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Zach's Favorite UnderDog Pick'Ems



Lamar Jackson UNDER 6.5 Rushing Touchdowns


Lamar has rushed the ball more than 100 times in a season three times in his career, and those were his first three seasons in the league. In those years (2018, 2019, and 2020), he rushed for 5 TDs, 7 TDs, and 7 TDs.


In 2021 and 2022, he rushed the ball 83 and 86 times, respectively, for two and three rushing TDs in each of those seasons. That was in Greg Roman’s trench warfare offensive scheme, where running the ball was the first, second, and third option.


Now, the Ravens have brought in Todd Monken, and Lamar has come out and said that there’s going to be a much larger emphasis in the passing game this year, as well. Plus, the Ravens went out and actually put their money where their mouth is, getting Lamar actual weapons for the first time in his career. J.K. Dobbins is going to be healthy and running the ball plenty, too.


Let’s not get it twisted, though – Lamar is capable of rushing for 7 touchdowns in a season. But that’s a high number for any quarterback, even the former MVP, and with a shift in offensive philosophy looming and more weapons to make the prospect of throwing the ball much more attractive, I’m willing to bet that the rushing TD numbers stay low as they have the past two seasons.


It’s also worth mentioning that Lamar has missed five games in each of the past two seasons.

 

Jared Goff OVER 4000.5 Passing Yards


Goff attempted the sixth-most passes in the NFL (587) and threw for over 4K yards with Khalif Raymond as the receiver with the next most receiving yards behind Amon-Ra St. Brown.


The Lions replaced D’Andre Swift, a receiving running back that they weren’t keen on using, with Jahmyr Gibbs, who is arguably the premier pass catching back in the 2023 class… and they took him in the first round.


There’s only one way to get the ball in the hands of Jahmyr Gibbs in the receiving game, and that’s through Jared Goff. You don’t think Goff is going to enjoy Gibbs inflating his stats? Gibbs ranked inside the top-5 in Y/RR in all three years of his college career! Not to mention that Sam LaPorta was also drafted in the second round and will be an upgrade to the leftovers that existed on the Lions roster behind T.J. Hockenson.


The Lions took an obvious step forward in the second half of the season, and that led to them finishing with the fifth-highest scoring offense in 2022. The supporting cast is better and Goff did more with less last year. Now he can do more, with more, and that means 4,000 yards will be just a mile marker on the way to him smashing this pick.

 

Tony Pollard OVER 1025.5 Rush Yards


Pollard ran for over 1000 yards last season while Zeke carried the ball 231 times himself. He was fifth in the NFL in yards per attempt last year, second in YCO/A, and was the only running back under 200 carries to have over 30 rushes of 10+ yards.


In a nutshell, Pollard has been hyper-efficient his entire career and he finally got the opportunity in 2022 to burst onto the fantasy scene. Now, Zeke is out of the picture, and he’s primed for a goal line role. Pollard should easily have 230 or more touches in the ground game in 2023, and that’s a low number.


Even if his efficiency takes a slight dip as a result of a more consistent workload, it’s hard to imagine a running back with his talent not blowing past the 1000 yard milestone with ease.

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