Originally written on Fantasy Sports Locker Room  |  Last updated 12/27/14

Colin Kaepernick is set to kick off his second full season as the starting quarterback in San Francisco and all signs point to a breakout campaign. It’s not hard to tell the 49ers feel the same way after handing him the most guaranteed money in NFL history this offseason. Kaep and the 49ers agreed on a six-year contract extension worth up to $126 million dollars with $61 million guaranteed, surpassing the previous record of $59 million guaranteed held by Matt Ryan. Though the contract has been largely panned in NFL circles, it still represents a big commitment from the club. In just over two years Kaepernick filled in for, then stole Alex Smith‘s job and eventually got him shipped out of the bay area. Kaep then came one incompletion (inches away) from winning Super Bowl XLVII against the Ravens and he finished last season coming just as close to knocking off the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. You can’t fault his play in the playoffs. In six games he has seven touchdown passes and four rushing touchdowns. It’s the inconsistent play number 7 that has fantasy owners saying “oh no, I tried that last year…not again!” Few more thoughts from Niners camp: 1. Colin Kaepernick looks fantastic and it wouldn’t surprise me if he took a big step up this season. — Dan Pompei (@danpompei) July 31, 2014 It wouldn’t surprise Pompei and it won’t surprise me. I have Kaepernick as a top 10 quarterback despite his consensus ranking here inside the locker room. He is the 12th ranked QB according to FantasyPros and has a ADP of 71, meaning that he is getting drafted in the 6th round on average. Want to test your draft strategy targeting Kaepernick in the 6th? See what your roster shapes up like using FantasyPros’ draft wizard tool. I think Kaep understands the playbook more and is in for a big year with the additions of Steve Johnson and perhaps Brandon Lloyd, not to mention starting the season with his favorite target Michael Crabtree. Kaepernick averaged 180 passing yards over his first 10 games of last season and that includes 412 against the Packers in Week 1. Four of those games came without touchdowns. All those games were without Crabtree. Kaepernick averaged 217 passing yards with at least a touchdown in all eight games with Crabtree in the lineup and added two rushing scores. He seems to make a big difference in Kaepernick’s game. Add Vernon Davis to the mix and the 49ers are shaping up to be a strong aerial attack, plus Kaep uses his feet just as well as anybody in the NFL. He only had 61 fewer rushing yards and two fewer rushing TDs than Cam Newton last season. Those rushing yards represent an impressive weekly floor boost for the 49ers QB – he averaged 32.5 rushing yards and .25 rushing scores per contest in 2013 meaning that he gave owners (on average) 4.75 fantasy points a week before he even threw a pass. The consistency delivered by those rushing stats are an often under appreciated asset when considering your fantasy QB, and are particularly valuable when couple with solid aerial production. The passing game wasn’t always robust in 2013 though, as Kaep attempted the fewest passes in the NFL last season. With a receiving corps this nice, that shouldn’t be the case this season. It may even open up the field for him to run even more. If Frank Gore does indeed start to break down (he’s coming off his lowest ypc season ever at 4.1), it could force Jim Harbaugh to throw more. Take care of your backs and get a couple WR studs and spend a 6th round on Kaepernick, heck spend a 5th. Just don’t miss out! The reasons to like Kaepernick this year are clear: He’ll continue to get you points with his legs, but with an improved set of receivers around him the passing numbers should be more consistent as well. He has continued his growth as a passer throughout his career. Entering his age-27 season, he could well be ready for a breakout. A 6th round ADP allows you to take care of scarce positions early in the draft while others scramble to fill the QB position. The post Colin Kaepernick: Just sign on the dotted line please appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.

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