With this week’s release of Aldon Smith, the San Francisco 49ers hopefully have seen the end of what has been a brutal off-season. Their head coach departed for the college game, their defense has departed for a host of different reasons, and their leading rusher is a Colt. Where does all that leave quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a fantasy football option? It’s pretty fair to say his fantasy outlook for 2015 wont be any different than how his 2014 season went.
Kaepernick had one game with over 300 yards passing a year ago and was a mess in the pocket at times. He had one game with 3 passing touchdowns, and only three games with two passing scores. He also added just one rushing touchdown. His passing stats will not change much, even with the addition of speedy receiver Torrey Smith, but I expect he will see more red-zone rushing opportunities with Frank Gore out of town.
Kaepernick does get sacked a lot and his awareness can at times leave something to be desired. He had three times as many multi-sack games as he had multi-touchdown games, which suggests at least in 2014 that he left a lot of plays on the field. His 10 interceptions and 5 lost fumbles don’t seem that bad at first glance, but he doesn’t score enough to make up for any mistakes. The defenses in his division are also among the best in the league, with his Niners taking on the likes of the Seahawks, Rams and Cardinals two times a year.
Colin Kaepernick is a lower half fantasy QB and will probably be the 15th to 20th QB drafted. You may draft him in very late rounds based on his rushing ability, but the would-be upside just isn’t as great as we probably figured just a couple of years ago.