This is the Top 10 ranking of average fantasy points per week from QBs. Solid list, but one of these is not like the other. Sure, you could argue the rookie Prescott shouldn’t be in there, but we’ve seen for 10 weeks now that he’s completely legit. Mariota? Nope, there were a lot of paths that could have ended up with him getting here. But nestled in there at #9 is Mr. Kaepernick himself. And who in their right mind would have ever thought in the everest of evers just two months ago that he’d be here? Buried behind Blaine Gabbert, and 6 feet under the scrutiny/scolding of the national media, Kaepernick was relegated to a borderline cut coming out of camp, and a for sure release after this season ends. Would he ever see the field again as an NFL QB? That was an actual question with a lot of credence in early September. Yet, after 10 weeks, the Kaep is back as a top QB option in fantasy football. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
But he’s not the only one, just the first. Here are the top targets to, well…target heading into Week 11!
- Colin Kaepernick, QB – SF (ESPN 14.1%, Yahoo 12%) – Coming into Week 10 Kaepernick was dropped in 7.9% of ESPN leagues. It made sense given he was facing a tough Arizona defense, but the best part about Kaepernick’s fantasy potential is that he doesn’t have to throw it 30+ times, or even find the end zone through the air multiple times, to bring great impact. Against Arizona he put up a 210/1/0 line through the air, but it’s the 10/55/1 on the ground that made the difference for him. He finished with 23 points on the day, giving him 20+ points for the second straight week. The Chip Kelly offense is primed for a QB to bring incredible value, and Kaep being back means there’s a viable option in San Fran to take advantage of that. His next two against New England and the Dolphins may be tougher, but then he gets the Bears, Jets, Falcons, and Rams through Week 16. At this point, I’m taking Kaepernick over a lot of other rostered options. I’m giving him the Burn Notice, but be smart with it. There’s a reason I haven’t highlighted a QB at all this year in this series: there are just too many of them that are great. However, with his rushing yards adding up, the floor for Kaepernick is high enough that he may be a safer option than someone like Kirk Cousins who is solely dependent upon pass attempts, the health of his receivers and them finding the end zone.
- Kenneth Dixon, RB – BAL (ESPN 10.5%, Yahoo 19%) – For the their time in four week, Dixon finds his way onto the list. He’s essentially now the Jamison Crowder of RBs and the second half. Did he receive a huge bulk of carries last Thursday night vs. the Browns? Nope. But he didn’t need to. The Ravens were dominating the game from the jump, but when you lookout his volume, he was effective in both the rushing and passing game. 6/38/0 rushing and 5/42/0 receiving (on 7 targets) shows the equation for Dixon bringing big time value. If the passing game remains the same, but if he can steal another 5-10 carries out of the backfield he becomes a borderline RB2. Get him now before that ownership % jumps big time.
- Taylor Gabriel, WR – ATL (ESPN 1.6%, Yahoo 2%) – Gabriel’s a big time speculative add, but he’s someone you can grab for cheap given his low volume total. Now listen, haha, I’m fully aware that a low volume option goes totally against what I’ve told you for the past 10 weeks, but I really like a lot of elements in the prospectus of Gabriel. He can absolutely take the top off a defense, and he’s never getting primary attention from a secondary. Playing next to Julio Jones his targets will be limited, but playing next to Julio Jones and having Matt Ryan as his QB, there will be opportunities each week for Gabriel to haul in a big play. Like he did on Sunday against the Eagles. For his only catch. 1/76/1 is as unreliable as it gets, but looking at his previous weeks getting this opportunity in the offense comes as no shock. He’s received 5 targets in each the past two weeks, and high the the fastest player on the field every time he takes it. Boom-or-bust play here, but he’s no different than the Sammie Coates of the world, with a QB and OC that are always looking to take advantage of the matchups on the back end.
- Dontrelle Inman, WR – SD (ESPN 11.7%, Yahoo 7%) – It’s no secret that Philip Rivers likes to do one thing: yell at people. Ok, two things…he likes to throw the football, too. The Chargers offense relies upon him finding weapons in the passing game, and no offense may have more opportunities for new players to step up than the oft-injured Chargers. With 9 targets in two straight week, Inman is quietly emerging as a viable threat for Rivers in the San Diego offense. 5/43/0 isn’t blowing anyone away, but, unlike Gabriel, the volume is the attraction here. Averaging 7.75 targets per week since Week 7, the floor for Inman is high enough to slot in as a Flex play, especially in PPR leagues.
- Pierre Garcon, WR – WAS (ESPN 28.2%, Yahoo 15%) – Again, I’m a volume whore. Or am I a volume pimp? I don’t know which side it falls on, but whenever someone gets the opportunities that Garcon’s receiving now, it catches my fantasy eye. He’s yet to garner less than 5 targets in any week this year, but he’s gone 11, 5, 7, 10 in his past four, which led to 6 catches in three of the games. He’s been forgotten as a fantasy threat, but he’s still a solid PPR option in this offense. In those three games he’s averaging around 75 ypg…if he could only find the end zone (1 TD this year). If he goes 6/80 but actually scores a TD this week (which is highly likely against a porous Packers defense) he’ll catapult to one of the top adds for Week 12. So get him a week earlier.
- Tyreek Hill, WR – KC (ESPN 9.9%, Yahoo 16%) – After a massive outburst Sunday for 10/89/0, Hill showed he has the potential of not just being a big play threat. And yes, I that receiving line was massive. With Jeremy Maclin out, Hill emerged as the top target in the receiving corps, and showed he can slot into the WR1 role if needed. I don’t think he has the reliability to bring that every week, but the potential is there. If Maclin’s out again, he could see double digit targets once more, and it would be likely that he finds the end zone this time. I love Hill as a Flex option this week vs. the Bucs.
- Vernon Davis, TE – WAS (ESPN 22.8%, Yahoo 6%) – Another speculative add that may actually bring some value even if the potential scenario doesn’t happen, Davis has the potential of being a big addition to playoff teams. If (which you could almost change to when) Jordan Reed gets hurt, Davis will balloon into TE1 territory. Following the bye week, with a healthy Reed suiting up, Davis went 3/66/1, his fourth straight game with double digit points. You can keep trotting out the ‘bigger’ name guys that were drafted 10 weeks ago but give meh production, or…you can take a more dangerous option, with even more potential, in Davis for your TE spot. I’ll take Vernon.
Now…DROP THOSE COMMENTS! Good luck in Week 11! Kaepernick gets the reluctant Burn Notice, but the others could be sneaky adds down the stretch. As for the top pick up of the week, it is likely C.J. Prosise, but he doesn’t fit under the threshold of 25% owned. At 30%, though, I gotta mention him here. Three weeks left before the playoffs!