Expect rookie sensation Trey Lance to not only be in uniform on Sunday but on the field at some point as well. What can we expect from the rookie QB in Week 1, and what kind of impact can he have for fantasy football?
Trey Lance expected to be active for Week 1
The San Francisco 49ers’ Friday injury report reflected the team’s belief that Lance’s chipped finger will not keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.
While Lance (taken No. 3 overall by San Francisco in the 2021 NFL Draft) was limited in participation all week, the Niners were comfortable enough in his recovery that they didn’t even list him as questionable for Sunday.
The team isn’t giving away too many specifics regarding his injury. Yet, it’s believed Lance chipped his right index finger when he struck a helmet in the 49ers’ preseason finale on August 29. After taking a few days off to heal, he practiced all week.
“He’s doing good, he’s had a good week,” Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said.
49ers could use two-quarterback attack against Lions
Asked in a follow-up if Lance’s injury has changed how the team would use him against Detroit, Shanahan replied:
“No, it doesn’t change how I am.”
The implication? Expect San Francisco to use its two-quarterback attack in Week 1. Jimmy Garoppolo is the presumptive starter, but Shanahan is expected to use Lance in specific situations and packages.
“You want players to go out there when they’re ready and able to perform well, but you’re also putting players in,” 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel said this week. “One week we might run two tight ends, a fullback, and one receiver on the field a bunch. You’re trying to create a competitive advantage with your team and quarterback like running back, like offensive line, we look at it all the same.
“We just happen to have depth at multiple positions including quarterback on this team. So you’re always looking at what’s the best thing for the team and approaching it through that lens. And both player and the defensive scheme are incorporated in that.”
Lance and Garoppolo rotated snaps in the 49ers’ preseason finale, sparking all kinds of excitement and speculation. Lance’s ample physical gifts were on display all training camp. Still, Shanahan doesn’t yet seem ready to hand him the reins full-time.
Instead, expect Lance to share time with Garoppolo, who missed all but six games last year due to ankle issues. For his career, Garoppolo has completed 67.5% of his passes for 8,042 yards, 51 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions.
Lance, meanwhile, is still largely a mystery to much of the nation. He played far off the radar at North Dakota State and threw just 318 passes in his college career.
Trey Lance’s fantasy outlook and analysis for Week 1
Based on the final week of practice, all signs point to Trey Lance suiting up for Week 1. Head coach Kyle Shanahan announced to the media [August 30] the rookie QB had a “small chip” in his right index finger. He missed some time, but there is a chance we see him take a few snaps against the Detroit Lions as Shanahan said the backup QB would play “situational” snaps after he named Jimmy Garoppolo the starter.
There is no denying the dynamic play that Lance brings to the field. Once he becomes the starting QB, he will instantly have low-end QB1 upside, given the talent on this offense. Do not wait for Shanahan to make the inevitable announcement because every other manager will be fighting you for him by then. Even in 1QB leagues, stash Lance on your bench. His upside is worth breaking all the rules for.