If there is one thing to take away from the 444-yard, four touchdown performance of San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick Saturday night in a 45-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, its that Kaepernick is damn good and his value in terms of fantasy football is about to skyrocket.
At least it should.
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was definitely onto something when he named the 2011 second-round draft pick the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. I know this for sure, Alex Smith could not have done the things Kaepernick did Saturday. In fact, I daresay that if Smith were under center, we would be talking about a Packers - Falcons NFC title game this weekend.
But we aren't, we're talking about Kaepernick.
I realize that we are in the middle of the NFL playoffs and that fantasy football may not be at the forefront of your thinking, but it never hurts to do a little scouting. After all, fantasy football is all out war, so one should never miss an opportunity to get an edge.
Kaepernick should have been on your fantasy radar for next season well before this game. I actually rolled with him as my starter down the stretch on a couple of teams and was rather happy with the results.
The former Nevada standout took over for Smith during a Week 10 game against St. Louis and from that point on he averaged 18.9 fantasy points per game, which is more than enough production to justify him as a starting caliber quarterback for fantasy football purposes.
Yet, when considering only seven quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III and Matt Ryan) averaged more than 19 fantasy points per game this season, and the 46 fantasy points he dropped on the Packers Saturday, then we can safely conclude that as a fantasy quarterback Kaepernick is elite.
For starters, running quarterbacks are becoming a trend in the NFL and fantasy football. Just take a quick look at the Top-5 fantasy quarterbacks of 2012 and you will find Newton and RG3, who each threw for under 4,000 yards and no more than 20 touchdowns, yet still were among just five quarterbacks to average more than 20 fantasy points a game.
Kaepernick, who is equally skilled as both a runner and passer, is more than capable of matching that production in 2013 and joining the class of elite fantasy quarterbacks as Newton and RG3 have.
However the difference between Kaepernick and the other elite quarterbacks is that the 49ers signal caller will come cheaper in terms of draft value. Because as good as he has been, he will likely stil be drafted after Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Newton, Ryan, Manning and possibly others such as RG3 (depending on health), Andrew Luck, Tony Romo or Eli Manning.
Fantasy football owners like to draft a sure thing and despite his impressive play recently, Kaepernick will still be a viewed as a bit of an unknown to some, which in turn will make him a tremendous value pick. So while the 2013 Fantasy season is nearly eight months away, file this until draft time...then pick Kaepernick and watch as you are handsomely rewarded for your superior intellect.
All fantasy stats are courtesy of four-downs.com.