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The Stefon Diggs Trade Fantasy Football Aftermath

After the NFL’s version of March Madness, in regards to free agency, April keeps the madness going with the Stefon Diggs trade. Diggs is a four-time Pro-Bowler earning the honors in each of the last four seasons. He spent those seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He’ll try to make it five straight Pro Bowl seasons as he heads to the Houston Texans. A move of this magnitude undoubtedly shakes up the fantasy football landscape. Now that the dust of the Stefon Diggs trade has settled a bit, let’s break it all down.

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The Fantasy Football Impact of the Stefon Diggs Trade

What the Stefon Diggs Trade Means for Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs has six straight seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards. He also has 100 or more receptions in five of those six seasons. More specifically, in four years with the Buffalo Bills, Diggs averaged 111 receptions, 1,343 receiving yards, and 9.25 receiving touchdowns per season. On a fantasy points-per-game basis, from 2020 through 2023, he ranked as the WR3, WR11, WR5, and WR15 respectively.

Despite logging 107 catches for 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns in 2023, Diggs’ WR15 finish stands out a bit. After a hot start, averaging 20.2 points per game as WR7 from Weeks 1 through 10, Stefon Diggs had a much different end to the season. Prior to Week 11, the Buffalo Bills fired offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and replaced him with Joe Brady. From there on out, Diggs’ value plummeted to WR50 averaging just 9.4 points per game from Weeks 11 through 17.

Diggs now joins an ascending Houston Texans offense. They are retaining offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, a big name during this offseason’s busy head coaching cycle. Diggs is accustomed to 9.75 targets per game from his time with Josh Allen. He drew at least 154 per season over his last four in Buffalo. Diggs will now compete with Nico Collins, Tank Dell, Dalton Schultz, and even running back Joe Mixon.

While I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Diggs as a lock for 150+ targets in 2024, he should still see well over 100. He’s more likely to finish as a high-end WR2 with WR1 upside if he can haul in close to double-digit touchdowns. His new teammate, Nico Collins, actually tied Diggs as WR15, on a points-per-game basis, last season on just 109 targets. Collins had a breakout season with a 80/1,297/8 receiving line. So, even with less expected volume, Diggs is still a valuable asset for fantasy football.

From a dynasty perspective, Diggs will be 31 years old in November. The Texans are doing away with the final three years of Diggs’  contract and instead paying him nearly triple the $8.5 million he was due for the 2024 season. That gives Diggs an opportunity to test free agency next off-season. Given his age, Diggs probably has two start-worthy fantasy seasons left to his name. We’ll be fortunate to see three. If he’s on a roster whose manager is nervous about the “too many mouths to feed” hypothetical in Houston, try offering a 2024 second-round dynasty pick for Diggs immediately, especially if you have a “win now” roster.

What the Stefon Diggs Trade Means for the Houston Texans

The obvious winner as a result of the Stefon Diggs trade is second-year quarterback, C.J. Stroud. The 2023 Offensive Rookie of the Year threw for 4,108 yards (eighth-most) in just 15 games. That, plus his 24 total touchdowns and just five interceptions during the fantasy football season, landed him as the QB11 on a points-per-game basis. Unfortunately, with just 39 rush attempts for 167 yards on the ground, it’s going to be hard for Stroud to finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback if he isn’t one of the best passers in the league next season. The Stefon Diggs trade surely helps with that. However, if Stroud’s ADP rises come August, I’m just not willing to spend high draft capital for his ceiling when there are cheaper quarterbacks with high upside, especially on the ground, that can be had later in 2024 drafts.

Something’s got to give when it comes to the production amongst Houston Texans receivers as a result of the Stefon Diggs trade. There are just five trios from the same team in NFL history to all log 1,000+ receiving yards in the same season. The most recent is that of Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston of the 2008 Arizona Cardinals. So, for any three of Diggs, Collins, Dell or Schultz to do so would quite legitimately be historic. That Arizona Cardinals team averaged 38.3 pass attempts per game in 2008. The 2023 Texans averaged 34.1 per game. So, it’s not that far out of the question.

Realistically, I’m likely to target whoever has the lower ADP between Nico Collins and Stefon Diggs in drafts. Tank Dell feels like more of a boom-or-bust flex option now. He drew 7.5 targets in his first 10 games with 100+ yards and/or a touchdown in six of them. However, he played just 80% or more of the offensive snaps in just three of those games. He should remain third in snaps amongst him, Collins, and Diggs, lowering his floor considerably.

As if I couldn’t love Joe Mixon any more on the Houston Texans, I think he’s in for an even bigger 2024 season after the Stefon Diggs trade. He should command the 246 touches left behind by Devin Singletary, if not more, on what should be an even higher-scoring offense. Even better, with the addition of Diggs, the Texans should operate more frequently in the red zone, giving Mixon that much more of an opportunity to build upon and capitalize on Singletary’s 32 red zone carries last season. Mixon will have a chance at RB1 numbers without the price tag.

What the Stefon Diggs Trade Means for the Buffalo Bills

For three straight seasons, Josh Allen ranked as a top-three fantasy quarterback. In two of them, including 2023, he ranked as the QB1. It’s worth noting, too, that even with the aforementioned offensive coordinator change last season, Allen tied Lamar Jackson as the QB1 from Weeks 11 through 17 with a 25.0 points per game average. So, the Stefon Diggs trade isn’t as worrisome as one may think for Josh Allen.

I can’t imagine the Bills enter the 2024 season with their wide receiver room as is, though. If they don’t trade one or more of their 10 draft picks for a significant upgrade, they’ll likely use one of their first two picks (28th, 60th) at the position. If so, whoever that player is should draw significant interest in dynasty rookie drafts. The departure of Gabe Davis in free agency and Stefon Diggs via trade leaves behind 45.7% of last season’s team target share.

Choosing between the wide receivers currently on the roster is a game of darts. That includes Khalil Shakir, Curtis Samuel, and even Mack Hollins. The last time we saw Shakir he caught seven of nine targets for 44 yards and a touchdown. However, he has just 65 total targets in his first two seasons. Curtis Samuel, on the other hand, has 485 career targets, including 97 during the 2020 season with the Carolina Panthers with Joe Brady as his offensive coordinator. It’s worth noting he logged a career-high in receptions (77), yards (851), and even rush attempts (41) that season, as well. He’s my favorite dart throw of the current group.

Dalton Kincaid’s 91 targets as a rookie ranked eighth amongst all tight ends last season. The Bills’ 2023 first-round pick feels poised for an easy 100 targets in his second season following the Stefon Diggs trade.

In the grand scheme of things, netting a 2025 2nd round pick for Stefon Diggs is a positive for the Buffalo Bills. He may not even be on the Houston Texans when it comes time to make that selection. When you consider that Keenan Allen, who is a year older than Diggs, was traded for a 2024 fourth just weeks prior, it’s a great return for Buffalo. From a fantasy football perspective, value can still be had amongst the Bills.

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