In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Andy Behrens and Scott Pianowski look back at what went wrong in 2021 including drafting rookie quarterbacks
ANDY BEHRENS: I also want to say that like if I just threw out Trey Lance as my number--
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Oh that's a good one. OK.
ANDY BEHRENS: I think we could have a better conversation. I was going to say that ultimately the right answer among the entire rookie quarterback class was none of them.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Nobody.
ANDY BEHRENS: None of them--
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Davis Mills.
ANDY BEHRENS: Were helpful. Right. Davis Mills was like the number three rookie scorer at quarterback. Mac Jones was number one, but he was barely better than Trevor Lawrence for fantasy. And nobody wanted anything to do with Trevor Lawrence last year.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: He's like melty vanilla ice cream. It's just there's no upside with Mac Jones.
ANDY BEHRENS: Right. Right. And we had kind of grown accustomed, I want to say, over the last, I don't know, 10, 12 years to rookie quarterbacks. Deep history of fantasy football, and you and I talked about this a couple of weeks ago, deep history of fantasy football, you wouldn't touch a rookie quarterback. But then Cam happened, and RG3 happened, and Luck, and Dak, and Lamar. And we're now getting accustomed to banking on some rookie quarterback each season.
Again, last year's top scoring rookie quarterback was the QB 18 in Mac Jones. Totally unhelpful. People built draft strategies around Trey Lance. I had a handful of my-- I had a roster. It wasn't in the flex leagues. But one of those leagues that we travel to draft. I built it around Trey Lance, the idea that I'll just get a caddie for the first four weeks of the season, or whatever. However long it takes before the Niners get tired of Jimmy Garoppolo. I think I talked myself into this idea that they'll hit this early buy or something like that. And then Trey Lance will take over on the back end of it.
We only have to endure September with Garoppolo. I had a league where in fact, it's a keeper league. And I drafted Trey Lance at a price that might seem keepable now. But I was like a competitive team. I had to-- eventually, I sat on Trey Lance all year. I dropped him in December for Kendall Blanton because I needed some sort of flyer, streamer, tight end. I held him all year and then cut him for a tight end who I then cut the following week.
Trey Lance did nothing for us. Trey Lance couldn't take Jimmy Garoppolo's job, an injured Jimmy Garoppolo, Jimmy Garoppolo playing through a shoulder injury of his own. Trey Lance could never leapfrog him. It was a bad year overall for the rookie quarterbacks. I would be shocked if this coming year isn't pretty disappointing for the rookie quarterbacks. Kenny Pickett probably has the clearest path to a job. I'm not super excited about him.
But man, last year was brutal. And Trey Lance wasn't free. You didn't-- it's not like you were getting-- maybe in a hometown 10 team league, it's a bunch of college buddies or whatever. Maybe you got Trey Lance late. But the sharper the league, the earlier Trey Lance went. Because somebody wanted to build around the rushing talents of that guy. And of course, we did see when he did get onto the field, he had like 16 or 18 rush attempts, something like that. That's going to pay off eventually.
But just an absolute bust of a pick. And he's also a guy that you absolutely sat on for most of the season. So that carries a cost as well.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: You make a great point that the sharper your league, the more Lance was like a hipster pick where he would get taken and then half of room would groan. And the angle was even in-- I saw him getting taken in basketball leagues, I thought I'm getting taken in start one quarterback leagues. You're going to sit on Trey Lance. I know. He's not playing week one. So what?
He's going to blow up the game when he comes in. And of course, he eventually did get some chances to play, did not blow up the game, and looked very much like what he was, an experienced quarterback who hardly played the previous year.
And isn't it funny that the Niners trade-- they prioritized in the draft and traded up to get Lance and traded up to get Trey Sermon. So who is even-- if anything, more of a bust than Lance was, I mean, he just looked like he might be out of the NFL pretty soon. And it was the unheralded Elijah Mitchell who was the guy that you needed to be right on the Niners along with Deebo Samuel.
So Lance, I think back part of my critique of you, not all of it, but part of it. Because Lance is a pretty good mistake. And I think you're right to own it. And a lot of people got that. The funny thing is the people who got Lance wrong, I think of like Adam Levitan who established the run, who I think is one of the sharpest, brightest, a guy who I'm always care what he thinks, and a lot of times, I'll follow what Adam does. He's so bright. And he was really in on Lance. And it's just everybody gets stuff wrong, even the best players. And--
ANDY BEHRENS: I remember having a super bullish conversation with John Daigle at the--
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: [INAUDIBLE].
ANDY BEHRENS: Drafts, and who's great. Daigle is fantastic. Super hard worker, really thorough in his process. Love Daigle. He and I got Trey Lance wrong together. And it was such a fun and easy case to make. And he barely played.