Colin Kaepernick among week 12 fantasy football leading scorers

For the fourth consecutive game, Colin Kaepernick in Week 12 scored more than 25 fantasy points. He also joined a 2016 quarterback fraternity as he became the 10th to score 40-plus fantasy football points in a game this season (42.1).

CK7 rushed for a season-high 113 yards on only 10 carries, while completing 29 of 46 passes for 296 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. The 113 rushing yards were the fourth-most for Kaepernick in his career. Two of his better games came during the NFL, not fantasy, playoffs, and he posted 151 yards on seven carries against the Chargers in December 2015.

As shocking as Kaepernick’s production has been, I’m equally as surprised that Antonio Gates and Brandin Cooks combined for no, none, nada, zero targets in Week 12. Granted, Gates faced a defense that allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, but the he had averaged better than nine targets per game over the past month. Plus, as we know, he’s Philip Rivers’ security blanket.

Since the Saints Week 5 bye, Cooks had averaged 7 to 8 targets and 17.6 fantasy points per game. What happened in Week 12 with the Saints dropping 49 points on the Rams? Well, Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower combined for 29 touches and, and this is more telling, Josh Hill and Coby Fleener caught 10 receptions on 10 targets. For Fleener, the four receptions for 59 yards was his best game in a month, and Hill’s 74 receiving yards were a career-high.

Fantasy Week 12 Optimal Waiver Wire Lineup
Pos. Player Fantasy Pts. Own%
QB Matt Barkley 29.8 1
RB Tim Hightower 18.5 50
RB Kenneth Dixon 12.0 8.3
WR Marquess Wilson 26.5 1
WR Taylor Gabriel 26.2 2
FLEX Dontrelle Inman 23.9 7
TE Vernon Davis 11.8 9

Some fantasy owners may forget, Marquess Wilson lit up the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos last year. The Bears receiver caught 16 passes on 24 targets for 267 yards in those three games. So, he’s not a Week 12 one-hit wonder.

Wilson and Matt Barkley connected on eight of 11 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Barkley’s start wasn’t NFL pretty, but it was fantasy acceptable based on volume to the tune of 54 pass attempts and second half garbage/rally points. Barkley targeted 11 different receivers and also found Deonte Thompson and, Zach Miller’s replacement, Daniel Brown, on touchdown strikes.

The running back competition between Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon for lead dog in the Ravens’ backfield is heating up. Against the Bengals, Dixon rushed 13 times for 49 yards, while West finished with 13 carries for 48 yards. Dixon caught all four targets for 31 yards, while West caught three of four targets for 16. However, fantasy prospects are somewhat muted due to the fact the two backs have combined for one touchdown over the past five games.

Over the past two games, Philip Rivers has targeted Tyrell Williams 25 times. The second-year receiver has caught 13 of those passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns. He’s also scored in three straight games. Williams’ emergence as a reliable fantasy asset as well as Rivers + Gates = 4Ever every single week definitely pushed Dontrelle Inman off the dance floor.

Inman reminded us in Week 12 that he’s not here for the mannequin challenge. He caught six passes on six targets for 119 yards with his first touchdown since early October when he caught seven of 11 passes for 120 yards against the Saints.

Taylor Gabriel caught eight passes for 107 yards with no scores through the first seven games of the 2016 season. Over the past four games, he’s averaging 68 receiving yards and 18.8 fantasy points per game.

But should you add him? Depends, do you like playing with fire?

Taylor Gabriel – Last Four Games
Receptions Targets Yards TDs
3 3 68 1
5 5 52 1 (rush)
1 5 76 1
4 5 75 2

Gabriel is averaging less than five targets per game. It would be a great challenge to sustain 18.8 FPPG on less than five targets per game. Profound I know, but you should also know his name will be on the tip of many owners’ tongues ahead of Week 13 waiver wire claims.

Quick Hit Fantasy Trends and Notes

DeMarco Murray must be stoked that his body survived until the Titans’ Week 13 bye. After averaging 19-plus carries per game through the first 12 weeks, the backfield workhorse has averaged just 2.9 yards per rush over the past two.

In case you missed it, Jamison Crowder’s consistent campaign continued on Thanksgiving. He caught eight of 10 passes for 88 yards against the Cowboys. The 16.8 fantasy points were lost in the Cowboys win, and Jordan "Don’t Call Me Willis" Reed injuring his shoulder and standing on the sideline in a sling only to return in the second half and finish with a season-high 31.5 fantasy points.

Jerick McKinnon hasn’t scored since October 3 and is averaging 3.0 yards per rush and 6.34 fantasy points per game (PPR). Matt Asiata is averaging 8.89 fantasy points per game and scored in three straight. Can we stop trying to make McKinnon happen?