If a player balls out in his first game, you could call it a one-hit wonder. If he does it the following week, then you must go hmmmm. Three games makes a trend. Four puts you on the fantasy football magic carpet ride.
Here are the first four games of Stefon Diggs’ career:
To put that into perspective:
— Kelly Beaton (@KellyBeaton) November 1, 2015
Who is Stefon Diggs?
Diggs is 21 years old and 6’0” 191 pounds. He was viewed as one of the best high school players in the nation and played his college ball at the University of Maryland. Unfortunately, injuries derailed much of his college career and he chose to enter the NFL Draft following his junior year. Diggs ran a 4.46 second 40-yards dash, 7.03 second 3-cone, with a 35 inch vertical jump and 9’7” broad jump at the 2015 NFL Combine. The Minnesota Vikings selected him in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft. After being inactive for the Vikings’ first three games, Diggs received his chance because of injuries to Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright. The rest, as they say, is history. Matt Harmon of NFL.com and Footballguys.com has a methodology to break down receivers called Reception Perception. Go search it out and pay for access if you need to for his breakdown of Diggs. It is well worth it.
What to make of Diggs’ fast start?
Diggs runs good routes and catches the ball when thrown to him. That’s all fine and dandy, but so can most players in the league. There are two components that embody every relationship: trust and chemistry. Diggs has developed a connection with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. In three fewer games, Diggs leads the wide receiving core in yardage, touchdowns and is one reception behind Mike Wallace. During Sunday’s victory over the Bears, Diggs caught one pass for four yards in the first half. He ended with six receptions, including the game-tying 40-yard touchdown in crunch time.
Stefon Diggs waited until late to turn in another gem, but was still targeted on a season high 34.4% of his routes.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) November 2, 2015
Currently, Diggs is on pace to finish with 87 catches, 1,466 yards and seven touchdowns. Not quite Odell Beckham Jr.’s insane 2014 season, but impressive nonetheless.
There are some issues going forward though.
The Vikings are currently 5-2, with the blueprint for success being running the ball with Adrian Peterson and playing good defense. That philosophy is not changing anytime soon. The Vikings are currently ranked 24th in the number of scrimmage plays run (437) and 28th in pass attempts (211).
But Diggs has been balling in that environment you say?!
That could all change soon. Defensive coordinators are going to adjust and start paying more attention to Diggs. How that impacts Diggs and the Vikings offense remains to be seen.
I really like Diggs as a player but am wary of the situation that he is in. He will still be relevant in fantasy because of his skills and the chemistry he has with Bridgewater, but he will need to be hyper-efficient to maximize the opportunities that he receives. The Vikings still have Adrian Peterson, Mike Wallace, Kyle Rudolph, and Charles Johnson, so there is hope. With that said, it’s tough for me to project that Diggs can maintain the pace that he’s on. Because of that…
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