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Fantasy Football: Buy Trey Lance as the NFL's next great rookie quarterback?

Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) runs with the ball during training camp at the SAP Performance Facility. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

We’re in the thick of the NFL offseason, and it’s officially time to start fantasy football prep. I’ll be answering the biggest questions heading into the 2021 season. Click here to read the series of questions answered so far.

The public was hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amok and flat out deceived by the predraft circus surrounding the San Francisco 49ers and the idea that they were set to use the No. 3 overall pick on Alabama QB Mac Jones. Yes, Jones was prolific during the Crimson Tide’s 2020 National Championship run and stylistically fit the mold of some of coach Kyle Shanahan’s past signal-callers. Also yes, the 49ers didn’t send three first-round picks for the chance to draft this guy.

Editor's Note: PFF's 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Guide and 2021 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets are LIVE!

Fast forward to present day, and hindsight makes it easy to see why North Dakota State QB Trey Lance was the rightful choice all along. Strapped with a rocket-launcher for a right arm and all sorts of mobility, Lance has the sort of dual-threat profile that forces a defense to account for every square inch on the field.

What follows is a breakdown on just how good of a prospect Lance is, as well as what we should make of him as a fantasy asset in 2021.

Lance is capable of achieving pretty much anything on a football field

PFF stated the following about Lance in our 2021 NFL Draft Guide:

“In an utterly loaded class, Lance may have more pure physical talent than all of these QBs. However, quarterback is still a performance position, and that's where Lance will be a difficult eval. Operating a run-heavy offense against FCS competition is a massive difference from operating a pass-happy system against an NFL defense. But even with some accuracy issues, Lance still has a high floor because of his rushing ability. He is a battering ram with the ball in his hands and will be a weapon in the red zone and short-yardage situations. Combine that with an arm capable of slinging it 70-plus yards downfield in a flick, and it's scary to think what he could become.”

The ease with which Lance flips the ball downfield can’t be understated. We’re obviously battling a lack of sample size here, but the physical tools are absolutely off the charts as both a passer and rusher. The latter point grabs the attention of fantasy players everywhere.


We only saw Lance once in 2020, and the 6-foot-4, 224-pound dual-threat talent turned his 15 carries into 143 yards with a pair of scores. It’s been rare to see Lance not instill his will on the ground against defenses of all shapes and sizes at NDSU, as he racked up at least 40 yards and/or a score in all but one of his 19 games over the past three seasons.

He typically accomplished all this in style.

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