Colin Kaepernick: Fantasy Outlook for 49ers QB Replacing Alex Smith in Week 11

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 11:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before a game against the St. Louis Rams on November 11, 2012 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  The teams tied 24-24 in overtime.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

It's the Monday Night Football matchup we've all been waiting to see: Jason Campbell leading the Chicago Bears to face Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers.

Wait, no it isn't.

But that's the game we'll get tonight whether we like it or not. We already knew Jay Cutler was going to be out for the Bears, but on Monday we learned Kaepernick would have to fill in for an injured Alex Smith.

From Chris Mortensen of ESPN:

Alex Smith will not play tonight for 49ers, unable to get clearance from neurologist after suffering concussion last week, per sources.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) November 19, 2012

So what can we expect from Kaepernick in terms of fantasy productivity?

Savvy fantasy owners will be quick to point out that Kaepernick's mobility could serve him well tonight. He had 17.2 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues while on relief duty for Smith last week, and in limited work this year has rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns.

Expect to see more than a few designed running plays for him tonight.

Ah, but this is the Chicago defense we're talking about. This is a defense that allows just 9.1 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per week, top in the NFL. This is a defense that allows just 92.3 rushing yards per game, fifth in the NFL.

And this is a defense that has forced 30 turnovers and scored eight defensive touchdowns en route to being the top fantasy defense by a large margin this year. You have to think they'll be licking their lips at the chance to get after the inexperienced Kaepernick.

My guess is the Bears will try to stifle the running game tonight and force Kaepernick to throw the ball in long third-down situations. They'll be ready for a Wildcat-style attack and try to minimize the effectiveness of the quarterback keepers.

The game will come down to whether or not the 49ers can still run the ball and control the clock. The Bears were handled physically by the Houston Texans last week, and the 49ers will look to do the same and take the game out of Kaepernick's hands as much as possible.

Thus, I believe his fantasy value will rest on whether or not he does damage in the running game. In what will likely become a defensive struggle with sloppy quarterback play, I think he's good for about 10-15 fantasy points tonight, namely if he can get owners a rushing touchdown.

That should counteract the inevitable interception or two.

Of the two quarterbacks in this game, I would still prefer to start Kaepernick over Campbell. But I'm also relieved that I don't have to rely on either one.

If you do, good luck to you. Tonight could a long night for you and your squad, I'm afraid.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets predict crazy things like Baylor upsets. Seriously.

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