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The Lowdown: Montee Ball, Sammy Watkins, and Colin Kaepernick

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Colin Kaepernick

Usually known for their ability to wreak havoc on the ground (505 attempts in 2013) the 49ers might have a different game-plan this year for Colin Kaepernick and company.

“At no point last season did the 49ers’ aerial attack look as strong as it has during this training camp. Actually, it’s stunning to see how much better this area is than it was last season,” wrote ESPN 49ers reporter Bill Williamson.

The 49ers added Stevie Johnson, and Brandon Lloyd this offseason and also drafted Bruce Ellington back in May. They’re there to complement Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, and Vernon Davis. As a whole, that appears to be one of the better wide receiver corps in the NFL.

“On paper the 49ers look set to field the best group of receivers and tight ends in the league this year, which is a far cry from 2013,” wrote Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus.

With Kaepernick’s rushing ability, it transforms him into a high-floor player. However, I think his passing numbers need to see some improvement. Kaepernick only had six games last year where he eclipsed the 200-yard passing mark and had nine games where he passed for one TD or less. Fantasy Gumshoe argues that Kaepernick could be a top five QB this year and I made the argument that you should select Russell Wilson before Kaepernick.

Montee Ball

Montee Ball had surgery about two weeks ago, but it looks like he could be set to return soon.

“Montee Ball will visit his doctor Monday in the hope he will be cleared to practice this week,” wrote Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

Judging by his ADP, it appears most fantasy owners aren’t thinking twice about this surgery.

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“… Even if Ball does receive his doctor’s clearance, the Broncos’ medical team may not allow him to take contact during practices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in preparation to play Houston. …”

There’s high expectations for Ball in Denver this year, as he’s been deemed “the guy” after the departure of Knowshon Moreno. Justin Winn urges that Ball is undraftable at his current ADP. With our composite RB rankings, it seems the RotoViz guys seem to like Ball just fine. However, I am more likely to draft Le’Veon Bell or DeMarco Murray, who have similar ADPs.

Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins had an early exit last weekend in their preseason game against the Steelers, and Coach Doug Marrone isn’t making a timetable for him.

“Unless I know for sure, I am not going to comment on when they’re coming back or when they might come back because it’s too difficult. You have setbacks. You wake up one morning and you have this or that and then I have to stand up here and hear, ‘You told us this and you told us that.’ So, I really don’t know,” Marrone said, via the Buffalo News. “You can practice the next day sometimes. You can come back into a game. Sometimes on the X-ray it shows that it’s a crack. Sometimes it shows that it’s not and then you take a better X-ray and there is a crack. Sometimes, depending on the player, you can be out two weeks, four weeks, six weeks or two months.”

Watkins is far from a favorite among the RotoViz writers. It might be one of the most severe cases of rookie derangement I have seen this year. I find his ADP laughable, to be honest. I’d rather have Robert Woods, if I’m picking a WR on the Bills.

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I believe all of the WRs above should be selected before Watkins, this year. The Bills ran 546 times last year (most in the NFL) and E.J. Manuel has done nothing but struggle as of late. Manuel had a rather lackluster rookie year, completing 58.8 percent of his passes last year. Watkins was tagged in our RotoViz Round Table of 11 overvalued players we won’t touch in 2014. Watkins is more of a dynasty pick up this year because I don’t think he’s goning to live up to the cost of his ADP.

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