We probably should have known better than to leave Colin Kaepernick's Fantasy value for dead. This skill set is too rare and too valuable.
Sure, the fact that he couldn't beat out Blaine Gabbert for a starting job looked like a red flag, but the fact that the 49ers were willing to give him a chance as soon as he re-worked his contract seemed like a pretty obvious sign the decision wasn't all about money. And, though he has been far from perfect, Kaepernick has made the decision to switch back to him look pretty good.
Although, to be fair, the decision looks a lot better from a Fantasy perspective, as the 49ers just fell to 0-4 under Kaepernick. However, it has led to some pretty tremendous Fantasy results, and Sunday's performance was by far the most impressive, as Kaepernick torched a very good Cardinals defense for 25 Fantasy points.
Kaepernick didn't throw the ball especially well in the game, which has largely been the pattern for him; he completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 7.0 yards per attempt, with one touchdown, and another that just slipped from Carlos Hyde's grasp in the fourth quarter. He hasn't been good as a passer, but he has probably been good enough to keep his job, which might be all that matters given how well he is running the ball.
Kaepernick averaged a career-low 28.4 yards per game as a runner last season, but has been unleashed in Chip Kelly's read-option offense so far. He picked up another 55 yards and a touchdown on the ground Sunday, and has now picked up 228 yards on the ground in his four starts. Add it all up, and Kaepernick is averaging 22.0 Fantasy points per game in four starts, with at least 17 in each game.
It's unorthodox, and you probably won't feel too confident starting Kaepernick in any given game, but what he just did to the Cardinals should be enough to push him into starting-caliber territory. You probably won't use him in Week 11 against the Patriots, but matchups against the Dolphins and Bears immediately following could be fruitful.
The only thing we can expect from DeVante Parker at this point is inconsistency. He has shown flashes of absolutely blinding brilliance, befitting a No. 14 overall selection, and he also just finished off a three-game stretch that saw him total just 56 yards on 10 catches. It's impossible to trust him, but it's also impossible to ignore that he did last season starting in Week 12: 445 yards and three touchdowns on 22 catches in six games. Success has come infrequently since, but Parker is just too talented to ignore, as he proved with a five-catch, 103-yard performance against the Chargers in Week 10. Frustrating as he can be, you can't leave this kind of talent on the waiver wire, because he really does have the ability to emerge as a must-start player down the stretch.
Before the season, I was skeptical that Cameron Brate really had the chops to beat out Austin Seferian-Jenkins for the starting tight end job in Tampa; now it looks ridiculous that it was ever a question. Brate has scored in three straight games, and Sunday was his best yet, as the third-year man hauled in all seven passes thrown his way for 84 yards and a score. He has at least five targets in each of his last three, and has cemented his role on a team that inevitably finds itself throwing the ball early and often every week. Already sporting the best numbers of his career, Brate has established himself as a solid, dependable low-end starting Fantasy tight end, with at least six points in standard scoring formats in five of the last seven games.
Despite a bunch of impressive big plays, it's been hard to take Tyreek Hill seriously as a Fantasy option given his limited role. Yes, he had scored a touchdown in three of the last five games, but had just 16 receptions in that time, hardly enough to expect him to keep it up. Week 10 may mark the shift, as he emerged as Alex Smith's top priority in the passing game with Jeremy Maclin out. That didn't lead to a score, but Hill did finish the game with 89 yards and 10 receptions, on a team-high 13 targets. Those of you who bought into the big plays and took a speculative add on Hill look smart, because the rest of us are going to be chasing him this week.