Fantasy managers might be excited to draft Brandon Aiyuk, but a closer look at his rookie year suggests some problems. He had seven outings with at least 15 PPR points, but only two came in the eight games George Kittle was healthy. Similarly, Aiyuk's targets plummeted from 7.9 in games without Kittle to 5.5 with Kittle. That overshadows a pretty good first season complete with a 62.5% catch rate and five touchdown catches all inside of the 5-yard line. If Kittle's presence hurts Aiyuk, then so too will a healthy Deebo Samuel, not to mention the eventual change to rookie Trey Lance at quarterback. Make no mistake, Aiyuk is a talented, fun receiver staring at a pretty good schedule, but if his target volume is dependent on his teammates and his quarterback play will be uncertain, Fantasy managers should proceed with caution. He's OK to draft as a borderline No. 2/3 receiver once you get close to 60th overall.
Aiyuk didn't take part in Wednesday's OTA session due to a minor groin injury, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports. Fortunately, Aiyuk and a number of other skill-position players who sat out Wednesday with injuries are expected to be ready by the time training camp rolls around in late July. Aiyuk's health situation is still worth monitoring in the coming months to ensure it doesn't become a bigger problem down the road.
Aiyuk, who suffered a high-ankle sprain in this past Saturday's win over the Cardinals, won't play in Sunday's season finale against the Seahawks, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports. Aiyuk thus finishes the campaign with a team-high 60 catches (on 96 targets) for 748 yards and five TDs in 12 games. Looking ahead to next season, the 2020 first-rounder will bring solid fantasy upside to the table, but the 49ers offense could look a bit different next season, once the team's offseason personnel moves shake out.
Aiyuk recorded one reception on two targets for 15 yards in Week 16 against the Cardinals. He added one rushing attempt for 16 yards. C.J. Beathard completed only 13 passes, leaving most of the 49ers' receiving options with little volume. He targeted wide receivers on only four occasions, providing Aiyuk with very little chance to produce. The result was Aiyuk's lowest reception total of his career. It also snapped a very productive stretch for him, as he had topped 70 receiving yards in each of his last six games. With Nick Mullens' (elbow) season officially over and Jimmy Garoppolo unlikely to return for a Week 17 matchup against the Seahawks, Aiyuk is likely to have shaky quarterback play to close the campaign.
Aiyuk caught nine of 13 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 41-33 loss to the Cowboys. Aiyuk once again led the team in targets and receptions as he surpassed 70 receiving yards for the sixth consecutive game. He also scored his fourth touchdown in the last five outings with a short score off a touch pass in the second quarter. The dynamic rookie continues to produce excellent numbers despite subpar quarterback play and now has 773 receiving yards to go along with seven total touchdowns. Aiyuk will look to add to his totals in next Saturday's divisional matchup with the Cardinals.
Aiyuk caught 10 of 16 targets for 119 yards during Sunday's 23-15 loss to Washington. Deebo Samuel (hamstring) left the game on the second play from scrimmage, leaving Aiyuk to carry the passing attack. That he did, setting new career highs in targets, catches and receiving yards as the rest of the offense struggled to move the ball. This career game continues an excellent run of form for Aiyuk, who is now averaging 99.0 yards and 7.2 catches per game over his last five. The rookie will look to continue his ascent next Sunday against the Cowboys.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/26||Green Bay Packers||6||19.56|
|10||11/15||Los Angeles Rams||1||16.67|
|18||01/09||@Los Angeles Rams||1||16.67|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||96||60||748||5||43||12.47||123|