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Dynasty Spotlight: Colin Kaepernick

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Editor’s Note: This article is submitted by a new Member Corner author, Pete Benavides.  We welcome Pete to the Member Corner and look forward to seeing more of his work in the future!

“Prisoner of the Moment” – this is a common theme among fantasy football players throughout the season. A player gets an opportunity, starts, puts up ridiculous stats and immediately he’s a “must own.” This is something we must all be careful with, especially when you’re playing in dynasty leagues. The last thing you want to do is add a flavor of the week and drop a player who’s riding your bench with better long term value. It’s all patience and it’s a virtue.

This brings me to Colin Kaepernick.

The second year quarterback started in week eleven against the Bears, played a great game and never looked back. Since Jim Harbaugh committed to his hand picked quarterback, “Kaep” performed amazingly well. From week eleven to week sixteen, he was the QB7 in most standard fantasy leagues. Even when he took over for an injured Alex Smith in week ten, he posted a solid stat line of 11/17 for 117 yards and ran eight times for 66 yards and a touchdown – not too shabby for a second year player with minimal playing time.

Now, not everyone will be on board with him and here are some arguments you might hear as to why you should be selling on him.

First, it’s his first year with meaningful playing time and come the 2013 season, defenses will know exactly what to expect from him. The game planning will be different and he won’t be able to get away with as much. Also, he’s a running quarterback who could get hurt at any time. So you should be scared every time he gets a chance to run down field. Last, but not least, some will think he’s just a flash in the pan and won’t be anything more than what he is now.

And now for the defense.

Of course defenses will game plan for him next year – it comes with the territory of being a successful new quarterback. Just like defenses will game plan for Kaepernick, the offense will make adjustments to execute their game plan. Not to mention the second year player is very talented and has shown the ability to make smart decisions with the football. On being a running quarterback, if you’ve paid attention to the Niners at all, you’ve seen Harbaugh hasn’t exactly let Kaep off the leash. San Francisco is balanced and when running the read option and Kaepernick only makes plays when he has to and thus far has executed it extremely well and wisely. This is a good thing as the young player moves forward and gives you an element of surprise from game to game. If you dare him to beat you with his legs, he will (as the Packers found out) and his cannon of an arm should scare any secondary. As a side note, injuries can happen with any player. It’s the chance we all take.

What you also have to like about Kaepernick next season, and for his future, are the weapons he’ll have around him. The chemistry he has with wideout Michael Crabtree will only get better. Crabs has seen resurgence with Kaep under center and the former first round pick is finally playing up to his potential. Before his injury, Mario Manningham was coming along in the passing game and he’ll play an important part of Kaep’s continuing development. Rookie AJ Jenkins didn’t have much of an impact, but his usefulness will come into play as the years go on. The running game isn’t going anywhere – the Niners are a run first team and this likely isn’t going to change. Frank Gore will still be around next year and their constant rotation of the backfield has only lengthened his career. With the addition of LaMichael James this past season, combined with getting Kendall Hunter back, the Niners will have a strong and balanced run attack.

In a startup draft, I’d still take guys like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Matt Stafford over him. After that, it could get a little interesting. I can definitely see him falling into a tier with guys like Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and RG3. If you can pair him with a top guy like Brady, Brees or Rodgers, you’ll be sitting pretty. Pairing him with one of the top quarterbacks will also give you an added advantage of debating whether or not you should start him weekly. I’m not saying I don’t trust him; the whole point of this is to get him on your roster. However, allowing yourself to watch his maturation with a veteran signal caller in tow will calm any skepticism you may have.

One thing is for certain, I believe Kaepernick is more than just a flash in the pan or flavor of the week. He’s a player who Harbaugh took a gamble on and its paid off. To a dynasty owner, all we want to see from a quarterback like him is week in and week out production. With his play to finish the season and through the playoffs thus far, he has established himself as a top ten fantasy quarterback. Don’t consider this a “prisoner of the moment” type of a feeling – Kaepernick will only get better, so make sure you get him on your roster and enjoy the ride.

You can follow Pete on twitter – @PacingPete.

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wood chipper
9 years ago

We had a guy draft him as the 1.03 in a startup mock last week. So people are definitely buying.

captainzach1
Reply to  wood chipper
9 years ago

While I do agree that he’ll only get better, if his value is that high right now then he.might be a decent sell guy. At some point with all players there comes a time where their value passes their true worth and gives you a golden opportunity to exploit that and add multiple pieces. I’m not disagreeing with Pete by any means because I think he’s absolutely right, but if you own Kaep and say Luck or even Brees then I think you have some very interesting options in front of you.

Craig
Reply to  captainzach1
9 years ago

I’m as big a fan as pretty much anybody as far as Kaepernick goes, however 1.03 in a startup mock I find to be insane… he’s definately not worth that high a pick yet

Reply to  captainzach1
9 years ago

I have both Kaepernick and Luck (and Palmer). I am pretty sure I am keeping both. I have been burned with having the wrong backup before so I dont see any reason not to keep them both. What is fair value for Kaepernick. We get 6pts per TD passing or otherwise.
I am not hurting at any other position but could always use young talent.

Murph
Reply to  Glen
9 years ago

At this stage (value at its highest) you should demand no less than a high end RB1. Best to target someone who fell into an Alfred Morris or Doug Martin last year. This is my personal opinion because the value of running backs is so high with the multitude of injuries they can sustain.

voiceofunreason
Reply to  Murph
9 years ago

I like Kaepernick but your evaluation of the 49ers offense is more than a little biased. There’s Crabtree (getting to be very overrated) and Vernon Davis. The rest of the receivers look below average and long shots right now. Hunter and James are both unknowns and Gore is hold. Not horrible but not much better than average.

