Lance has started five football games and thrown 132 passes over the past three years, including his final year at North Dakota State. As he enters Year 3 in the NFL, he is still not guaranteed to start a game with the 49ers calling Brock Purdy their starter when he is healthy. If Purdy starts Week 1, Lance should only be rostered in Dynasty leagues and deep redraft leagues where you can start more than one quarterback. If Purdy starts 17 games, we may not even be rostering Lance in Dynasty a year from now. On the flip side, if Lance gets a chance to start this year, we think there is a very good chance his running ability and Kyle Shanahan's system will make him a viable Fantasy starter.
We’ve barely seen Lance through two NFL seasons. He made just two starts as a rookie and then lasted just one full game last year before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
He mostly struggled as a passer in those three games. But he has provided plenty of rushing production.
Lance remains an intriguing fantasy prospect, but it’s unclear if he’ll see the field in 2023. QB Brock Purdy is considered the favorite to start after his impressive finish to last season.
Purdy, though, is recovering from a serious right elbow injury. If he’s not ready to go come Week 1, Lance would only need to hold off QB Sam Darnold for the job.
It’s a situation to track closely throughout the summer.
What We Learned Last YearLance opened last season as San Francisco’s starter but lasted just one full game before fracturing and dislocating his right ankle in Week 2. He underwent surgery and missed the rest of the season.Lance completed just 13 of 28 passes (46.4%) for 164 yards (5.9 YPA), 0 TDs, and 1 INT in that opened vs. the Bears. It’s worth noting that the game was played in rainy, windy conditions. Lance aded 53 yards on 13 carries but still finishing the week 29th among QBs in fantasy points.Lance played just two full games as a rookie back in 2021. He finished those weeks QB20 and QB10 in fantasy points.Across those three full games, Lance has averaged 12.3 carries and 58 yards. Only two QBs (Justin Fields and Lamar Jackson) averaged more rushing yards per game last year.Lance has completed just 54.9% of his career passes and averaged 7.8 yards per attempt.What to Expect in 2023Lance needed a second surgery on that right ankle in December. But he participated in the 49ers’ offseason program, so that ankle injury shouldn’t be an issue in 2023.Lance was the subject of trade rumors this offseason, with “several teams” calling to check on his availability, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. But he remains on San Francisco’s roster.The 49ers return QB Brock Purdy, who played well late last season and into the playoffs. But he tore the UCL in his right elbow in the NFC Championship and is uncertain for the start of the season.The ‘Niners have said multiple times this offseason, though, that Purdy is the “leader in the clubhouse" for the starting job once healthy.The team also added QB Sam Darnold on a one-year deal in free agency. He and Lance split first-team reps in offseason practices.Lance worked with private QBs coach Jeff Christensen this offseason, alongside Patrick Mahomes. Lance adjusted his throwing motion and made improvements in accuracy, spin rate, and delivery time, according to Christensen.If he makes starts this season, Lance will be back in HC Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The 49ers have been a run-leaning attack under Shanahan, ranking bottom-7 in pass attempts in three of the last four seasons, including each of the last two. They’d certainly remain run-leaning with Lance.But Shanahan’s passing games have been efficient, finishing top-11 in yards per attempt in five straight seasons, including three top-four finishes. The ‘Niners have ranked between 12th and 15th in total passing yards in five straight seasons.RB Christian McCaffrey, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk, and TE George Kittle all return. It’s one of the better pass-catching corps in the NFL.If you play dynasty, now is a good time to at least check on Lance's cost in trade. Our Dynasty Trade Value Charts can help you assess whether to make a move.