Brandon Aiyuk is a Screaming BUY in Dynasty Leagues

September 10, 2021

Dylan Powell

We all remember the play when 49ers Rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk burst onto the mainstream scene in fantasy football last year. The game was against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 4 of the 2020 NFL season. The play was a 38-yard TD on 3rd and 7 off of a screen pass from Nick Mullens. The poor Eagle's defender that will forever live in a horizontal position in this article's cover image was Safety Mike Epps.

That play ignited news coverage and highlight reels across the country and also established Brandon Aiyuk as a fantasy asset with elite potential and sent his dynasty value screaming through the roof.

But fast forward to today, just two days before week one of Aiyuk's sophomore season, and a fascinating thing is happening: we are seeing a divergence between Aiyuk's season-long (Best Ball) ADP and his Dynasty ADP. And not in the way you'd expect.

ADP Divergence

Brandon Aiyuk's ADP on @UnderdogFantasy finished up the Best Ball season at 49.3 (Early 5th round in 12 team leagues), putting him in a similar draft range as Diontae Johnson, Julio Jones, and Tee Higgins. Depending on how you feel about those players in 2021, this seems reasonable.

However, what makes no sense at all is that Brandon Aiyuk's ADP in dynasty leagues currently sits in the early 50s (data courtesy of MyFantasyLeague via PlayerProfiler and confirmed at RotoViz).

There is nothing about Aiyuk's situation this year (in a good way, relative to future years) or about his long term career outlook (in a bad way, relative to this year) that should lead to an ADP divergence where he is being drafted earlier in season long leagues than he is in dynasty leagues. Nothing.

In fact, given that Rookie QB Trey Lance should be expected to improve into future years, then Aiyuk's future potential should be much higher than his outlook for this year. And when we look back on Brandon Aiyuk's rookie season from a historical perspective, it shines a light on just how fantastic his future potential really is.

Aiyuk's Rookie Season

This section written by guest @YZR_Fantasy

Brandon Aiyuk had a terrific rookie season. Some know this but most won't appreciate just how good it was. Among 837 rookie WRs since 2000, Aiyuk's rookie season ranks 10th in PPG, 17th in yards per team attempt, and 14th in target share.

We can get an idea of similar rookie seasons by finding players who put up similar numbers in these very telling metrics. I find players who were within 2 PPG, 2% target share, and 0.2 yards per team attempt. I also look at size and draft capital which I think have an impact on a player's career. From there, we can get an idea of Aiyuk's career outlook:

Brandon Aiyuk Rookie Comps

I was truly blown away by these rookie season comps. This is a list of nothing but studs. It speaks for itself. A career of this kind is well within the cards for Brandon Aiyuk. Not only that, I EXPECT a career like this. I'm all in.

Aiyuk is my highest % rostered player in dynasty: YZR Dynasty Roster Pct - Brandon Aiyuk

Concluding Thoughts

The dynasty ADP for Brandon Aiyuk right now later than where he was just being drafted in Best Balls. Whenever this happens with a young player, it presents an arbitrage opportunity. And when it happens to a player who has the rookie year comps and has the talent of Brandon Aiyuk, that player becomes an emphatic and enthusiastic dynasty buy. Go BUY Brandon Aiyuk in dynasty.

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