2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Wk3 Game Analysis: 49ers 34, Raiders 10 (Subscriber Extra Notes)
I wanted to hit three things from this game, after viewing…and none of them are Raiders related, as the Raiders are barely fielding a team in the preseason. This is all 49ers-related.
1) Trey Lance and the QB-duo…
First, about the QB-duo thing… Interesting. It’s fresh, different. But one of two things will happen…
a) If the 49ers don’t thrive with it immediately, the media/fans will howl for them to just go with Lance and stop the nonsense and they will start to question the Shanahan genius…the potential beginning of the end of the Shanahan mystique.
b) If the 49ers do thrive with it…God help us. Every person who ever breathed next to Shanahan will be hired as the next NFL coach for any opening, and then every NFL team with Shanahan linkage (half the league now, I think…) will be trying to do the same in short order. Sean McVay will go Stafford-Perkins rotation for the rest of the season about two seconds after the 49ers win with a QB-rotation opening day.
On to Lance’s performance in this game…
After watching the entire preseason of his work, I’m worried about Lance short-term…and long-term. I’m not closing the book on something great developing in the end, but right now all the fears I had in January 2021…they still exist and have been on display all preseason.
I worried that he had no real feel for the passing game, that he too often threw blindly into obvious coverage – and he’s been that all preseason and not improving. He’s officially completed 46.3% of his passes this preseason. There’s more work and improvement to be done…he’s simply not ready to be a legit/winning starting NFL QB. He has more negatives than positives, today.
Yes, he’s had some ‘drops’ by receivers but half+ of those issues were Lance throwing 200mph fastballs in situations where it was not needed. He needs more time to develop/hone his craft, but that doesn’t mean/assure that he will magically improve with time. Most inaccurate, poor readers of defenses…they don’t just snap out of it/work their way out of it. It can be done (Josh Allen most recently and VERY successfully) but the odds are against it happening…with history as our guide, but history may not matter with the new breeds.
He’s so inexperienced, so he has so much room to grow – people take that as a good thing, like it’s great that he has all this room to grow…but why do we assume he’ll grow because of ‘time’. All QBs have had ‘time’ to improve but they rarely do a massive 180. Lance might, so there is hope…but equal to that is…it may be that this is who he is.
Then there is his running…the thing that was supposed to be the extra sauce to go with all his arm tools. I haven’t seen some mystical runner in the preseason. He also hasn’t run all-out just yet for us to really see. But from what I’ve seen, I see more of a Josh Allen runner than some Lamar-Hurts hybrid of speed and strength. And a Josh Allen runner is a very solid FF runner, but I was expecting more from the hype (which is usually wrong anyway).
For 2024, Lance would be my second choice of all the 2021 rookie QBs to possess (Zach Wilson #1)…hoping for that sweet upside with his ‘A’ arm. It’s possible Lance ends up to be the best QB of this class – but how long will it take to see that, to get a Fantasy ROI?
For 2021, Week 1, Lance might be my 4th-5th option (among the rookies) as a guy to (NFL) start against a real defense.
My jury (of one) is still out on Lance. I don’t think it’s a given he’s going to become a star, but ‘star’ is his ceiling. Only Zach Wilson has a ‘star’ ceiling of the others in the 2021 class. Mac Jones maybe…maybe. I guess Trevor Lawrence has a bit of hope. Fields, I think, is at his peak already.
Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are better than all of them.
2) Watching the difference between Raheem Mostert and Trey Sermon in this game was jarring.
Mostert looked like the fastest RB in the NFL in this game, which makes Sermon look like a sluggish plodder by comparison. I’ve not seen anything from Sermon, this preseason, to get me excited. He hasn’t been bad or anything…just not ‘must have’ or the obvious ‘future’. Elijah Mitchell looked just as capable…as does JaMycal Hasty. As did Wayne Gallman, really.
For all the ‘Sermon rules the world’ people taking him hot in FF, get your Rookie Derangement Syndrome in check. Sermon is just an average/good back, who is a rookie…and Mostert is better, more experienced and ready to roll.
If Mostert gets hurt, I don’t think Sermon then becomes the instant 20+ touches franchise back…he may not even out-touch Hasty with Mostert out.
3) Jalen Hurd looks like he’s had all the energy sucked out of him.
I don’t see any remnants of the guy from a year or two ago. So many critical injuries, so much time. It’s like it’s not meant to be. He did make the roster, so there is some hope floating around.