The San Francisco 49ers head east to face the Carolina Panthers in Week 5 and will look to get their passing game on track coming out of the first quarter of the 2022 NFL season. Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for 604 passing yards in two-and-a-half games since taking over for an injured Trey Lance. Deebo Samuel leads the team with 246 yards and Brandon Aiyuk follows with 179.
Samuel remains the playmaker but Aiyuk is seeing solid target numbers most weeks. He had just four targets last week, but was tied for the team lead with eight the week before against Denver, and led the team with eight the week before that against Seattle. It just hasn’t converted into the big upside days we saw at times in his first two seasons. Can he break out this week against the Panthers?
Fantasy Football analysis: 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk
Aiyuk was going around the WR39 mark in fantasy football drafts, providing some WR3/flex value with WR2 upside. He currently ranks 48th in fantasy points, so in reality, he’s not too far off from his draft rankings.
But we know the upside exists. Through four games he has performances of 6.7, 11.3, 12.9, and 7.7 fantasy points per game. In his rookie season, Aiyuk had eight double-digit performances with four of them exceeding his 2022 high. Last season, he had six double-digit performances with one exceeding his 2022 high after seemingly entering Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse for much of the season.
The talent seems to suggest there’s more upside, but we’re just not seeing it. And maybe this is what he’ll end up being. A WR3 option that is best suited for deeper leagues, injury replacement, and bye week fill-ins. It’d be disappointing given some of his bigger games, but that might be it.
Start or sit in Week 5?
Sit him in 12-team leagues (unless four-flex lineups). He has some value in 14+ team leagues with two or three flex spots. He’s a WR3 at best right now.