Friday, October 21, 2016, 6:26pm
Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6:10pm
On Monday afternoon, San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly confirmed what likely didn't come as much of a surprise: Colin Kaepernick will remain the starting quarterback for the game Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Related players: Blaine Gabbert
Kelly thought Kaepernick played "OK" but could obviously improve. His numbers were similar to what Gabbert has posted but did misfire on open receivers.
“They were probably keying on me because they don’t respect Blaine’s speed until he pulls it and he breaks one,” Hyde said. “And they said, ‘All right, never mind, we can’t play it like that.’ Maybe they’ll come at it differently with Kap being back there. Around the league, they know Kap can run the ball, so maybe they’ll play it differently.”
Hyde is the NFL’s eighth-leading rusher with 377 yards and six touchdowns. But with a 4.0-yard average, those yards have not come easily. Kaepernick’s experience and success in running the zone read could prove beneficial for Hyde. After all, it is clear that Hyde has been the central figure of the 49ers' offense.
Chip Kelly's system is quarterback-friendly (remember Nick Foles?). Blaine Gabbert is 17th in fantasy scoring despite dreadful passing numbers (58% completion, 5.9 YPA) since he leads all QBs in rushing yards. Kaepernick has the wheels to do even better as a runner, and it would be tough to do much worse in the passing game. He should offer low-end QB2/streaming value in good matchups, but this week's matchup with the Bills does not qualify. The move throws Jeremy Kerley's value up in the air, but it may breathe some life into Torrey Smith. Keep in mind that Smith wasn't terribly productive with Kaepernick last year, averaging 2.0 catches for 42 yards and 0.25 touchdowns in eight games.
After San Francisco's 33-21 Week 5 loss to the Cardinals, 49ers HC Chip Kelly told reporters of the Mercury News that he's "not naming any starters for Buffalo, so just don’t rule anything out" and reiterated his sentiments on Monday morning saying that "We're looking at every option" at QB.
Related players: Blaine Gabbert
If Colin Kaepernick does, in fact, become the 49ers starter, he may offer value as a low-end QB2 in two-QB leagues or a streamer in the right matchup. Chip Kelly has a history of making his quarterbacks fantasy-relevant and we know that he'll let Kaepernick use his legs, as Blaine Gabbert leads all QBs in rushing yards this season.
After a training camp quarterback competition that never really materialized because Colin Kaepernick was working his way back from injury, San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly made the obvious choice in naming Blaine Gabbert his starter.
Of course, whenever a competition takes place, the natural assumption is that the winner will be on a shorter leash than other starters might be. While we have yet to see just how long Kelly and the Niners will go without at least taking a look at Kaepernick in a game situation, it doesn't sound like it will be happening right away.
"He's our starter and I’ve got a lot of confidence in Blaine," Kelly said. "So we're not thinking or talking about not having Blaine in there. It's about everybody on offense playing better right now."
Gabbert hasn't been great in the team's first two games. But, the other piece of the quarterback equation is Colin Kaepernick, who doesn't yet seem to be all the way back from his injuries. He reported for training camp below his normal playing weight of 225 pounds. While Kelly doesn't know Kaepernick's exact weight, he's indicated that Kaepernick isn't yet back to where he used to be, though he's making progress.
He’s the team’s top option at slot receiver – a feature role in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense – and also will handle punt returns when the Rams visit Levi’s Stadium on Monday.
Kerley is in position to see a lot of passes. During spring and summer practices, the 49ers’ top slot receiver, Bruce Ellington, was a frequent target of quarterback Blaine Gabbert and seemed poised for a big season. He's the only player on the roster who fits Kelly’s ideal mold for a slot receiver: rabbit quick, a fast accelerator and – especially critical this week – mentally sharp.
“I think he’s a wily veteran. He’s been around,” Kelly said of Kerley. “I think having Curtis and Bob here has really helped him. But you can tell right away that Jeremy’s a pretty smart football player.”
Kerley’s best season was 2012 when he had 56 catches for 827 yards for the Jets.
Kerley is worth consideration in deep PPR formats, but he's unlikely to be a fantasy factor in most leagues.
Gabbert’s appointment was anticipated, more so from his body of work since the spring rather than any side effect of Kaepernick’s national-anthem protests for racial equality.
