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Brandon Aiyuk fantasy outlook: Start or sit 49ers WR in Wild Card Round?

We go over the fantasy football and DFS outlook of Brandon Aiyuk ahead of the 49ers’ Wild Card matchup against the Seahawks in the 2023 NFL Playoffs.

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 08: Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers catches a pass during warm-ups prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks kick off the NFL’s Super Wild Card weekend with a matchup on Saturday afternoon. After going 2-0 versus Seattle in the regular season, San Francisco can move onto the divisional round at the expense of their divisional foe with a third victory over them this season. If the Seahawks can make a game out of this matchup, chances are San Francisco could be forced into a shootout, making Brandon Aiyuk a worthwhile look in fantasy lineups this weekend.

Fantasy Football analysis: 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk ($5,800)

Aiyuk is priced at $5,800 at DraftKings, making him the most expensive 49ers wide receiver and the sixth-most expensive wideout on the Saturday slate. That being said, starting Aiyuk can be a tricky choice for fantasy players. Seattle’s defense does give up the fourth-most yards after the catch and has the 11th-most missed tackles this season. On the other hand, their 13th-ranked pass defense has been decent while they give up the second-fewest DKFP per game to opposing receivers (27.0).

It’s likely that Kyle Shanahan opts for a game plan that exploits the Seahawks’ 30th-ranked run defense, which means the likes of Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, and Elijah Mitchell stand to benefit more in contrast to Aiyuik. Additionally, Samuel is much better at racking up YAC versus Aiyuk, so the Seahawks’ tendency to miss tackles helps the former as opposed to the latter.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Sit. Rolling with Aiyuk is not necessarily a bad strategy, per se, but his inconsistency in fantasy scoring this season makes starting him a risky bet. His best-case scenario is that San Franciso is forced to throw the ball in a shootout versus Seattle. But if they end up dominating on the ground to an easy win, then Aiyuk could be the odd man left out in this stacked offense. There are better, and perhaps more affordable, options elsewhere for receivers on Saturday.