Trey Lance Is Worth the Gamble for the 49ers

Lance offers a big-time fantasy-football ceiling but isn't without flaws. How will he fare with the 49ers?

During the day Thursday, as we got closer and closer to the draft, the momentum for Trey Lance to the San Francisco 49ers kept growing and growing.

Early Thursday on FanDuel Sportsbook, Lance was listed at +280 to be the third overall pick -- with Mac Jones the favorite at -270 -- but by the afternoon, things had flipped and Lance was down to -200 while Jones slid to +160.

The line movement was correct as the Niners selected Lance with the third pick.

While Lance has a lot of promising traits, he isn't a perfect prospect by any means. He played just 16 games in college, including only one in 2020, and all of it came versus FCS competition. But he definitely has some huge upside, too, especially for fantasy football. In 2019, Lance racked up 1,100 rushing yards and 14 scores in addition to posting a clip of 11.7 adjusted yards per attempt through the air. He also won't turn 21 until May, so the ceiling is through the roof.

What should the 49ers expect from him, and what might his fantasy football production look like?

Player Comparisons

numberFire's JJ Zachariason and Jim Sannes break down Lance's profile, and Jim gives his top comparison.

Brandon Gdula's draft database has found these 10 prior prospects to have the most similar statistical profiles to Lance. Keep in mind that these are based not on play style or traits but age, athleticism, draft equity, experience, efficiency, and production.

Trey Lance Profile Comparisons Similarity
Justin Fields 89.8%
Johnny Manziel 86.5%
Alex Smith 84.7%
DeShone Kizer 83.5%
Cam Newton 83.1%
Dwayne Haskins 83.0%
Patrick Mahomes 82.9%
Marcus Mariota 82.1%
Zach Wilson 81.8%
Michael Vick 81.0%

Gdula's Take: Lance brings virtually unmatched passing efficiency (a career 11.0 adjusted yards per attempt) and rushing production. Nobody in my database (dating back to 2000) ranks in the 95th percentile or better in both adjusted yards per attempt and rushing value added other than Lance. Schedule and experience are his big question marks.

Lance's 2021 Fantasy Football Projection

At the time of this pick, the Niners currently have Jimmy Garoppolo on their roster, which greatly impacts Lance's outlook for 2021.

Zachariason's initial 2021 projections for Lance include 2,303 passing yards and 14.3 scores along with 264 rushing yards and 4.5 touchdowns, making him the QB30 for the 17-game season.

But there's room for much more if Lance gets the opportunity to start early, and San Francisco certainly has a fun supporting cast to put around Lance, including Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Deebo Samuel.

The Niners are listed at +1300 to win the Super Bowl on FanDuel Sportsbook -- the fifth-best odds -- and +200 to win the NFC West. They have a win total projection of 10.5 (with -167 on the under) on FOX Bet.