“It’s his whole body of work, from April until today,” Kelly said of Gabbert on a media conference call. “(With) his grasp and command of what we’re doing, he’s a good fit for what we want to get accomplished, and I have a lot of confidence in what he could do with us, offensively.”
Blaine Gabbert already had the advantage in the San Francisco 49ers quarterback competition when it came to repetitions. You could also put a check next to Gabbert's name when it came to production. Now, with one meaningless preseason game and a couple weeks of practice before the season opener, time is also on Gabbert's side.
Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick made his preseason debut in Friday night's 21-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. In an exhibition season in which Kaepernick missed two preseason contests and nearly two weeks of practice, Kaepernick's body of work paled in comparison to Gabbert's. The prevailing outside sentiment entering Friday's game was that Kaepernick could still theoretically win the job, but he would need a big performance against the Packers to have a chance.
As you'd expect for someone playing in his first live NFL game since Nov. 8, Kaepernick couldn't muster the magic needed to get back in the mix, the story said. In just one quarter, Kaepernick was 2-of-6 for 14 yards passing with four carries for 18 yards. When Kaepernick was at the helm, the Niners managed just one first down. If Gabbert is named the starter, there's at least some fantasy streaming potential there in Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense that runs a lot of plays.
Blaine Gabbert led the 49ers’ first-team offense through the entire offseason program and has continued to build a case to win the starting job at the start of the regular season.
But the 49ers will not name the starter for the 49ers’ first game, Sept. 12 against the Los Angeles Rams, until the time is right, offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins said on Tuesday. That’s because Colin Kaepernick has not had a fair chance, he said.
“It’s not time,” Modkins said. “It’s a competition and Kap hasn’t had a chance to perform, yet. So, when that happens and when coach feels like it’s time, we’ll do that. But right now it’s not time. We’ve still got a ways to go before we play.”
Kaepernick returned to practice Monday after being out with arm fatigue. The team expects him to play Friday night against the Packers. This can be taken a couple of ways - the team is trying to be fair and give Kaepernick a chance, or, it hasn't been impressed with Gabbert to this point and really wants Kaepernick to seize the job.
49ers WR Bruce Ellington has been perhaps Blaine Gabbert's favorite target this summer, and he seems ready for big season after a series of minor injuries -- hamstring strains, ankle sprains -- slowed his development over the past two seasons.
Ellington, however, didn't practice much this week -- another ankle sprain -- and he is iffy for the Broncos game.
Ellington has risen in our rankings and is a nice late-round flier, especially in PPR formats.
Monday, August 15, 2016, 4:31pm
Quarterback Thad Lewis’ bid to serve as a 49ers backup is over because of a knee injury, a league source confirmed Monday.
Lewis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the third quarter of Sunday’s 24-13, exhibition-opening loss to the Houston Texans.
Lewis, one of the 49ers’ few free-agent acquisitions, figured to battle rookie Jeff Driskel for a No. 3 role this season, assuming Gabbert and Kaepernick would fill the top two slots. Driskel was 4-of-12 for 20 yards in his pro debut.
The question comes into great focus after Kaepernick sat out of practice on Friday for a second consecutive day. As a result, Gabbert took all the first-team reps in a joint practice against the Texans.
Chip Kelly said Kaepernick was dealing with soreness on his surgically-repaired left, non-throwing shoulder.
"Hopefully we can get him to play on Sunday," the 49ers coach said.
Kaepernick remained hopeful he could see the field on Sunday. In the meantime, he mirrored Gabbert and San Francisco's other quarterbacks, going through his footwork and reads during the joint practice. The sixth-year pro said he was experiencing tightness in his arm, so he's being proactive about icing his shoulder and being cautious.
Ellington was reportedly playing the slot with the first team in OTAs; it was Jordan Matthews’ position in Chip Kelly’s offense over the past two years (en route to 4.8 catches per game). Ellington’s combine scores – 4.45 40-yard dash, 3.95 20-yard shuttle, 6.69 3-cone drill – indicate elite athleticism. Kelly said he was “intrigued” by Ellington’s skill set, while Blaine Gabbert said that Ellington was “balling out” in OTAs and “catching a ton of balls.” He’s an interesting late-round flier, especially in PPR formats. It wouldn’t be shocking if he sees 100 targets as the #2 passing option in Kelly’s high-paced offense. As for Draughn, he could put a serious dent in Carlos Hyde's upside if he serves as the third-down back while Hyde is watching from the sideline.
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