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49ers QB Trey Lance: Fantasy football draft profile for 2023 NFL season

We break down the outlook for San Fran QB Trey Lance heading into the 2023 NFL season.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

August 25 update: The 49ers are trading Trey Lance to the Cowboys for a fourth round pick, per multiple reports. Ian Rapoport is reporting Lance will be the Cowboys third-string QB, putting him behind starter Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush. Lance has no fantasy value as long as Prescott remains healthy, but he remains an interesting option in dynasty leagues.


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance played in just two games last season as he suffered a broken ankle, which required two surgeries. The 49ers drafted him third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft and he hasn’t played much in his first two seasons in the league. This is the year he’ll have the chance to run the team if he can stay healthy.

2023 Fantasy Football: Trey Lance Profile

Recap of 2022 season

It’s hard judging Lance off the Week 1 matchup with the Chicago Bears because the playing conditions were horrible and field conditions were poor. He had some struggles, but so would any quarterback making the third start of their career. Lance lost to the Bears, so the overreactions were strong. In Week 2, he was playing well against the Seattle Seahawks, completing two of three passes for 30 yards before suffering the injury.

Updated 49ers outlook

The 49ers spent money on their defensive line but didn't upgrade the offense much. They have arguably the best skill position players in the NFL, so that’s understandable. However, the offensive line could’ve used some work especially with Lance taking over as the starter and the hope that you can keep him healthy.

Best-case scenario

Brock Purdy either regresses to why he was a seventh-round pick or gets hurt and Lance moves back into the starting lineup. He breaks out this season and is a top ten QB in fantasy scoring. The 49ers will still run the ball a bunch and set plays up, but Lance has the most upside by far in the 49ers quarterback room. At North Dakota State, some were calling him a generational prospect. He is also talented as a runner where he’ll add fantasy points as well. They’ll be careful with him early on as it’ll take some time for him to get back to 100% rushing the ball.

Worst-case scenario

Brock Purdy stays healthy and remains the starting quarterback job following the preseason. Additionally, Sam Darnold outplays Lance in the preseason and Lance serves is a regular healthy scratch for the season. The 49ers were successful with Purdy playing quarterback and didn't lose a regular-season game while he was starting. He doesn't have Lance's upside, but he’s a solid game manager who will get this team to the playoffs.

Prediction

Purdy is the starting QB, so Lance will need an injury to see the field. If he does, though, he has some tools that the 49ers can make him into a true franchise quarterback. If Lance can stay healthy this year, he will be making plays with this talented offense. I would also expect to see head coach Kyle Shanahan to ease him into games with a ton of screens and short passes early in the season. They have the personnel for that to be successful.