Week Seventeen Analysis:
It's been an inconsistent year for as he's managed to top one total touchdown in barely half his games this year. And a matchup with the surging Cardinals isn't an ideal opportunity for great upside. In the earlier meeting Kaepernick managed to throw a couple touchdowns, and that's about the upside here. Kaepernick has only rushed for touchdowns in three games. And, he's unlikely to do that here. The Cardinals have shut down four rushing quarterbacks this year: Kaepernick in the earlier meeting, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson twice. And they've allowed just one quarterback rushing touchdown in their last 42 games.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
After a horrifying first half of the season, Colin Kaepernick has settled down a bit, and become a more reliable fantasy producer. Over the last five games, Kaepernick is averaging almost two touchdowns per game, which isn't bad. And this week's matchup is his juiciest of the year. The Falcons secondary is an absolutely reliable point generator for opposing quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins just threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns against them, and only Matt Flynn has failed to score multiple touchdowns against the Falcons.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
No NFL team has allowed more than two quarterback rushing touchdowns. Except the Bucs. They've given up rushing touchdowns to four different quarterbacks. Cam Newton has scored twice, and Russell Wilson and Nick Foles have all scored via the ground. And here comes the league's most explosive runner, Colin Kaepernick. And if that weren't enough, the Bucs have allowed the fifth-most passing touchdowns. Whether it's via the air, ground or sea, one way or another Colin Kaepernick should find his way to a solid fantasy day, with the possibility of very explosive output.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
Despite playing without two cornerbacks, the Seahawks dominated Drew Brees last week. Backup corners Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane weren't liabilities. But, the Niners gain the advantage of a lot of tape on those guys, and Seattle has to travel in a short week, coming off a Monday night game. The intangibles are in his favor, but little else is. In the first meeting, Kaepernick was held scoreless, and threw for a meager 127 yards. The Seahawks are allowing just one passing touchdown per game. Only one of the past eight quarterbacks they've faced has topped one touchdown pass. And he's not likely to get anything on the ground. Seattle has allowed just three quarterback rushing touchdowns in their past 107 games.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
Coming off his best game since way back in week one, Colin Kaepernick feels like a decent start against a very inconsistent Rams secondary. St. Louis just put Cortland Finnegan on the IR, which might be addition by subtraction. Finnegan was slow, and getting consistently beaten. He ranked 97th in pass coverage among cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus. He's replaced by Trumaine Johnson, who ranks 78th, so I suppose that's an upgrade. Add in Janoris Jenkins' 88th coverage ranking, and you've got a great opportunity for Kaepernick to equal or exceed his two touchdowns from his week four meeting with these same Rams.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Last week, Colin Kaepernick threw two scores, which is notable because it was his first multiple touchdown passing game in a month, and only his second since opening week. And get a load of his horrific yardage stats over the last four games: 100, 164, 91, and 127 last week. Awful. So, it's hard to feel great about his chances against any opponent, but the Redskins secondary is pretty compliant. The Redskins have allowed at least one touchdown to every opposing quarterback. So, Kaepernick shouldn't get shut out. As for his prospects on the ground, there's some hope there too. The only rushing quarterback the Redskins have faced this year, Michael Vick, scored on the ground. And the only rushing quarterback the Redskins faced last year, Cam Newton, scored on the ground too.
Week Eleven Analysis:
It's been an unbelievable turnaround for Rob Ryan's defense in New Orleans. Last year's horrifying secondary just held back to back quarterbacks to 115 and 128 passing yards. One of them was Tony Romo. Tony Romo in a game in which he needed to pass throughout. The Saints have now held four of nine opposing quarterbacks to under 187 yards. And, speaking of 187 yards, last week Colin Kaepernick threw for almost exactly half that many yards, 91. Kaepernick is averaging just one touchdown pass per game. Only two teams have allowed fewer touchdowns passes than New Orleans, so we can't expect much through the air. Your only hope success via the ground, where the Saints have allowed just one quarterback rushing touchdown over the past 15 games.
Week Ten Analysis:
With three rushing touchdowns in his last two games, it's tempting to think that Colin Kaepernick has turned the corner on a disappointing fantasy season. But, his rushing production has been all over the board, and Carolina hasn't allowed a QB rushing touchdown in 23 games. And his arm probably won't help against an elite secondary that hasn't allowed more than one touchdown in a game all year.
Week Eight Analysis:
Here's a telling sign for how bad a defense is. The Jaguars have faced both the starter and the backup quarterback in the same game four times this season. Yes, Charlie Whitehurst, Chase Daniel, T-Jack and Matt Hasselbeck have all taken snaps against Jacksonville this season. What a perfect opportunity for a quarterback, who has struggled a bit so far this season, to break out of his shell and pad some stats. In his last six games, Kaepernick has only thrown five touchdown passes. It's possible that he matches that number on Sunday against the hapless Jags. Jacksonville has allowed the most passing touchdowns in the league, 15 already.
