49ers fantasy football: Niners players to start, sit in Week 1

Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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SF 49ers, Brandon Aiyuk, fantasy football
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Niner Noise explores which 49ers players are smart to start or sit for fantasy football owners against the Lions in Week 1.

Fantasy football owners, likely having recently completed their leagues in advance of the 2021 regular season, are likely getting the finishing touches on their Week 1 lineups with Thursday Night Football kicking off between the Dallas Cowboys and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There will be plenty of offensive players to grab from both of those teams, yes. But if you’re a San Francisco 49ers fan, you probably leaned your way into grabbing at least a handful of your favorite Niners players, too.

All-Pro tight end George Kittle is going to be an automatic start, provided he stays healthy. No questions there.

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But what about some other Niners contributors? Who should start or sit for San Francisco’s Week 1 bout on the road against a rebuilding Detroit Lions squad?

Let’s take a look in this 2021 season-opener fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em breakdown for the red and gold.

49ers fantasy football start ’em: Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk

In theory, you could be comfortable starting either one of the 49ers’ top two wide receivers, Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk, as Detroit’s secondary isn’t exactly pegged to be a top-performing unit this season. Pro Football Focus actually ranked this group at No. 30 heading into 2021, which isn’t the best endorsement.

But an opportunity for players like Samuel and Aiyuk.

Samuel is likely to be covered by the Lions’ top cornerback, Jeff Okudah, meaning Aiyuk gets the more favorable matchup against No. 2 boundary corner Amani Oruwariye, who allowed 16.5 yards per completion a year ago.

Related Story: PFF cites Brandon Aiyuk as fantasy breakout grab

You probably don’t have both Aiyuk and Samuel on your fantasy football rosters anyway. But if you were deciding to go with Aiyuk or someone else as a WR2 or FLEX, don’t be afraid to put Aiyuk into your starting lineup. The matchup is favorable.