As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. When the San Francisco 49ers traded DeForest Buckner to the Colts for their first-round pick, the Niners taking a first-round wide receiver became one of the worst-kept secrets in the NFL. One of the best-kept secrets? That it would be Brandon Aiyuk.
Brandon Aiyuk ADP and AAV:
Standard ADP: WR75, 215 overall
PPR ADP: WR63, 168 overall
Average Auction Value: $0
Brandon Aiyuk Statistics:
He’s a rookie wide receiver, so he has no NFL statistics to this point. Instead, I would like to offer you the mental image of the Ying Yang Twins saying Aiyuk.
Brandon Aiyuk Overview:
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. If you asked most 49ers fans, myself included, the 49ers were taking one of the big three wide receivers down at #13 (from the DeForest Buckner trade). Instead, that pick went towards Javon Kinlaw instead of CeeDee Lamb/Jerry Jeudy/Henry Ruggs III. That’s fine, there were plenty of quality receivers to be had at the back of the first round. Laviska Shenault would be fun as a 49er, Tee Higgins will prove to be a monster or someone like Michael Pittman could be the possession receiver the 49ers’ offense might need to help open everyone else up.
Instead, they took Brandon Aiyuk. As a 49ers fan, I wish I could say that I was happy. I preferred the Kenny Golladayesque Tee Higgins. But, now that the 49ers sit on the verge of a potentially long injury to Deebo Samuel, they are happy they have baby Deebo in Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk’s main NFL comparison is Cordarrelle Patterson, though I have seen Sammy Watkins thrown around for him, as well. He’ll potentially have to learn in a hurry as the defending NFC Champs’ #1 option if Deebo Samuel’s foot doesn’t heal. If he can get eased into things, we’ve already seen a blueprint for how he can play last season, as Deebo Samuel.
Brandon Aiyuk Draft Strategy:
Don’t draft Brandon Aiyuk outside of your last pick if you are feeling spicy and want to haul back and throw one really deep. The 49ers receiving corps is set to fall apart in a hurry if Deebo Samuel remains hurt, and Brandon Aiyuk is going to get a trial by fire to start the season. While I am super excited to see what Kyle Shanahan does with Aiyuk in his offense, it would be silly to try to tout Aiyuk as any sort of viable sleeper. Rookie wide receivers rarely end up in the top-36 their rookie year, and an NFL #2 jumping in week one probably isn’t the guy you want to move your chips in on pre-draft. I certainly won’t be, and I’m a 49ers homer!
You can still get Aiyuk, but it’s in special circumstances. 8 bench spots? Sure! 14+ person leagues? Absolutely! Your 10-12 person league with guys from high school or people from your office? No, that’s okay. You probably don’t have to pick around the margins enough to worry about Brandon Aiyuk. He’s going to be a fun and talented player in the NFL, but that doesn’t always translate to fantasy football.
Best Case Scenario:
2019 49ers’ wide receiver Deebo Samuel (961 total yards, 6 touchdowns)
Worst Case Scenario:
2019 49ers’ wide receiver Dante Pettis (109 total yards, 2 touchdowns)