Murph
Reply to  Murph
9 years ago

@Voiceifunreason

never said I liked the 49ers offense I simply stated that if you want to trade Kaepernick now is the time to do it before the offense is exposed in 2013. If you ca get a high end RB in return pull the trigger…I agree average offensive weapons.

Reply to  wood chipper
9 years ago

That pick skewed the whole mock draft….

Reply to  wood chipper
9 years ago

1.03 in a startup mock? Wow. I think that’s crazy. I would think sixth or seventh round maybe but 1.03 is way too high, IMO.

Jimmy Graham Cracker
9 years ago

Sell high. Mediocre output this year against bad teams (St. Louis, New Orleans) and threw for 0 TDs in a couple games. Obviously sample size is huge but we saw what ATL did against him – I’d expect a lot more of that next year – especially after Baltimore tears him apart.

Murph
9 years ago

Great article and completely agree. Most of his fantasy production has been skewed by rushing numbers which as we saw with RG3 presents an inherent injury risk. Kaepernick was only completing around 16.5 passes out of 26.5 attempts per game. The high completion percentage is there (irrelevant in FFB) but I would much rather have QB that takes 40 or more attempts per game because it provides more opportunity. I will enjoy watching this overrated Fantasy QB go early in drafts while I pick a decent option up in late rounds next year.

David Lamson
9 years ago

Calling Kaepernick a running QB does him a disservice. He is a QB who CAN run and hurt a team if he needs too. His arm and how he has started going through his progressions is what makes him dangerous. And don’t forget what this has done for Frank Gore. His value is bumped up because of Kaepernick.

Robert Austin
9 years ago

Keepernick has been on and off our wire for 2 years. I personally have owned him twice but got in a bind and had to cut him earlier in the year. I traded my 1.08 for him and couldn’t be more happy. Our drafts are diluted anyhow since we allow our teams to draft one college player that isn’t eligible yet so guys like Lattimore, Allen, Hunter and Woods are all spoken for so my 1.08 is really more like a 2.03-5 of a normal 12 team draft.

Duck
Reply to  Robert Austin
9 years ago

I’m a huge Tennessee Vol fan and saw many games, I’m here to tell you, all the draft sites and projection sites have Justen Hunter ranked so high, but I’m not sold he will even be around more than 3 or 4 years.I don’t think he’s that good. But Corraderelle Patterson, the “other” Tennessee WR is a stud, he reminds me of Julio Jones “a lot”. I will let others pick Hunter early and gladly take Patterson later. He made a lot of great athletes in the SEC look very bad this year….He is special!!! Let’s keep this all on here to guys, for OUR best interest! Lol

captainzach1
Reply to  Duck
9 years ago

I’m a huge Tennessee fan too, I agree about Hunter, drops a lot, doesn’t go over the middle and gets frustrated easy.

Chris Howat
9 years ago

Dynasty- I have to go Rodgers, Newton, Luck, and Kaepernick before i draft Brady and Brees. Is that crazy? I would pass on the older two and wait for Kaepernick until late 3rd or 4th.

Jimmy Graham Cracker
Reply to  Chris Howat
9 years ago

Maybe before Brees is crazy. I’d rather have Stafford, RG3, and Wilson before Kaep.

Chris R.
9 years ago

More so then anything else, I trust in Harbaugh and how he develops QB’s. It was the reason I was high on him in our rookie draft that year, the leaps he’s taken in terms of accuracy cannot be overstated. You have a guy as accurate as he has shown to be, with a huge arm, ability to run, incredible offensive line, and great organization who looks to have developed him properly.

Next year will be his first off-season as the starter, I expect him to continue to grow and look better. He’s not 1.03 good or a top 5 QB by any means, but as of now I’d prefer him and Wilson over RGIII which would have been considered insane at the halfway point.

We can argue his perceived value all day, for me, he’s got QB1 upside and is improving which is more then I can say for a guy like Andy Dalton, who we know is a solid QB2 to own and nothing more.

9 years ago

Nice article Pete!

I often wonder how mobile QBs can impact the value of running backs in dynasty. We’ve seen Cam adversely impact fantasy production from Carolina RBs, especially in vulturing TDs. If you look at Frank Gore, he averaged 83 YPG, 2+ receptions per game, and had 6 TDs in the first 9 games. After game 10, Gore averaged 65 YPG, less than 1 reception per game and had 4 TDs in 7 games. Plus, Kendall Hunter got hurt in game 12, so you’d think Gore’s numbers would go up, not down. I’m not saying Gore is a sell, but Kaep might end up devaluing the Niner running game to a degree. Gore didn’t have a 100 yards rushing when Kaep started game 11 onward.

It might be interesting to start looking into the impact mobile QBs have on fantasy value of running backs. It seems like Wilson didn’t impact Lynch too much, but then again Seattle played conservatively for most of the year. I wonder how Wilson will impact Lynch next year, assuming his career arc continues at its current trajectory.

Ross
9 years ago

Hey guys, have a dilemma regarding Kaepernick.

Last season was my first in a keeper league and after a bad draft I came out as champ:). Looking to continue it but can only keep 3 of top 5 picks. They are (in draft order): Brees, CJ2K, Jennings, AP and Kaepernick but it gets complicated we can keep up to 7 including 3 of the aforementioned 5 so also have Spiller and Ridley at RB and D. Thomas and Cobb at WR.

So my question is; would you drop CJ and Jennings to keep Kaepernick as a backup or drop him and Jennings to keep CJ to use as trade bait for top WR?

Standard scoring 10 team league. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks again

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