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NFL - Fantasy

Brandon Aiyuk Fantasy Football Outlook 2022 (Lack of Proven Consistency Makes Him Risky Option)

Larry Rupp
Brandon Aiyuk fantasy football outlook for the 2022 NFL season.
Brandon Aiyuk fantasy football outlook for the 2022 NFL season. / AP Photos/Nam Y. Huh
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Brandon Aiyuk's sophomore output was incredibly similar to that of his rookie season. The San Francisco 49er finished as the No. 35 wide receiver in PPR-scoring fantasy football leagues in 2021 for the second straight year by accumulating 826 yards as well as 5 touchdowns on 56 receptions.

With that being the case, it's no surprise to see Aiyuk bordering on the cusp of WR3 range in fantasy football rankings this year. His average draft position (ADP) has him going as the 39th wide receiver off the board and as a ninth-round selection.

Brandon Aiyuk Fantasy Football Outlook

Although his season numbers ended being almost identical, Aiyuk played in five more games in 2021 than he did in 2020. He took a clear step down in his production and that was because of a brutal start to the year. Through the first nine weeks, Aiyuk was missing from the offense and hauled in just 13 passes for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. From Weeks 10 through 18, the 24-year-old played in 90% of the offensive snaps in every game, averaged 76.1 receiving yards per contest and scored 3 touchdowns. Fantasy managers are left wondering which version of Aiyuk will show up this fall.

Aiyuk's upside will always be capped given how often head coach Kyle Shanahan implements a strong rushing attack. The 49ers posted fourth-lowest passing play percentage in 2021 (51.6%) with a pocket passer in Jimmy Garoppolo leading the way. Second-year pro Trey Lance is expected to take over the starting gig now and his rushing capabilities could cause that mark to drop even lower. Aiyuk also saw his red zone targets fall from 15 to 10 last season. A constant lack of touchdown opportunities means he is going to have a tough time keeping up with WRs drafted around him.

Reports out of training camp say Aiyuk is crushing when it comes to faking out defenders and making big-time plays. While that may be the case, he has also been at the forefront of some scrimmage scuffles that Shanahan has not appreciated. Aiyuk's ceiling is that of a borderline WR2, but he's proven that his floor is much much lower than a WR4. That makes him a risky pick.

Brandon Aiyuk Projections

Projections from the NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook don't expect Aiyuk to take a massive step forward in 2022. He's 44th to lead the NFL in receiving yards (+10000), which is a few spots lower than where he finished the 2021 season at with 826 yards. Aiyuk's also 38th to lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns (+7500). That is obviously going to be a tough title to take home considering he has yet to post more than seven touchdowns in one campaign. When taking Aiyuk's career averages in to account (4.4 touches per game, 13.1-yard average), the idea of him crossing the 900-yard mark in scrimmage yards for the first time lines up as an attainable outcome this fall.

Is Brandon Aiyuk a Good Fantasy Football Pick?

When it comes down to it, is Aiyuk someone to target in the middle rounds? Yes, but he is only suitable for a FLEX spot to start the season. Aiyuk's the No. 42 wide receiver in The Duel's PPR fantasy football rankings and lines up as a boom-or-bust fantasy option.

Aiyuk could end up surpassing all expectations as Lance's go-to weapon outside of Deebo Samuel. However, he could also fail to take a step up once again and ride the fantasy bench for most of the season. Managers have to be careful to not overdraft here.

If you've drafted Aiyuk this year, or you're a 49ers fan, make sure to check out the best San Francisco 49ers fantasy football team names for your squad.


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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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