What is Stefon Diggs' 2020 Fantasy Value Now With Bills? - Roto Street Journal
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What is Stefon Diggs’ 2020 Fantasy Value Now With Bills?

Stefon Diggs finally got his wish, as the Vikings shipped the stud route=runner to the Bills for a bounty. Buffalo sent their 2020 1st, 5th, and 6th round picks, as well as a 2021 fourth-rounder to acquire Diggs, suggesting they (deservedly) view him as a true Alpha WR1.

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Indeed, this move equips the Bills with the weaponry to finally steal the AFC East throne from the Brady-less Patriots. Yet, is it the best landing spot for Diggs’ 2020 fantasy value?

Let’s consider the change in our fantasy value indicators of our Stock Formula.

Usage

Considering the Vikings ranked second-to-last in pass plays per game (30.9), Diggs’ sheer volume was a near-lock to go up. Unfortunately, the leap isn’t overly substantial, as the Bills averaged 34.6 pass plays per game (23rd).

Moreover, Diggs will also face stiffer target competition in Buffalo. In Minnesota, Diggs really only had Adam Thielen to contend with for looks, who was absent for six full contests and the vast majority of countless others. Here, John Brown and Cole Beasley both posted solid seasons and have an established rapport with Allen.

Last year, Brown’s 115 targets were somehow 21 more than Diggs (94). These numbers seem destined to at least flip. Still, a sudden leap into the 150+ target range is unlikely in Buffalo.

Surrounding Talent – A “Deep” Hit

Meanwhile, even if the quantity does increase, the quality of the volume is likely to take a downturn moving from Kirk Cousins to Josh Allen.

No, Cousins isn’t elite. Still, he’s significantly more accurate at every level compared to Allen. According to PlayerProfiler, Cousins ranked 5th true completion percentage, which accounts for drops, with 76%. Conversely, Allen ranked an atrocious 33rd with 64.7%.

The splits are even more glaring with the deep ball. According to PFF, Cousins ranked 10th in deep completion percentage (44.3%) and third in deep passer rating (119.7). Meanwhile, Allen ranked 23rd (30.9%) and 20th (64.4) out of 24 QBs in each respective category.

In his career, Allen is 6-50 (12%) on throws over 30 yards in the air for 3 TDs and 3 INTS. On throws between 20-29 yards, he is only 21-71 (29.6%), with 6 TDs and 6 INTs. Ew.

This is doubly concerning given how dependent Diggs was on the deep ball for his 2019 value.

Diggs led the league in deep-ball (20+) yardage with 635, while all six of his TDs came on such throws, also leading the league. This amounted for 115.5 of his fantasy points. Contrastingly, he hauled in 47 receptions, 495 yards, and 0 scores on all other throws, good for 96.5 fantasy points.

In short, 54.5% of his fantasy production came on the 16 deep receptions.

If the downgrade from Cousins to Allen is steep, especially in this area, Diggs could take a serious fantasy step back in 2020.

Of course, Allen does have the raw cannon arm strength to thrive deep. Diggs, an elite ball-tracker with the speed to run past any corner, will undoubtedly help Allen elevate his rating and completion percentage. Still, Smoky Brown has long been one of the best weapons in this area as well, and we saw plenty of balls sail over his and countless other weapons.

Talent: Can Get it Done At Every Layer

Of course, Diggs is far from a one-trick pony. Even if he was underutilized in Minnesota, Diggs has the route-running skills to dominate at every layer, against any coverage.

In fact, Yahoo Sports’ Matt Harmon, creator of the “Reception Perception,” considers Diggs “the best route runner in the NFL.”

The question becomes, then… why hasn’t he ever truly popped yet? Sure, he’s been useful, with WR20, WR12, WR23, and WR24 fantasy finishes in his past four years.

But shouldn’t the BEST route-runner be consistently among the Top-7 at his position, and not a lower-end WR2?

Maybe the underwhelming outputs have been a victim of playcalling. Perhaps teammate Adam Thielen was just that much better, and now Diggs will be the one a step above the rest.

Or maybe Diggs gave an inconsistent effort, unsatisfied with his QB play and usage of him.

Still, given all the accuracy discrepancies that favor Cousins, who’s to say Diggs’ attitude issues don’t spark quickly in Buffalo. What happens when Allen sails balls over his head, or prefers Brown / Beasley in a contest?

Plus, beyond the mental concerns are some real physical ones. Diggs has missed time in every season, and seems to often play at less than 100%.

Still, even with the Surrounding Talent and potential Usage downgrades, as well as this risk, Diggs should still be treated as a WR2 on talent alone. Currently, he sits as my WR26 around 50th overall, which likely means he’ll be going to another owner who pays for the name and reputation, without looking at all the surrounding factors.

Currently at a similar price point, give me ex-teammate Adam Thielen every single day, in every single format.

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