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NFL fantasy football: Whither Kaepernick's value?

With Michael Crabtree out for an extended period of time, how much will Colin Kaepernick's draft status be affected?

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  • Michael Fabiano Fantasy Editor
  • Drops from a first-tier to second-tier QB

As a self-proclaimed fan of Kaepernick, the loss of Crabtree is painful. If you take the totals he posted in his 2012 starts (including the postseason) and project them over 16 games, Kaepernick would have finished with more fantasy points than Aaron Rodgers. And no, that's not a misprint, but it came with Crabtree at his disposal. While his skills as a runner will keep him ranked among the top 10 players at his position in 2013, I now question Kaepernick's potential to break into the top five quarterbacks based on points this season. He's now locked into the second-tier of signal-callers along with Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III.

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  • Marcas Grant Fantasy Editor
  • Kaepernick can still finish in the top 10

It will undoubtedly hurt Kaepernick's value, but probably not severely. I had Kaepernick in my top five -- this news drops him out of that -- but I still think he can finish the season as a top 10 option.. As long as he can keep defenses honest with his ability to run the football, he should be able to have some openings in the passing game. It helps that he has veteran support in Anquan Boldin and gained a rapport with Vernon Davis in the postseason as well. San Francisco will likely find a WR to replace Crabtree and fill the void so it's far to soon to start with the doom and gloom on Kaepernick.

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  • Adam Rank Writer
  • Not much reason to worry about Kaepernick

I'm not sure anybody was going to hinge Colin Kaepernick's draft status on Crabtree. He's basically just replaced Crabtree with Anquan Boldin at this point. The biggest reason people fawned over Kaepernick is because of his running style and what he can do out of the read-option offense. The 49ers offense will carry on, and I wouldn't be too worried about it.

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  • Jason Smith Fantasy Analyst
  • Kaepernick should see minimal change

I don't think it affects his value a lot right now. Right now he's likely ranked somewhere between the fourth and seventh-best fantasy QB heading into 2013. Certainly he enjoyed a lot of passing success with Michael Crabtree last season, and we need to see how things go without him. If you had him ranked as high as fourth, maybe you move Cam Newton or Peyton Manning ahead of him for now. If you had him ranked sixth or seventh, then he likely stays where he is, and you won't move him down any further than that. The plays he makes with his legs still keep him at that elite level.

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