Fantasy Football Debate: Stefon Diggs vs. Davante Adams

Jul 30, 2021
Fantasy Football Debate: Stefon Diggs vs. Davante Adams

Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams are being drafted as top-three wide receivers on Underdog Fantasy. In this debate, 4for4's Jack Caporuscio will make an argument for drafting Diggs over Adams while Rob Lorge defends the Packers receiver.

Other Fantasy Football Debates: Kyler Murray vs Lamar Jackson | Allen Robinson vs Terry McLaurin | D.J. Chark vs Laviska Shenault | Courtland Sutton vs Jerry Jeudy | Darren Waller vs George Kittle | Antonio Gibson vs Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The Case for Stefon Diggs

Jack: Stefon Diggs was the fantasy value of the year in 2020. After being traded to the Buffalo Bills, fantasy managers were hesitant to invest in Diggs, even at his consistent sixth-round price tag in drafts. Those who took the chance on Diggs reaped massive benefits, as he finished as the WR3 overall in half-PPR scoring formats. Diggs was one of the most consistent high-end performers for fantasy football at a position that is known for its week-to-week volatility. In 2020, Diggs accumulated 1,535 receiving yards on 127 receptions (12.0 yards per reception) and 8 receiving TDs. Simply put, Diggs was the bonafide WR1 in one of the most pass-happy offenses in the league. Fantasy managers should expect more of the same from Diggs in 2021, as he figures to have the volume and talent to repeat as a top-five fantasy option at the position.

It's not hard to forecast another dominant fantasy season for Diggs. He is the number one receiving option for one of the most talented arms in the NFL in Bills quarterback, Josh Allen. Allen carries an ADP of QB2 and 51.1 overall on Underdog Fantasy, meaning the expectations for Allen to repeat another monster season are extremely high from fantasy managers. If we expect Allen to repeat, then we should expect his number one target to do so as well. Diggs is also firmly in his prime at 28 years old. Since coming to Buffalo, Diggs has broken the trend of being an inconsistent fantasy option, as he primarily was boom-or-bust during his time as a Minnesota Viking. The Bills did not add any significant option in the backfield outside of Matt Breida, who should serve as a change-of-pace option. This signals to fantasy managers that the Bills plan on being more pass-heavy in 2021 like they were in 2020. With a current ADP of WR2 and 10.5 overall on Underdog Fantasy, you're going to have to pay up if you want Diggs on your teams this year. Diggs is worth paying a premium, since finishing as the fantasy WR1 overall is within his range of reasonable outcomes. If Diggs has a double-digit TD season, he could very well end up as the WR1.

I would much rather invest high-end draft capital in Diggs than the Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams this season. Adams's 2020 season was arguably his peak in terms of production. The Packers had the seventh-fewest passing attempts last season, which indicates LaFleur's dedication to a run-heavy offensive scheme. Rodgers and Adams were both hyper-efficient with their TD production. TDs are not a sticky stat, meaning they can be highly volatile for year-to-year production and are difficult to project for fantasy purposes. Adams is currently being drafted as the WR4 and 15.8 overall on Underdog Fantasy and is being drafted in the same tier as Diggs. Adams is far riskier this season at this ADP because of his likely regression. Draft Diggs over Adams at their ADPs so you don't find yourself burned come the regular season.

The Case For Davante Adams

Rob: Davante Adams is the undisputed No. 1 overall wide receiver in fantasy football. Now that we know Aaron Rodgers will indeed be in Green Bay, fantasy football managers can once again look forward to cashing in on their telepathic relationship.

It's been a rocky offseason for the Packers, but the end appears to be in sight, at least for the 2021 season. With the circumstances surrounding Lambeau this year, every Packer player knows what this is. It's the Last Dance. There is some pressure here for the Packers to make this season count, so to speak because it just might be some of their's last chance. With everything on the line this year, fantasy managers can bet on Rodgers depending on his favorite target an awful lot.

