Fantasy Football 2013: Colin Kaepernick Fantasy Outlook
It’s early, sure, but we’ve seen all we need to see from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to know he’s a special talent with a stock arrow that is definitely pointing up.
Kap simply got better through two playoff games and the Super Bowl, and should walk into the 2013 NFL season with even more confidence, and hopefully better weapons. Working mostly with just Michael Crabtree, Kap actually overcame the loss of Mario Manningham, an ineffective Randy Moss, and routinely got the job done without utilizing stud tight end Vernon Davis until the NFC title game.
Before we get too excited and dive into his 2013 prospects, let’s take a look back at what he did in 2012. He appeared in eight regular season games, starting seven, and ended his second NFL season with 10 total starts, including the playoffs. Including post-season play, here’s a game-by-game breakdown of the points he accrued in his 10 starts:
Note: standard points apply (1 pt = 25 pass yds, 4 pts per pass TD, 6 per rush TD, 1 pt for 10 rush yds)
Week 11: 243 pass yards + 10 rush yards + 2 pass TD = 18.72
Week 12: 231 pass yards + 27 rush yards + 1 pass TD + 1 rush TD + 1 INT = 19.94
Week 13: 208 pass yards + 84 rush yards + 1 lost fumble + no scores = 14.72
Week 14: 185 pass yards + 52 rush yards + 1 rush TD = 18.6
Week 15: 221 pass yards + 28 rush yards + 4 pass TD + 1 INT = 25.64
Week 16: 244 pass yards + 31 rush yards + 1 pass TD + 1 INT = 14.86
Week 17: 276 pass yards + 5 rush yards + 2 pass TD = 19.54
Div Round: 263 pass yards + 181 rush yards + 2 pass TD + 2 rush TD + 1 INT = 46.62
NFC Champ: 233 pass yards + 21 rush yards + 1 pass TD = 15.42
Super Bowl: 302 pass yards + 62 rush yards + 1 pass TD + 1 rush TD + 1 INT = 26.28
What do we learn from what we’ve seen? Quite a few things, actually. The most important stat has to be that, at least until now, Kaepernick has stood tall in the face of adversity, and has never delivered a fantasy performance under 14 points. In fact, in 10 career starts, he’s only dipped under 18 fantasy points twice, and under 15 fantasy points once.
Another impressive fact is that while we know just how explosive he can be from the divisional round romp against the Green Bay Packers, we also know he can be very productive without going off as a runner (six games with 31 or less rushing yards). He has the ability to burn the opposition on any given play and in any given week, but he’s also show he can consistently do the job as a passer, too.
The passing part is where it gets really exciting. Kaepernick has done all he’s done so far without every throwing more than 36 passes in a game. He has one 300+ yard passing game to his name, and it came in the biggest game of his life with tons of pressure – the Super Bowl. In fact, he threw the rock more than 30 times just twice during the regular season, and three total times through his 10 starts in 2012.
On top of that, when he does throw the ball, he typically makes good use of his throws, as he averaged a very solid 8.3 yards per attempt during the regular season and an incredible 10 yards per attempt in the playoffs.
Anything can happen in today’s NFL. Kap could crumble under the pressure and have a rough start to his second season ala Cam Newton. Maybe he gets hurt like RG3 because he runs too much. No one can predict the future and be sure either way.
What we do know, however, is that this guy is a versatile threat, has a cannon arm with improving pocket presence to go along with it, and can explode as a runner on any play.
In 10 games, he has progressively gotten better in every facet of the game, and has even shown his colors as a leader and natural gamer. If we thought we were seeing a blossoming in 2012, just wait until we get a load of the 2013 Colin Kaepernick.
At the moment, per Fantasy Football Calculator ADP numbers, Kaepernick is coming off fantasy draft boards in the ninth round on average. I’ll be targeting him somewhere closer to the fifth or sixth round, and I might even have to reach a little earlier by the time August rolls around.