We have spent a lot of time on this site speculating about expectations for Trey Lance both from an individual standpoint and for the team as well. One area we haven’t really addressed is fantasy football, and considering that more than 60 million people participate in fantasy football every year, I’d say it’s overdue.
On today’s Gold Diggers podcast, our fantasy expert Michelle Magdziuk gave her take.
“I think he’s a top ten fantasy quarterback. People are not happy with this take, but it’s not a bold take actually at all. Jalen Hurts was a top eight fantasy quarterback last year. He was actually QB 1 all the way through Week 11 before he got injured. He ended as QB 8. Trey Lance can easily do that. The thing is, if you play fantasy football, mobile quarterbacks are cheat code. So he doesn’t even have to be this amazing quarterback to be a top 10 quarterback, he just has to be pretty average. Get those rushing yards, get those rushing touchdowns, which I think he’ll do pretty easily. I stand by that take and I’m drafting Trey Lance wherever I can because he’s going late. He’s going late in drafts. He’s gonna be my fantasy quarterback this year.”
Because of how few games Lance started last season, it remains to be seen how often he will take off and run once he’s under center on a full-time basis. In his first start against the Cardinals, Kyle Shanahan kept the training wheels on the game plan, and Lance ran 16 times for 89 yards (many of them designed). Against the Texans, however, Trey carried the ball half as many times for 34 yards.
Assuming Trey can gain 40 rushing yards per game next year would give him 680 for the season. That would have been the fourth-highest total for a quarterback in 2021, behind Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen. If last season’s usage is any indication, Lance will also have his fair share of rushing touchdown opportunities as well. Seven or eight rushing scores are not out of the question.
In terms of passing yardage, things are also unclear. In two starts last season, Trey averaged 220 yards through the air per game. Over a 17-game season, that works out to 3,740 for a full season, which I don’t think is unrealistic. That would have tied him with the ghost of Ben Roethlisberger for 15th in the NFL last year. Assuming Trey isn’t a total disaster and given the weapons around him, Lance should also throw between 16-20 touchdown passes through the air.
You could certainly do worse than a quarterback who combines for more than 4,400 yards and (hopefully) around 25-30 total touchdowns.