It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the wide receivers. Today, we take a look at Brandon Aiyuk, who took a distinct backseat to Deebo Samuel in 2021. Can he break out from behind Samuel in 2022, or will the Trey Lance 49ers not have enough targets to go around? Let’s take a look at his 2022 fantasy football player profile!
Brandon Aiyuk ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: WR40, 95 overall
Average Auction Value: $1.4
Brandon Aiyuk Statistics:
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tgt||HPPR Pts/Tgt||PPR Pts/Tgt|
|Year||Air Yards||aDOT||YAC||YAC/Tgt||YAC/Rec||AYMS||Tgt MS|
2022 Brandon Aiyuk Fantasy Football Overview:
Last offseason was a strange one for Aiyuk. He finished 2020 averaging 5 catches and 69 yards per game (nice). Then, entering the 2021 season, we heard rumors of the “Kyle Shanahan Dog House” which had a new resident, Brandon Aiyuk. Because of this, he started off insanely slow for the 49ers, averaging 2 catches for 20 yards per game in the first seven games of the season. Then, starting a home game against Arizona, he started to turn it around. From week nine through eighteen, he averaged four catches for 69 yards per game (nice), including 10 catches for over 200 yards combined in the last two games of the season. He also followed that up with a strong playoff run, posting at least 4 catches for 66 yards in both 49ers’ playoff games that didn’t happen in the middle of a snow storm.
But, this year, we have no idea what to think about with Brandon Aiyuk. He did almost no damage without George Kittle, averaging just 5.9 PPR points per game compared to 11.1 in the fourteen games he played with Kittle. He also didn’t blow up without Deebo Samuel, either, getting a near-identical line in that game compared to his sixteen without Deebo. Maybe, and just hear me out: he was actually just injured. You see the normal ramp-up you generally see from players who suffer some sort of injury, going from 47% and 54% of snaps played in the first couple of games, up to 67%, 71%, and 71% in weeks four, five and seven, before playing at least 90% of snaps in every game from week nine to the end of the season. In those games, he paced out to 73 catches for 1,164 yards and 7 touchdowns.
The Trey Lance of it all hangs over Aiyuk’s head, just like every other 49ers player. Aiyuk had two catches for 32 yards in Lance’s first start, and 4 catches for 94 yards in his second start, so there’s no rhyme or reason there. If we take Lance, it’s on pure faith that we see his 2020 campaign again, and for his part, he did show us that his 2020 campaign was still in there, in spurts, in 2021.
2022 Brandon Aiyuk Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
Brandon Aiyuk is ridiculously cheap when you consider that he was the WR18 in fantasy points per game just two seasons ago, is still ascending, and will be on a more potent offense in 2022. There’s a lot to like about Aiyuk, especially given his talent level, and he’s WR40 by ADP and $1.4 by AAV. That’s less than Robert Woods, who has a torn ACL, by average salary cap value. So please, spend a couple of bucks on Brandon Aiyuk in your salary cap drafts. You won’t regret it, as he is a near-guarantee to return his value.
The only question about Aiyuk is if he is worth a pick at WR40, between Drake London, and Russell Gage. I would prefer Aiyuk to both of those players, as Gage is switching teams, and will be the #4 target (behind Leonard Fournette) if everything goes to plan in Tampa Bay, and Drake London is tied to Marcus Mariota and potentially behind a tight end and running back in targets. So, in a snake league, you can reasonably dip your toe into the Aiyuk waters, as well.
Best Case Scenario:
Trey Lance and Brandon Aiyuk have a great intermediate-to-deep connection, and Aiyuk can stay healthy. This allows him to top 1,200 receiving yards.
Worst Case Scenario:
The Trey Lance Runpocalypse comes to fruition, and the 49ers literally do not pass the ball once this season. As Kyle Shanahan cycles through all his running backs, and Deebo Samuel, in turn, Brandon Aiyuk becomes the RB1 in week 14.
Check out all our 2022 player profiles, here.
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Brandon_Aiyuk_%2850730673553%29_%28cropped%29.jpg cropped under CC BY SA 2.0]