Week Seven Analysis:
I'm nervous about starting Colin Kaepernick in a very tough matchup. The much improved Tennessee defense has not allowed a passing touchdown in two weeks, and five of six opposing quarterbacks haven't topped one touchdown pass. Tennessee is home to the league's best cornerback, Alteraun Verner. He obliterates one side of the field, and will frequently take away the few legit targets that Kaepernick has got. What's more, Kaepernick is unlikely to run his way to fantasy victory, as the Titans have allowed only one quarterback rushing touchdown in their last 42 games.
Week Six Analysis:
It's a winnable matchup for Colin Kaepernick this week against Arizona, but he doesn't quite fall into must start territory. Since his explosion against the Packers in the opener, he's thrown for a measly 139 yards per game, and just 0.75 touchdowns. He hasn't run in a score all year, and he's topped 22 rushing yards just once. Let's turn to some good news. He faced these same Cardinals recently, in last year's regular season finale, and had a comparatively explosive game, with 276 passing yards and a two scores. And only Mike Glennon has failed to throw multiple touchdowns and/or top 300 passing yards against Arizona.
Week Five Analysis:
Stats are often used to manipulate arguments. For instance, in the last three games, Colin Kaepernick is averaging 148 passing yards per game with only 2 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions. Those are Blaine Gabbert kind of numbers. But you and I both know what Kaepernick is capable of. You remember the 412 passing yards and three touchdowns in Week 1, right? Well, try to forget about it. The Niners face off against a Texans defense that is allowing an average of 160 pass yards per game this year. The Texans just held the similarly-skilled Russell Wilson to just 123 passing yards last week. The glimmer of hope: Wilson ran 10 times for 77 yards in Week 4 against the Texans. You're banking fantasy points coming from the ground game for Kaepernick this week, and that's a dicey proposition considering how little running he's been allowed to do this year.
Week Four Analysis:
Thursday's matchup of Colin Kaepernick against the Rams features an underperforming quarterback against an underperforming secondary. Kaepernick took a beating in Seattle two weeks ago, and looked hung over last week in a lousy performance against a dubious Indy secondary. Meanwhile, the Rams allowed less than one passing touchdown per game over the entire second half of last year, yet have allowed multiple scores in every game this year. The Rams faced Kaepernick one-and-a-half times last year, and didn't allow a passing touchdown. But, he ran for 66 and 84 yards, and scored once via the ground. I'd tell you to start Kaepernick based on his rushing alone, but he's been dramatically less effective. This is a thorny matchup, with lots of risk and reward for those with the guts to start Kaepernick.
Week Three Analysis:
Erase last week's debacle from your minds. The Seahawks, in Seattle, represent the toughest situation Colin Kaepernick will face all year. At least until he's back in Seattle in the playoffs. He gets a much easier draw this week, at home against Indy. The Colts were a middle-of-the-pack pass defense last year, and look no better this year. Ryan Tannehill just put up 319 yards on them. And more saliently, two weeks ago, another mobile quarterback, Terrelle Pryor ran for 112 yards against the Colts. Even if Vernon Davis can't go in this game, I like Kaepernick to get it done by land and air.
Week Two Analysis:
There are a dozen NFL front offices on suicide watch after seeing Colin Kaepernick re-prove his crazy skillset last Sunday, despite slipping to the second round of the 2011 draft. Ouch. Kaepernick ran his way through the Packers his playoff win, and he threw his way through them in last week's win, piling up 412 passing yards and three scoring strikes. He gets a much tougher assignment this week, as he faces the incredibly physical Seattle defense. Even without starting corner Brandon Browner last week, they held Cam Newton to just a scant 125 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and 38 rushing yards. When Kaepernick saw this team in week 16 of last year, he was contained to one passing touchdown, and just 31 rushing yards, and no rushing scores. And, it's no fluke that those elite rushing quarterbacks didn't score rushing touchdowns. Seattle has allowed just three quarterback rushing touchdowns in their past 97 games.
Week One Analysis:
Last time we saw Colin Kaepernick play against the Packers, he was running through their shell-shocked defense in a playoff game that saw the Packers hopes fade with every step he took. He piled up an obscene stat line: 181 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 263 passing yards, and two passing touchdowns. Depending on your scoring system, that should have worked out to roughly one grillion fantasy points. Working against Kaepernick is the loss of Michael Crabtree who accounted for both of Kaepernick's passing touchdowns. Crabtree, as you probably know, won't be playing for several months, if at all, this year. The Packers are a middle of the "pack" pass defense, and even if Kaepernick doesn't run for big numbers, his arm should find fantasy points.
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One way or another, Colin Kaepernick finds ways to produce fantasy points for your squad. Most weeks, his legs earned you solid points both with yards and touchdowns. But he also proved to be a competent passer, including throwing touchdowns in six straight games. Of course, the big story with Kaepernick is his dearth of weapons now that Michael Crabtree is out. Crabtree emerged late last season as Kaepernick's undisputed go-to receiver, and the acquisition of Anquan Boldin isn't enough to replace Crabtree. Vernon Davis, who was almost invisible to Kaepernick last year, will need to step up, and I'm optimistic that he will. I see a very volatile fantasy season coming from Kaepernick. When he runs well, he's score a lot of points. When he doesn't, I'm not sure his arm can make up the difference.
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