Every year we have one team that seems to horde top-ranking wide receivers. While it is great if you are a fan of that team, it can be very confusing for fantasy football. This season, the Minnesota Vikings are that team. According to the official FlurrySports rankings by Zach Brunner, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are ranked as the WR11 and 15, respectively. The problem is it would be very rare to get both of these guys on a single fantasy team. After putting in a few days of hard-thought debating of the pros and cons of both of these top end wide receivers, I earnestly believe that you can’t go wrong with either of the options at their current ADP.
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However, I have an analysis for these players that will hopefully allow you to make a preferential pick. Both Thielen and Diggs had excellent 2018 seasons and have a great chance to repeat this season. Thielen finished 2018 with 1,373 yards, nine touchdowns and 113 receptions, allowing him to rank as WR7. Diggs finished the season with 1,021 yards, nine touchdowns and 102 receptions, finishing as WR12. Below are some of the weekly stats charted out in a diagram.
One of the important things we are learning about Minnesota this year is that they want to focus on running the ball more. This change started in 2018 when the Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, after their Week 14 game against Seattle.
You can see some changes in the players’ stats above after Week 14. Diggs didn’t get a boost to his snap percentage and his receptions remained consistent with the rest of the season. However, he was able to pull down a touchdown every week after Week 14, but his target share took a slight decrease. This target share decrease was not very dramatic, though.
Thielen had a fantastic start to the season. His run of 100-yard games led many fantasy owners to early wins. However, he ended the season with decreased fantasy output. I worry this may be a sign of what is to come in 2019. Once DeFilippo was fired, his target share decreased sharply, even though his snap percentages remained at a high rate. His touchdown rate came to a stop, however his catch rate remained elite.
I am taking Diggs this season.
The upside that comes with Thielen is a sought after asset for fantasy, but I am taking Diggs over Thielen right now due to the fact that Diggs seems to be the main receiving preference for touchdowns with this new coaching staff. He also seemed to be getting a better target share per game than Thielen did at the end of the 2018 season. Unfortunately for both of these players, there is no consistency with yardage per game. At this point, we can hope that target shares remain consistent, keeping both of these players relevant as high end fantasy options.