time, as Tyler Huntley could be in a position to take crucial snaps.

The backup's presence likely won't change the formula much for the team's running backs from a fantasy perspective.

Baltimore often runs a read-option attack with Jackson, which forces additional defenders into the box to counter the running game. The Louisville product's ability to use his legs is something defenses must account for on every play.

Defenses often stack the box against backup quarterbacks as well in an effort to force them to beat the secondary over the top, so the running backs will be facing loaded fronts.

While Huntley doesn't present the same threat to fake a handoff and keep it, the running backs' overall positioning in fantasy lineups should remain largely the same. Devonta Freeman is still a risky play but still has a flex floor and an RB2 ceiling.

The injury will have a much more direct impact on Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews in the aerial attack.

Brown's speed makes him an intriguing fit in the Ravens offense because he can beat press coverage as defenses aggressively try to stop the run. He wasted little time doing just that with 147 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his first career NFL game during a win over the Miami Dolphins.

That talent and formula doesn't go anywhere with someone else under center, especially if defenses continue to stack the box, but fantasy players would be wise to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to the receiver producing without Jackson. 

Huntley entered the 2021 campaign with three completed passes in his career and threw for just 219 yards and an interception in his first start in November, so fantasy managers shouldn't put Brown in their starting lineup until the new quarterback proves he can operate the offense with his arm as well as his legs.

He's a risky flex proposition at the moment.

The same can be said about Andrews, although he is probably the safer of the two pass-catching options as a safety valve for Huntley.

He proved as much in Huntley's lone start, catching eight passes for 73 yards.

There also isn't as much depth across the league at tight end as there is at wide receiver, so keep Andrews in the starting lineup even if the 2019 Pro Bowler's ceiling is lower without Jackson.