Welcome to another edition of the 2021 Dynasty Football Profile Series. In this article, I will be going over the dynasty value of Brandon Aiyuk.
Can he take the next step forward in year two? Or will returning players (injuries) take away his shine?
The 49ers have a significant amount of players returning from injury, so it shall be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Enough with the intro. Welcome everyone to the 2021 Dynasty Football Profile: Brandon Aiyuk article.
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2021 Dynasty Football Profile: Brandon Aiyuk
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Brandon Aiyuk started his college career at Sierra College, California. Yes! You heard me, Sierra College. He dominated the competition, which was no surprise to anyone. After the domination, he received offers from Alabama, Tennessee, Kansas, Colorado St., and Arizona St.
After choosing Arizona State, Brandon Aiyuk had a mediocre season. He was a junior when he first arrived and put up 33 catches for 474 yards and three touchdowns. It wasn't until his senior season when he broke out, catching 65 balls for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. Aiyuk was also used in the return game, scoring one punt return touchdown.
This impressed the 49ers enough to take him with their first-round pick (25), where he had a productive rookie season despite missing a few games.
Brandon Aiyuk's rookie season saw some flashes. Unfortunately, it also led to some injuries he had to deal with (ankle sprain). In 12 games played, Aiyuk caught 60 (97 targets) balls for 748 yards and five touchdowns. He also added six rushes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. This placed him as the WR35. You may think that isn't anything toot your horn about, but he missed four games. His FPPG (Fantasy Points Per Game), the better stat to look at, was 15.4 (16th). This would have made him a high-end WR2.
There were seven games where he had seven or more targets, as well as four games with more than ten targets. In six of his last seven games, Aiyuk had at least 17 Fantasy Points (four 20-point games), 70 yards, and five or more catches. This man will get targeted in 2021, believe me. Players may be returning, but Aiyuk is here to stay. Before we get into his 2021 role, let's talk about some issues that may arise for Aiyuk.
There are a few issues that come to mind when I think about Aiyuk. First off, will he be able to get these targets with George Kittle back? Secondly, Deebo Samuel is coming back. This one doesn't worry me as much as George Kittle.
Jimmy G is also returning as Quarterback, for how long remains to be seen. The 49ers drafted their future franchise quarterback in Trey Lance. They also drafted Trey Sermon to help out in the run game some more.
Can Brandon Aiyuk replicate his success with all this coming back? I believe he will be just fine in 2021, which I will be going over now.
Brandon Aiyuk is currently going as WR27 in redraft leagues. I believe he can easily outperform this, even with the returning players (Kittle, Deebo). His 15.4 FPPG (16th) supports this claim, so we know he can handle being the WR1 on the team.
Aiyuk could see reduced red-zone targets (14 last year, 18th in the league) with George Kittle back in town. This is a cause for concern as he scored seven total touchdowns last year, so it was a solid part of his Fantasy Football output. Even though he may see fewer red-zone targets, he could be peppered with targets while driving down the field. Brandon Aiyuk's 9.0 aDOT (72nd) means he will be the short-yardage wideout. He may even be the slot receiver in 2021.
I do not see him being a deep threat (only 12 deep targets, 50th in the NFL), so putting him near the line of scrimmage seems like the best way to use him. With a defined role for Aiyuk, he can shine. One thing to note, I believe Brandon Aiyuk will have a better season if Lance starts. Jimmy Garoppolo has a hankering to look for George Kittle a lot, which will hurt Aiyuk's value. This leads me to Aiyuk's future, which looks very bright.
2022 and Beyond
Brandon Aiyuk should be the alpha wide receiver of the 49ers for years to come. If you are in dynasty startup leagues, you should be drafting him as much as possible. Currently going as WR22 in dynasty leagues is wild to me.
He is a better value than both Kenny Golladay and Mike Evans any day of the week. I would even take Aiyuk over Tee Higgins and Courtland Sutton as well.
I have faith in this man, the 49ers have faith in this man, and once Trey Lance takes over it will be Brandon Aiyuk's time to shine.
Brandon Aiyuk has a little bit of a hurdle to overcome in 2021 with the return of Kittle and company. I believe he will still be a good draft pick in redraft leagues, but an even better pick in dynasty leagues. Draft him like Trey Lance will be the starter in dynasty startups. You won't regret it.
That should do it for the 2021 Dynasty Football Profile: Brandon Aiyuk article. I hope you enjoyed it, I will be back for James Robinson next week.
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