The 49ers have added WR Brandon Aiyuk and LT Trent Williams to the COVID list. That means the offense will be missing both starters, in addition to Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and Kendrick Bourne (COVID). Those absences, of course, join RBs Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson, as well as QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE George Kittle. Trent Taylor suddenly looks like the team's top receiver ... and he might need to play a few more positions by the time we get to Thursday night. The NFL reportedly still plans to play the game at the scheduled time, though.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle writes: "The first three completions in Tuesday’s practice went to the same player: Brandon Aiyuk. In other words, the still-sizzling wide receiver finished camp the way he started, and he appears poised for a breakout third NFL season.” The buzz has followed Aiyuk for weeks and pushed his ADP up some. He still resides well into WR3 territory in most cases, though, a level that allows for plenty of upside room. Aiyuk's potential ascension could lower the ceiling for WR Deebo Samuel by siphoning target share in what we expect to be 1 of the league's most run-leaning offenses. We've been much more interested in Aiyuk than Samuel at their relative draft costs.
ESPN's Nick Wagoner says 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk "has been the team's most consistent offensive performer in camp." That's a particularly positive review for Aiyuk. Few question the former 1st-round pick's talent, but inconsistent performance dogged him last year -- especially early. Wagoner points out that Aiyuk had a similarly strong start to last year's camp but "tapered off" after a preseason hamstring injury. If Aiyuk can stay healthy and keep the effort up, he carries breakout difference-making potential from a fantasy football ADP that has hovered around WR40.
49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk has been the star of training camp the past few days. Teammates are impressed with his play. "Right now he’s having an outstanding camp," S Jimmie Ward said Wednesday. "B.A. has taken his game to another level. It’s crazy. I haven’t won a one-on-one rep with him yet." Aiyuk found himself in HC Kyle Shanahan's doghouse around this time a year ago and got off to a slow start. But he tallied a 47-730-4 line over his final 11 games, ranking 16th among WRs in PPR points. We still have some volume concerns here as Aiyuk fights for targets with Deebo Samuel and George Kittle in what figures to be a run-heavy offense. But Aiyuk is fairly priced at his current WR42 ADP.
49ers beat writer Jennifer Lee Chan calls WR Brandon Aiyuk a training camp “standout.” Aiyuk, who was in HC Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse for part of last year, appears on the right track in year 3. “I like what I see out of B.A.,” LB Fred Warner said. “He works super hard. He’s starting to really getting into that mindset that he’s the guy, and he’s capable. I’m just trying to get the best out of him. That’s also just putting pressure on me. I’m also trying ways to get the best out of myself.” Only 24, Aiyuk could enter the WR3 mix if Trey Lance takes a big step forward.
Addressing 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk's usage in the opener, insider Matt Maiocco wrote that Aiyuk "tailed off dramatically" in training camp and is "still learning how to be a pro." If that's the case, it went completely unreported. "Kyle Shanahan, clearly, favors some of the other WRs right now," Maiocco added. Aiyuk ended up finishing 2nd among 49ers WRs with 15 pass routes in Week 1 -- but that was just 1 more than Trent Sherfield and 4 more than Mohamed Sanu. Easily a top 2 talent on the roster, Aiyuk should eventually return to a full-time role. But he can't be trusted in fantasy lineups until we see it happen.
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