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You already know where I am going with this article so we need to get something out of the way right now. Just because I am down on a player doesn’t mean I don’t like him. That holds true for Stefon Diggs. I think Diggs is immensely talented and has all the potential to become a great receiver, but as the article states, I am not buying yet.

I am going to continue to let the fantasy community fight over Diggs this off-season. You want to maximize the return on your investment. Diggs is like a brand-new car for me. I am going to let someone else purchase the car first, use it for a while, decide they want to upgrade and trade it in. I’ll go ahead and purchase the car after you for half the price, with some use, but still plenty of miles left.

All ADP data used for this article is from Fantasy Football Calculator Dynasty, 12-team ADP on 07/05/2018.

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Why I'm Not Digging Diggs

Does the ADP lie to us?

My biggest issue with Diggs is that almost everyone who buys him does so purely on talent. That seems to be the biggest argument from Diggs fans as to why we need to be buying him as a WR1 right now. I’m not buying fantasy players based on talent alone. With the exception of rookies and some second-year players, I like to see production and situation. I understand that if he breaks out in 2018 that you will never get him at this price again. I am willing to take that risk.

Right now, Diggs' ADP sits at 25.4, so you would be buying Diggs as the WR12. Since Diggs entered the league in 2015, he has finished as the WR46, WR30 and then finally made the jump to WR19 this past season. Just last off-season, Diggs had an ADP of 42.9 and was the WR22 in dynasty drafts. He was even being drafted behind Terrelle Pryor and Jarvis Landry. Landry just put together a WR1 season and is surrounded by just as many weapons as Diggs, but now has fallen behind Diggs with an ADP of 41.8. So what else concerns me outside of production?

Injury History

During Diggs' first three seasons, he has already missed 10 games. That is not something I want to worry about with my WR1. Diggs has missed games with a groin injury two separate times while also missing time with a hip strain and a knee strain. Teammate Adam Thielen is only three years older, has more catches and receptions over the past two years while not missing a game in the past four years. Even with that on Thielen’s resume, he’s going 24.7 spots later than Diggs. This leads me back to a previous point though, Diggs is being drafted on talent alone because they both have the same opportunity in the same offense with the same quarterback, but one has been more productive and played in more games the past two seasons.

Same Faces, New Places

The Vikings have added what they believe to be the missing link to their Super Bowl run. Kirk Cousins heads to the Twin Cities and while many fantasy owners think he is the key to the Vikings success on offense, should we tone down our excitement a little? Cousins has been good the last three seasons finishing as the QB6, QB5 and QB8. So, there is no doubt he will produce again for fantasy owners, but the question is about how players finish around him.

During his three full years, Cousins hasn’t produced a top receiver. In 2015, Pierre Garcon finished as the WR31, in 2016 Garcon finished as the WR23 and in 2017, Jamison Crowder finished as WR31. The best finish from a wide receiver under Cousins is borderline WR2/3. Cousins will spread the ball around and not lean on one receiver.

During the last three seasons, Cousins has used his tight ends and running backs extensively.

2017 2016 2015
Cousins Attempts 540 606 543
RB/TE Targets 236 239 233

Just over 42% of the time Cousins would target his running backs or tight ends since he took over full time in 2015. Even when Jordan Reed couldn’t find his way onto the field the last two seasons, Cousins still used Vernon Davis. Cousins will now get to use Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook in Minnesota who boast more combined talent than the options in Washington the last few years.

Uncharted Territory

One thing we haven’t seen happen very often is high-profile quarterbacks changing teams. We saw Jay Cutler move from the Bears to the Dolphins last season after contemplating retirement. The results were less than fantastic. It can take some time for quarterbacks and wide receivers to gel and meet their full potential. Since Cousins already has used his tight ends and running backs heavily in the past, it could be the case the Cousins develops a relationship with Rudolph and Cook before Diggs and Thielen.

We have seen receivers struggle with new teams, most recently Marvin Jones with the Lions in 2016 and Pryor for the Redskins in 2017. Could the same struggles be true the other way around? Maybe it will take time for a new quarterback to fully integrate into a system.  I liken it to a rookie quarterback who must learn a new offense and build a report with new receivers. Since 2014, only one rookie quarterback has finished as a QB1. Cousins will be a QB1 in 2018, but he won’t make Diggs a WR1.

Why 2018 isn’t the Year

As I said at the beginning of this piece, I am not buying Diggs prior to the 2018 season. If he busts out and has a fantastic season, then I missed my time to buy, that’s okay. However, maybe he struggles in 2018, then the Vikings decide they want to move on from him and he goes to a new team. What if he struggles again? I have now had to invest in Diggs as a WR1 when it could be a minimum of two years before I get the return on the investment I made. I think Diggs has a ton of talent and will excel at some point, but because I don’t believe in him for 2018, I’ll hold off and buy when his value goes down again next off-season.

 

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