Colin Kaepernick Returns
This Sunday will mark the not so triumphant return of Colin Kaepernick. It has been a long and controversial road that makes deflate gate look like a snooze fest. He is the most talked about backup since Tim Tebow and the most athletically gifted. No matter what road had been traveled or how long it took to get to this point, Kaepernick will take the field in Buffalo and will be the 49ers signal caller. Fans will be looking to see if he can still captivate people, not just by protests but by jaw-dropping plays. I’m going to respectfully omit the stand-up, sit down, and kneel down aspects of the Colin Kaepernick saga as I wish to draw attention to the potential fantasy football elements to his return.
The departure of Jim Harbaugh coupled with the inept coaching of Jim Tomsula proved to be as disastrous as expected for the 49ers. The offense never seemed to have an identity and Kaepernick was never truly healthy. This set the stage for Blaine Gabbert to take over the team and play just well enough to cause a good old-fashioned quarterback controversy. The dust has settled and now Colin Kaepernick will lead the 49ers into Buffalo against a Bills team that looks much different from their week 2 abomination against the Jets. Most fantasy experts have said that this might not be the easiest return for Kaepernick and those folks may be right. The Buffalo Bills have only given up two passing touchdowns this year and in standard scoring have allowed the fourth fewest points to the opposing quarterback. Those same Bills also have seventeen sacks this season which ranks fourth among NFL defenses. It would seem as though the prognosticators may be on to something in regards to their assessment of week 6.[the_ad id=”66786″]The schedule from there on out doesn’t appear as daunting. As of this writing, six of the 49ers eight upcoming opponents rank in the top fifteen of most fantasy points given up to the quarterback (standard scoring). In regards to running quarterbacks which is Kaepernick’s calling card, five out of his next eight opponents rank in the top ten of rushing yards given up to opposing quarterbacks. This stat is an appealing one considering that after five weeks the quarterback he is taking over for ranks as the top rusher among his position. Kaepernick may also be returning at the right time as the month of October has been kind to him. During this month all time, Kaepernick has thrown thirteen touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also has the most rushing touchdowns in the month of October than any other month. The 49ers currently have the third most points scored among basement dwellers in the NFL and that is with Gabbert playing as ineffectively as he has. Some of Gabbert’s biggest struggles came when the 49ers had seven or more yards to go for a first down. Over Kaepernick’s career, he has had a better competition percentage when the 49ers faced seven yards or more to go for the first than what Gabbert has had this season.
Let’s also not forget the system in which he will be playing. When Chip Kelly was hired by the 49ers the biggest thing that continuously came up was how good of a hire this was for Kaepernick. It is well known that this offensive system could be the most conducive to Colin’s playing style. In the last few games for the 49ers, Gabbert was able to generate substantial running yards up the middle after dropping back. Maybe NFL defenses will play Colin differently, but those driving situations should be forgotten. Sometimes a player’s potential can go beyond numbers on the field. Every now and again a particular player will be playing for a contract, and that could provide extra incentive to play beyond just pride. Colin Kaepernick has restructured his contract with the 49ers which intensive purposes means that he will be free to leave after this season ends. Kaepernick’s potential future as an NFL quarterback has been called into question, and this is his opportunity to show NFL franchises that he isn’t finished. Never underestimate a player’s determination to get paid as I think this will be a driving force for the 49er signal caller. Based upon that and some of the numbers that have been discussed here I believe that Kaepernick is worth a look in two-quarterback formats. Add him at your risk and double check your current quarterback bye weeks but it could be worth your while. You never know, this could turn out to be a modern-day gold rush.
Mike is a hardcore fantasy football fan. He has been doing serious writing for a couple of years now and loves finding the next big sleeper that no one is talking about. He also isn’t afraid to go against the grain and predict the next big bust. The fantasy community is as strong as ever and Mike is ready to help you win a title!