Fantasy Football: 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk is the sleeper WR you need to target in your draft

If you’re a fan of the San Francisco 49ers heading into fantasy football season, you’re in luck. Your favorite team on the field should be able to help you on Sundays when it comes to fantasy football.

Starting with Christian McCaffrey at the top of the draft, Kyle Shanahan’s squad boasts multiple options you could circle when draft day rolls around. Along with McCaffrey in the backfield, George KittleDeebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk are all worthy of having their name called at your draft. 

However, if you’re narrowing down your draft board and looking to add only one member of the Niners to your squad, Aiyuk’s potential in the mid-rounds could be the guy to target. 

While Aiyuk’s name has been a popular one around breakout candidate predictions, that level of hype should translate to fantasy production. However, the Arizona State product’s average draft position in PPR drafts is around the 76th pick (round seven) and the 33rd wide receiver overall. 

Via @OurSF49ers on Twitter: 

In Fantasy Pros preseason wide receiver rankings, Aiyuk ranks behind Denver’s Jerry Jeudy, Green Bay’s Christian Watson, Tennessee’s DeAndre Hopkins, Atlanta’s Drake London and New Orleans’ Chris Olave.

In his second season with the 49ers, Aiyuk is coming off a career year with 1,015 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, both career-bests. Along with his consistent production, Aiyuk showed the ability to thrive with whoever was under center. With Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, Aiyuk saw 7.2 targets per game and with Brock Purdy, his targets per game only dropped to 6.2 with the rookie passer. 

With Purdy under center, Aiyuk produced his best game of the 2022-23 season with nine catches on 12 targets for 101 yards receiving, along with a touchdown. Aiyuk also rushed the ball for 16 yards in the Niners’ 37-34 win over the Las Vegas Raiders

Via @TheSFNiners on Twitter: 

Aiyuk showed the ability to produce on his own with the ball in his hands, netting 370 yards after the catch last season, suitable enough for 17th best at the receiver position last year. 

On his way to career-highs in receiving, targets and touchdowns, Aiyuk finished as the WR15 (PPR) overall (nearly doubling his current draft position), per Fantasy Pros. Aiyuk finished ahead of Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans, Cincinnati’s Tee Higgins, Seattle’s DK Metcalf and Los Angeles’ Mike Williams.  

While his teammates like McCaffrey, Samuel and Kittle will rightfully attract the attention of defensive coordinators, Aiyuk has the chance to quietly make them pay in single coverage. 

Another thing to keep an eye on regarding Aiyuk’s production in 2023 is his contract. Aiyuk is heading into the third year of his rookie contract. With another step forward in 2023, he has the chance to use his production on the field to catapult into a potential contract extension with the 49ers. 

With another proven year under his belt in Shanahan’s system, even if Aiyuk takes one small step forward in production in his third season, he could land even closer to the top 10 for fantasy wide receivers. If Aiyuk continues to trend toward the top 10, he could be the steal of the draft in the mid-rounds for your fantasy team. 

This post originally appeared on Niners Wire! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Story originally appeared on Niners Wire