An undisclosed foot injury doesn't make Colin Kaepernick a shaky Week 6 fantasy start—a tough matchup does.
For those ready to throw their computer through the window with news of a seemingly random injury to Kaepernick—who has already been frustrating enough as it is—don't go into full panic mode quite yet.
Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area explains:
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has not missed any practice time but he is back on the 49ers’ injury report this week with an undisclosed foot injury.
Kaepernick has taken part in full practices and is expected to play without any limitations Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
This "undisclosed" injury—no matter how perplexing it may be—shouldn't affect how you were planning on using Kaepernick this week.
However, if you have a solid backup, you may want to seriously consider leaving the dynamic third-year QB on the pine.
The Arizona Cardinals boast an underrated defense.
Calais Campbell is one of the most dangerous defensive ends in the league, and Pro Bowl inside linebacker Daryl Washington returned from a suspension last week to make an instant, significant impact. Also, cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu are playmakers in every sense of the word.
Overall, the Cardinals are 14th in the NFL in yards per pass allowed (7.0) and 11th in sacks (14). As the season has progressed, they've only gotten better:
You'll notice that Cam Newton—the QB most similar to Kaepernick in his ability to make plays with his legs—was able to move the ball through the air. However, the constant pressure (seven sacks; two each from Campbell, Washington and Karlos Dansby) forced him into several mistakes and limited him on the ground.
The 25 rushing yards was Newton's sixth-lowest mark in his last 20 games.
There are some things working in Kaepernick's favor, however.
Bruce Arians' squad is much better at stopping the run (seventh best in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus) than it is the pass. As a result, the Niners—who have relied heavily on defense and Frank Gore in smash-mouth fashion the past few weeks—may be forced to turn to the skies a little bit more than usual on Sunday.
Higher volume is always beneficial for fantasy purposes.
That, combined with Kapernick's gaudy skill set, makes him tough to downgrade too far. But after torching Green Bay in Week 1, the electric QB hasn't surpassed 200 yards in over a month and still has very few options in the passing game.
Against a talented Cardinals defense in what should be a physical division battle, Kaepernick is just outside the top-12 quarterbacks this week.
Proceed with caution, and keep an attentive eye on his mysterious foot injury.