The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs is upon us, which means only a handful of games remain in the season — leaving us limited time to find value in fantasy football and NFL betting. As we continue our tour around the Divisional Round while examining individual player values for prop bets and DFS, let’s see break down Brandon Aiyuk’s prospects.

Brandon Aiyuk’s DFS value vs. Packers

Aiyuk’s 2021 season needs to be made into a movie. Forget the Kurt Warner one; this is the real American Underdog story. A rookie breakout who gets in the dog house and works his way out due to hard work, ending the season where we viewed him before it all went down. I mean, what a story.

Since Halloween, Aiyuk recorded 47 receptions for 730 yards and 4 touchdowns, averaging 6.3 targets, 4.2 receptions, and 66.4 yards a game. That places him on track for 1,161 yards over a full season. With 201 yards in his final two regular-season games, Aiyuk took a slight step back, posting 66 yards on 5 receptions against Dallas in the Wild Card round.

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In DFS, Aiyuk comes in at $5,200 as the No. 11-priced WR of the slate. My concern for Aiyuk is the matchup. Assuming he is back as expected, Aiyuk will spend most of his time lined up against Jaire Alexander, one of the best CBs in the NFL. If not him, it will be Rasul Douglas, another problematic matchup. Unlike Deebo Samuel, Aiyuk does not have the rushing upside to stabilize his floor.

For Aiyuk to have a massive game, Samuel would need to be held in check. If that happens, the ball would be going to George Kittle, not Aiyuk. As a pivot play in GPP, I can make sense of Aiyuk, but he is not on my top list of players. Especially not where Aiyuk and Jimmy Garoppolo do the most of their damage, which is over the middle. That’s where All-Pro LB De’Vondre Campbell roams, along with Za’Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus, who will be back as well.

Brandon Aiyuk prop bets this weekend

At 50.5 (-114), Aiyuk’s receiving prop is interesting. He has topped it in three straight games and four of his last six. If the 49ers come out and use all of the motion we have become accustomed to seeing, eventually, there will be mismatches. It only takes one play for someone like Aiyuk to hit his over.

The question comes down to whether or not the 49ers keep this game close. If they can, I expect a heavy dose of the rushing attack; it’s one of the reasons Elijah Mitchell is my top DFS play at RB this week.

Coming in at No. 22 in DVOA (a Football Outsiders efficiency metric), the Packers are 15th in passing DVOA but 28th against the run. They’ve held the lead basically all season, resulting in them facing the fourth-fewest rushing attempts all season (395). However, when teams run the ball, they have success, as the Packers are 31st in yards per rush (4.7).

This is Garoppolo’s first game ever in sub-32-degree temperatures, and it will be well below that. Temperatures at kickoff will be 11 degrees but feel like -2. I can see a heavy rushing script from Kyle Shanahan to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. My initial lean is the under on Aiyuk’s prop bet — it’s either Samuel, Kittle, or nothing in the passing game.



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