Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


PFF names 49ers rookie Brandon Aiyuk among underrated fantasy football options

Aug 14, 2020 at 6:07 AM--


San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk may be a bargain for fantasy football owners. At least, that is what Sosa Kremenjas of Pro Football Focus believes. The 49ers, after all, lost veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in free agency this offseason. Aiyuk was drafted in the first round to replace him.

Then there is Deebo Samuel, who is at risk of missing the start of the season due to a foot injury. Although, don't tell him that. If he does, however, that could mean more targets for Aiyuk. If he doesn't, he may still be slowed by the injury — at least right out of the gate.

"With not much left at the position in terms of true playmaking ability, Aiyuk has seemingly become the next man up, and he stands to benefit a great deal with the uncertainty at the position," wrote Kremenjas.

Aiyuk could flourish in an offense that depends on receivers adding yards after the catch. He was one of the best at that at Arizona State, averaging 10.9 yards after the catch in 2019, according to Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus.

"The 49ers ranked fifth in the NFL in receiving yards after the catch last season (2234)," explains Kremenjas. "Meanwhile, Aiyuk ranked third in yards after the catch (710), first in receiving yards after contact (378) and fifth in yards after the catch per reception (10.9) among all college receivers with 50-plus targets."

And he might not just be a threat hauling in passes from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He's perfectly capable of making plays while carrying the football, as Samuel effectively did, at times, last season. Samuel added three rushing touchdowns last season to his three receiving ones.

"PFF's fantasy projections expect a relatively quiet rookie season for Aiyuk, with his current ranking placing him at the WR81 spot," notes Kremenjas.

That could mean value.



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