Colin Kaepernick: Huge Upside Makes 49ers QB Fantasy Must-Start vs. Dolphins

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 02: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers throws a pass during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 02, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the 49ers 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
David Welker/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick is not the most reliable fantasy quarterback in the NFL right now. He is, however, the perfect high-upside player, who can produce huge numbers against a mediocre defense.

The Miami Dolphins are the perfect kind of team for Kaepernick to push his skills to the limit, which should make fantasy owners incredibly happy they started him in Week 14. 

First, before we go bashing Kaepernick for his problems against St. Louis Rams last week, he still had a decent week from a fantasy perspective. He put up 14 points in standard scoring leagues (per ESPN) and had at least 16 points in the three previous games. 

The 49ers understand what Kaepernick can and can't do at this point in his development. He is not going to have too much put on his plate, either in the terminology that gets used or in how much he is asked to do. 

There has been a slow progression that the 49ers have been putting Kaepernick through. He has seen his total number of passes go from 23 against the Chicago Bears three weeks ago to 32 last week against St. Louis. 

As for the Dolphins, they have played more of a bend-but-don't-break style of defense this season. They are giving up over 355 yards per game, with 257.7 of those coming through the air, but just 20.8 points per game. 

The Dolphins' strength on defense is stopping the run—they haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Chris Johnson in Week 10—which should give the 49ers plenty to think about with their offensive game-calling. 

The 49ers' strength on offense is running the ball—they rank No. 2 in the NFL with 162.1 yards per game—but Jim Harbaugh has shown a trust in Kaepernick to throw the ball that he never did with Alex Smith. 

Kaepernick's biggest weapon as a passer is his ability to throw the ball down the field, which should play well against a defense that has given up a lot of yards through the air. 

Anything that Kaepernick adds with his legs, and you know he will because that's a huge part of his game, will just be a bonus. And fantasy owners love when they can find a player who will get them little bonus points.