North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance had one of the most impressive seasons that we have seen in 2019. The redshirt sophomore played only once in 2020, though, with the pandemic putting an end to his college career. He looks to hear his name called early in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Despite only starting 17 games in his college football career, Lance is expected to hear his name called in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s rare to find quarterbacks who are effective both through the air and on the ground, but it’s incredibly valuable in fantasy football. So just how good could Trey Lance be in fantasy?
Trey Lance dominated the FCS as a redshirt freshman
Trey Lance has only played one season as a starter but he couldn’t have announced his presence any more emphatically. He moved the ball relatively effectively, completing 192 of 287 passes for 2786 yards. Unbelievably, though, he threw 28 touchdown passes without a single interception.
If his performances as a passer were impressive, his production on the ground was enough to make everybody take notice. Lance rushed 169 times for 1100 yards and 14 touchdowns and looked unstoppable at times.
North Dakota State’s fall season has been postponed until spring, but Lance has confirmed that he will instead focus on preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft.
He did take part in an exhibition game against Central Arkansas in October but was far from his best. He completed 15 of 30 passes for 149 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. It was his rushing that will have given future fantasy managers so much hope, though. Despite an underwhelming performance through the air, he still rushed 15 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
Who will draft Trey Lance?
Lance won’t be the first quarterback drafted but that means he should find a better landing spot. Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets have question marks everywhere on offense and don’t have the building blocks that allow a QB to be slotted in and succeed right away.
In his recent mock draft, Garrett Ballard had the San Francisco 49ers selecting Lance.
Explaining the fit, Ballard emphasized Lance’s ceiling if he’s paired with Kyle Shanahan, one of the premier play-callers in the NFL.
"Any quarterback in a Kyle Shanahan system will succeed, but one with the talent of Trey Lance can soar. Jimmy G is the definition of a game manager, Trey Lance can be a game changer. Getting his arm strength and mobility will really open up the fantastic playbook of Kyle Shanahan."
Trey Lance fantasy value
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There are few things more valuable in fantasy football than a quarterback who can run the ball. Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Kyler Murray have all had huge fantasy seasons in recent years and Trey Lance has the ability to have similar success.
Much of his success depends on his landing spot. If he ends up with the 49ers then we could see a similar impact to Robert Griffin III’s rookie season under Shanahan. If he ends up with the Atlanta Falcons, as NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah suggested in his recent mock draft, he would likely be forced to sit behind Matt Ryan.
If Lance isn’t the starter in 2021 then he’ll still have value in dynasty leagues. Whichever team drafts him will do so with the intention of handing him the keys to the offense in the next few years and will have the opportunity to work on maximizing his skills within the offense while he sits behind an experienced starter.
Rushing ability raises both the floor and ceiling of a quarterback in fantasy football and Lance has the arm talent and decision-making skills to still be able to make plays as a passer. He’s a raw prospect, having only started for a season, but the future looks incredibly bright.