Every year, there are a few NFL players who take the Fantasy Football world by storm. This season, Colin Kaepernick might just steal the show.
For the past few months, the San Francisco 49ers‘ quarterback has been heavily scrutinized in Fantasyland. In spite of his excellent play over the second half of last season and his utter dominance during the playoffs, the naysayers haven’t been shy. Critics have gathered a whole host of reasons as to why he’ll have mediocre value in Fantasy Football this season: the sample size of his play as a starter is too small, the loss of Michael Crabtree will have too big an effect, teams will have had an entire offseason to game plan for him … and the list goes on.
On Sunday, Kaepernick quieted his skeptics. He absolutely shredded the Green Bay Packers‘ secondary, embarrassing them en route to 412 yards and three touchdowns. He added 22 yards on the ground, finishing with a difference-making 30.68 Fantasy points in standard leagues. That impressive total was good for the third-highest score among quarterbacks in Week 1.
Not to be ignored is the fact that only 2.2 of Kaepernick’s points came on the ground. For a guy whose true value supposedly lies with his legs, that’s worth noting. One of the major knocks on him coming into this season was that he wouldn’t have anyone to throw to. Many said that Anquan Boldin is too old to be the go-to receiver in the 49ers’ offense while Crabtree is out and that Vernon Davis wouldn’t be able to step up in the way the team needs him to. To say that the two of them went out and emphatically shut their critics up would be a massive understatement. Boldin was impossible to cover, hauling in 13 receptions for an astounding 208 yards and a touchdown. Davis was quieter but equally lethal, grabbing six receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. To put it mildly, Kaepernick’s options in the passing game are just fine, thank you very much.
Now imagine what might happen when Kaepernick does decide to use his legs. Despite rushing for only 22 yards in his first game, he’s still a solid bet to rush for over 700 in his next 15. So while it’s reasonable to expect a slight dropoff in passing numbers, the damage he’s certain to do on the ground will more than offset that loss.
A freakish combination of incredible size, speed, arm-strength and athleticism, Kaepernick is the epitome of a dual-threat. He’ll be a nightmare for opposing defenses all season long with that cannon he calls his arm and those motor-sticks he passes as legs. Never mind all that about teams having a full offseason to prepare for him, there are some athletes that just can’t be shut down and Kaepernick is about to launch himself onto that list.
If someone in your pool is looking to sell high on Kaepernick, wait for him to post less impressive numbers against a strong Seattle Seahawks‘ defense in Week 2 and then pounce. If you already own him, sit back, relax and get ready for takeoff. Sunday was just a taste of what’s to come.