Is Stefon Diggs’ Upside Worth the Risk? (2019 Fantasy Football)
Stefon Diggs is quite the intriguing draft prospect heading into 2019. He’s an extremely talented receiver, but he has to share targets with another talented receiver in Adam Thielen, plus the Vikings don’t necessarily have a high-powered passing offense. Is there enough to go around for Diggs in 2019?
Diggs is currently being drafted in half-PPR leagues as the WR14 at 30th overall, which is a tiny bit lower than I have him at the moment (WR10, 25th overall). Diggs finished 2018 as the WR10. Adam Thielen dominated the Vikings’ passing attack in the first half of the season, but in the last seven games, Diggs averaged 6.3 receptions per game on 9.0 targets, while Thielen averaged 5.0 receptions per game on 7.1 targets. The pendulum swung back in Diggs’s favor towards the end of the season, but Thielen was absolutely still relevant.
The Vikings’ passing offense, to put it lightly, is inconsistent. In 2018, Kirk Cousins had eight games below 250 passing yards and eight games above 250. Among the eight games below, his average in those games was 205, which is what I like to call “borderline stinky.” It sounds like there are plenty of reasons to avoid Diggs in 2019, so why is he your WR10? I’m glad you asked.
To be honest, a lot of my projection around Diggs is that he passes the eye test. If you watch him play, he looks very, very good. He doesn’t look like a receiver that needs volume to succeed. He does, however, get that volume sometimes. Even with Thielen on the other side, Diggs still had nine games with 10 or more targets. He finished with the 11th-most receptions in 2018 in 15 games. For what it’s worth, if you extrapolate that 15-game season to a 16-game one, he would have finished seventh with 109 receptions.
I also believe that Diggs will be the WR1 and overcome Thielen. In the first eight games of 2018, Kirk Cousins attempted 42.6 passes per game, Diggs averaged 10.6 targets, and Thielen averaged 11.4 targets. In the last eight games, Cousins attempted 33.1 passes per game, Diggs averaged 9.0 targets, and Thielen averaged 7.1. So, the Vikings’ passes per game dropped by 9.5, and Diggs’ average targets decreased by 1.6 while Thielen’s dropped by 4.3. Essentially, when the Vikings implemented a more balanced offense towards the end of the season, Diggs’ involvement was similar to the first half of the season, plus he had touchdowns in five of the last seven games and his lowest PPR output in that span was 9.9 points.
I’m not going to lie — there are a few reasons to shy away from Diggs in 2019, but I think the upside outweighs them all. He’s being drafted around guys like T.Y. Hilton, A.J. Green, Amari Cooper, and Adam Thielen, and they all have consistency and durability concerns as well. I’d rather have Diggs, who brings immense talent and seemingly consistent involvement, if I have the choice.