Colin Kaepernick: Updated Fantasy Outlook After Alex Smith Injury
Fans of the San Francisco 49ers were treated to one of the rarest delights in the National Football League in Sunday's contest with the St. Louis Rams.
No, not the hook-and-ladder, or a perfectly executed fleaflicker, or even the Statue of Liberty play.
For the first time since 2008 two teams in the NFL couldn't decide things in regulation or overtime, as the Rams and 49ers finished deadlocked at 24, due in large part to the 49ers offense being thrown somewhat out of sync by a concussion suffered by starting quarterback Alex Smith.
That injury forced backup Colin Kaepernick into action, and given the NFL's concussion protocols, both fans of the team and fantasy owners of Smith and the 49ers other offensive players are no doubt wondering what impact his insertion into the lineup will have moving forward.
The second-year pro, who is much better known as a "Wildcat"-type running threat than a passer, started very slowly upon entering the game, completing only two of his first seven passes. However, the former Nevada standout heated up down the stretch, and head coach Jim Harbaugh felt that Kaepernick acquitted himself fairly well, according to Kyle Bonagura of CBS Sports.
Kap did a very good job. He came in, good focus, good demeanor, made plays, and I thought he handled himself pretty well.
Kaepernick finished the game 11-of-17 for 117 yards. In all honesty, should Kaepernick start for the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears, it's unlikely that it will have a significant fantasy impact.
That has very little to do with Kaepernick, however. The fact of the matter is that outside of possibly running back Frank Gore very few fantasy owners with any sort of viable alternatives were going to start the likes of wide receiver Michael Crabtree against the Bears' stifling defense anyway.
As to Kaepernick himself, unless you're in absolute desperation mode in a 2QB league starting Kaepernick against the Bears would be lunacy. Even if you have no other choice you're going to be stuck hoping that Kaepernick's scrambling ability gets you some points, as he would have Sunday with his 60-plus yards and a score on the ground.
Long story short? Given the talent on both defenses, the way that Chicago's offense looked on Sunday night and the possibility that San Francisco will be starting a backup quarterback, next Monday night's game is shaping up to be a contest best avoided for fantasy purposes.
Unless you own one of the defenses, of course.
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