As we close in toward the new NFL season, the ever-changing league landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move, with key events like free agency continuing to roll on and the 2023 NFL Draft still to come.
Trey Lance’s Dynasty Outlook and Value
You deserve a medal for riding this roller coaster if you have been on the Trey Lance bandwagon since his freshman year at North Dakota State. Yet here we are, entering year three, and not a single person knows who was right or wrong about Lance — not even Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch, or the rest of the 49ers’ top brass.
That’s what makes things so hard when evaluating Lance’s dynasty value. We have such a small sample size. Lance started only two games as a rookie, but he averaged 22.4 PPR points and 60 rushing yards per game in those wins, subbing in for Jimmy Garoppolo. Those are QB1 numbers.
Lance eventually won the starting job, which, to be honest, was expected, but we learned nothing in 2022. Week 1 was a complete washout, as Chicago was in the middle of a deluge. Lance threw for 164 yards with a 46.4% completion percentage and an interception but ran 13 times for 54 yards. Then in Week 2 against Seattle, Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury, which paused his already tumultuous career.
The 49ers mortgaged the farm, including multiple future first-round picks, to acquire Lance, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Lance was raw, and the idea of him developing behind Garoppolo made a ton of sense to me and many others. That’s why 2022 saw Lance on nearly everyone’s breakout list at quarterback. But here we are eight months later, still with no answers.
You can’t even blame Lance. You can’t knock a guy for an injury or a coach’s decisions. Lance has stated that he will be ready and fully cleared by the time OTAs and training camp roll around.
In terms of timing, that couldn’t be better, as he’ll be one of the only healthy QBs on the roster after the team let Garoppolo leave for Las Vegas in free agency. Lance will begin ahead of teammate Brock Purdy in their QB battle, as Purdy’s recovery timeline following a torn UCL places Lance in the driver’s seat for the starting job in 2023.
Trey Lance Fantasy Ranking
I still believe in Lance’s skill set and have him as a fringe QB1 in dynasty despite seeing, well, not much at all. Currently, he is the QB13 in our dynasty QB rankings, just ahead of Daniel Jones, but this is before any of the 2023 draft class has been added. The rookies will likely push Lance to at least QB16 after C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, and Anthony Richardson are included.
When it comes to Superflex rankings, where quarterbacks see an increase in value due to positional scarcity, Lance is our 60th-ranked player.
As we saw with Purdy last season, especially after the addition of Christian McCaffrey, this is an offense you want a piece of in dynasty, particularly at quarterback. Passers in this offense benefit from the sheer amount of talent on the 49ers’ depth chart.
Lance is a buy for me during the 2023 offseason. We saw last year how quickly the QB landscape could change, especially with much of the old guard passing the torch to the league’s younger passers. While I’m not entirely sure what the future holds for Lance, the gamble is worth taking, as I believe he will be the starting quarterback in San Francisco.
Given his time in the league (even if the reps haven’t been in games), Lance has to hit the ground running in 2023 because Purdy, when healthy, will be ready to take over should Lance stumble.
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