Stefon Diggs traded to Houston Texans: Fantasy football impact

During his introductory press conference with the Bears, Keenan Allen let slip that the Houston Texans were one of the teams close to acquiring his services when the Chargers shopped him. That signaled that the Texans were interested in adding a wide receiver, but not just any warm body to fill out the depth chart; they were looking for a high-level, proven veteran needle-mover at the position.

They found a match with now-former Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs and were able to seal the deal with a 2025 second-round pick.

Texans trade 2025 second-round pick for Stefon Diggs, 2024 sixth-round pick and 2025 fifth-round pick

Stefon Diggs and the Bills enjoyed a remarkable journey together. His arrival coincided with a pivotal period that saw Josh Allen evolve into one of the NFL’s most formidable quarterbacks. The dynamic duo's synergy was undeniable. Allen helped make it evident to all that Diggs had been performing at the level of a top-tier No. 1 wideout for years. However, over the last few months, it became clear that this successful partnership was reaching its conclusion, for one reason or another.

Buffalo has a pair of quality wide receivers in Curtis Samuel and Khalil Shakir at the top of the depth chart and a Round 1 tight end selection from last year in Dalton Kincaid. They aren’t totally bereft of options surrounding Allen, but if it wasn’t already, wide receiver is right at the top of the organization’s needs as April’s NFL Draft looms.

In a deep class of X-receivers, they can stand pat in the late first round and find their next WR1. On the other hand, while it may be nothing more than fan fiction, don’t rule out an aggressive move up the draft board to secure Allen’s next target hog.

The Bills offense will miss Diggs unless the team can acquire a ready-made difference-maker in the draft — not an impossible ask this year. But no one should be worried about Allen’s production or output. He’s a proven player and can make it work with the room as currently constructed, plus a rookie added to the mix.

The Texans' side of this trade is far more interesting and provides a more challenging on-paper projection. Adding Diggs gives Houston what has to be considered one of the best wide receiver rooms in the NFL. It also presents us with a bit of a target squeeze.

Who will have the best fantasy outlook among Houston's receiver trio?

Tank Dell and Nico Collins were a revelatory duo last season, averaging a near-identical target share in full games together and producing at the same level in two different roles.

Dell was an instant hit as a rookie because he could beat man coverage and win on high-degree-of-difficulty downfield routes.

However, we have to remember he’ll be coming off a serious late-season injury. You know this has to be on the Texans’ mind as they were looking for high-level receiver help this offseason. When healthy, Dell provides the Texans with inside/outside flexibility and will carry a large aDOT, even if his target totals are modest.

In my opinion, Collins is on the superstar trajectory as an X-receiver. He had a breakout statistical season last year, but don't be fooled: His film was great the first two seasons of his career, and Reception Perception showed he was shining in isolation well before C.J. Stroud's arrival. Collins holds a crucial role in this offense as the X who runs in-breaking routes. He and Stroud enjoyed an instant connection and that should continue to blossom.

Now, enter Diggs, who may be a slightly diminished deep-game player but is still a fantastic separator and quality receiver. He will not project for nearly the same 161-target season-long average he maintained in Buffalo as a member of Houston's receiver room, but won’t come at nearly as steep in ADP in fantasy football, either. Diggs will give Stroud a clear layup target and allow all of these receivers to move around and operate in different roles. His addition is a clear net positive for the efficiency outlook of the entire Houston offense.

For Diggs’ individual outlook, one of the biggest variables of his projection in the event of a trade was that wherever he went, he’d almost certainly experience a quarterback downgrade. The Texans are one of the few teams where you can reasonably argue that the dropoff may not exist.

I’m not saying that right now, at this moment, C.J. Stroud is a better quarterback than Josh Allen. However, every piece of evidence from his rookie season showed he has the ability to join the elite tier. The highly accurate Stroud threatened every blade of grass on the field in Year 1 while demonstrating high-level pre- and post-snap processing. He ranked 12th in EPA per dropback last season among quarterbacks while operating a big-boy NFL offense as a rookie. The sky is the limit for this player.

The Texans are officially a fantasy "right answer"

There are at least one or two offenses every season that provide multiple right answers in fantasy football. A type of unit that makes target-tree debates seem irrelevant and produces multiple “ADP winners.” For a team to field an offense like that, they need to have a high-quality first- or second-tier quarterback, a sharp offensive play-caller, a good overall ecosystem with an offensive line and multiple dangerous receiving threats. All the data we have available points to Houston possessing each and every one of those variables. You don’t even have to squint to see it.

It was easy to get excited about the Texans before this Stefon Diggs trade. Now, their chances of becoming the right-answer offense seem impossibly high. I’ll be very much in on multiple Houston Texans passing-game players at cost when the ADP dust settles in the summer.

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