Trey Lance's Fantasy Outlook After 49ers Select QB in 2021 NFL Draft

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

FILE - North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance throws at the school's football NFL Pro Day in Fargo, N.D., in this Friday, March, 12, 2021, file photo. Lance will likely be one of the first two players drafted from non-Football Bowl Subdivision programs next week. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press


Trey Lance was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round of Thursday's NFL draft. The question for fantasy players is when, exactly, Lance should come off the board this summer when they hold their own drafts. 

And the answer is pretty late. 

Here are a few things we know: It's rare that rookie quarterbacks crack the top 10 in fantasy points when they are guaranteed starters right away. And Lance...well, he isn't a guaranteed starter. In fact, it seems likely that the Niners selected him precisely to let him learn behind Jimmy Garoppolo.

Whereas players like Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Mac Jones played against top competition and led their teams to the College Football Playoff, Lance played FBS competition at North Dakota State and only started 17 games. 

As Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network put it, the 20-year-old is "going to need time to develop, but I'm going to bet on his skill set, competitiveness and decision-making."

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. added that Lance will "need some time, but he has a high ceiling."

This is the popular view on Lance: He has the athletic ability and natural talent to become a very good quarterback but needs some refinement and polishing. He's the perfect candidate to sit a year, work with Kyle Shanahan's coaching staff and learn the offense before being let loose.

That also means he's a savvy pickup in dynasty formats but potentially a wasted pick in redraft leagues, outside of a very speculative addition in the late rounds. If you really want a quarterback in your redraft league, Lawrence or Zach Wilson feel like far better options.