Rodgers and Adams just told us fantasy football managers everything we need to hear to commit to them for this season. 2021 will be their last rodeo and fantasy football managers are not going to want to miss it.

Fantasy football managers should always want to follow the volume. My opponent will talk about how Diggs led the league in targets with 166, 17 more than Adams had. What he'll forget to inform you is it was Adams who actually received more targets per game.

Adams averaged 10.6 targets per game, while Diggs was at 10.4. If we eliminate games where both players failed to play in 55% of the snaps in a given week (Adams left week three early and Diggs left week 17 early), we see Adams take an even more commanding lead. Adams averaged 11.2 targets per game and Diggs was at 10.5. Over a 16-game season, 11.2 targets would have Adams at 179 targets and Diggs would have been at 168 targets. That may not sound like a lot, but it essentially works out as an extra game of volume for Adams, so it cannot be dismissed.

As all fantasy managers know, not all targets are worth the same amount of points. Red zone targets are worth exponentially more because they're often associated with a higher chance of scoring touchdowns. In 2020, Adams had 28 red zone targets and Diggs had only 16. The interesting thing is Diggs was actually targeted less often in the red zone. He received 27.8% of the targets in Buffalo last season, but that number fell to 20.8% in the red zone. Adams on the other hand received 28.3% of the total targets in Green Bay, but his red zone target number shot up to 37.3%.

Not only is Adams targeted more often in general, but he's significantly more involved in the red zone. What more are fantasy managers looking for?

My opponent is likely going to argue Adams is due for some regression after a crazy good season. My response to that is simple. Who cares? Adams has plenty of room to "regress" and still be the No. 1 overall wide receiver or at the very least ahead of Stefon Diggs.

Last year, Adams averaged 21.5 points per game (PPG). Diggs was at 16.6 PPG. We're talking about a 4.4 PPG difference, which over a full season equals 70.4 points. How big of a difference is that? It's roughly the same difference between Justin Jefferson and Tee Higgins. Last year Jefferson finished as the WR6, while Higgins was the WR30. Think about that. There's plenty of room for regression.

Not to mention, Diggs is likely a regression candidate himself. Last season, he caught 76.5% of his passes. Adams was at 77.2% and is a regression candidate himself in this category. However, if Diggs regresses in terms of how many passes he catches, which will ultimately decrease his overall yardage, does it matter as much that Adams is also a regression candidate? It takes some wind out of the argument.

Since 2016, Adams has scored 10 touchdowns or more in every season where he has started more than 12 games (he has done it four times). Diggs, on the other hand, has never scored 10 touchdowns, despite 149 and 166 targets in two different seasons.

From 2016-2019 Adams had a 7.5% touchdown rate, while Diggs was at 5.8%. When we include the 2020 season, Adams's touchdown rate shoots up to 8.5%, while Diggs' touchdown rate drops to 5.5%, indicating once again, even if regression does come for Adams a bit, he still has exhibited the higher scoring potential and has plenty of room to regress and still finish as the better overall fantasy football receiver compared to Diggs.

While Josh Allen is no doubt the quarterback fantasy football managers want to have over Aaron Rodgers because of Allen's ability to run the ball, Rodgers is still the better passer with a more established track record. Allen's 2020 season was magical, maybe a touch too magical. That's not to say that Allen is going to turn back the clock and revert to his pre-2020 passing efficiency, but the increase fantasy managers saw in last year was historic and completely unprecedented. While Rodgers is also due for his own regression, he has at least displayed years and years of elite passing efficiency.

On top of that, the Packers were also the No. 1 scoring offense in 2020. This means not only does Adams have the better passing quarterback, but he's on the better overall offense. Josh Allen and the Bills are nothing to scoff at by any means and they should be excellent again in 2021, but we're trying to decide which one is the better fantasy football investment and in that regard, we need to take everything into consideration.

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