Pick-a-Player: Diggs, Fitzgerald, or Hill - Footballguys

Footballguys staff and Facebook answer a dilemma at the 3.10 spot

The premise of a Pick-a-Player question is as follows:

  • You need a player at that position and all three are available.
  • The draft is at a stage where these players are usually drafted, and none of their bye weeks are duplicated on your current roster.

We ask two groups of people: the Footballguys staff, and the great people following the Footballguys Facebook page. If you'd like to answer a future Pick-a-Player question, they are being posted daily on our page. Like and Follow us, and you can join the great discussions taking place every day.

In this case, it is a PPR league, and you are up at Pick 3.10. Would you take Stefon Diggs, Larry Fitzgerald, or Tyreek Hill? Or would you pass on all three?

The Results

And the winner is no one. See the percentages below.

Percentage Picking...
None of the Three
Footballguys Staff
Footballguys Facebook

The Reasons (from the Staff)

Jason Wood: I would pass on all three.

Ryan Hester: I would select Diggs here. He was surpassed by Adam Thielen last season, but a quarterback change could shift some of Thielen's targets back to the more talented Diggs this season. Fitzgerald and Hill profile as polar opposites. The veteran will see plenty of volume and may start another season hot as fire, but he tends to wear down over the second half of the year and won't provide a lot of upside.

Hill, meanwhile, depends on big plays to generate his fantasy points. With Kansas City's offense changing at quarterback and with the addition of Sammy Watkins, Hill's draft price is quite steep for a player whose target share is difficult to project.

And at this stage of the draft, the running backs aren't attractive.

Justin Howe: Fitzgerald - Diggs - Hill

Ryan is correct that we don't yet know what the WR distribution will look like. Both Diggs and Thielen are volatile picks right now, both with clear WR1 upside in the 85-1,200-8 stratosphere. But that uncertainty tells us we shouldn't reach for either, and while Thielen is costly, Diggs falls into Rounds 4 and 5 at times. He's the value play between the two, but I'm not sure how he compares with these two. I'd probably chase his ceiling before Hill's, who also has a new quarterback and fresh wideout competition. But Fitzgerald - and his own new-quarterback outlook - still boasts the best PPR utility. He still carries a 100-catch ceiling, and the others could easily slip below 65.

Daniel Simpkins: I'll pass. I would rather take receivers later and take a shot on someone like Joe Mixon at this spot.

Will Grant: Having pick 3.10 means I've got 4.03 in most typical drafts. I'd pass on all three but might consider Diggs in the fourth.

Devin Knotts: I'll continue to take Tyreek Hill anytime he is available around here. The reason for this is two-fold.

  1. With the added arm-strength of Mahomes, it should allow for even more creativity with Hill in this offense, we have seen him transform into a legitimate deep threat as his yards per catch went from 9.7 in 2016 to 15.8 in 2017. The reason for this is that he is still learning and evolving as a wide receiver and last season he ran more routes than he did in 2016. I expect this evolution to continue this season and Hill to have a major year.
  2. I am completely out on Travis Kelce this season as Patrick Mahomes has never incorporated a tight end in his offense while Alex Smith throughout his entire career has always incorporated a tight end. This ultimately means an uptick in the rest of the player's production.

David Dodds: I bypass all of these guys in this tier based on how I construct my teams. Even if I have taken two running backs so far, I would be more likely to punt to tight end or another back than choose any of these three players.

Chad Parsons: This is the easiest decision of this series, siding with Larry Fitzgerald. The target floor is high and Fitzgerald sees a quarterback upgrade from last season regardless if Sam Bradford of Josh Rosen under center. While I like Christian Kirk to develop into the clear No.2 option by midseason, Arizona still has one of the weaker wide receiver groups beyond Fitzgerald in the NFL. At worst Fitzgerald is a mid-WR2 and a sturdy weekly projection.

Jeff Tefertiller: I would pass on Diggs and Hill at their current ADP and only take a shot on Fitzgerald if he slips in the draft. All three having a quarterback change may lead to a slow start.

Ryan Hester: I'm a little surprised at the Fitzgerald love. He's the model of consistency, yes, but he's old and unexciting. Let's also not forget that while Fitzgerald should see a quarterback improvement, he also gets a downgrade at head coach from offensive-minded Bruce Arians to former Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. With one quarterback being injury-prone and the other a rookie, this doesn't shape up as a team that will be top-10 in pass attempts.

This might be purely driven by the style of fantasy GM I tend to be, but I want every player I draft in the first five or six rounds to have a first-round ceiling. At the end of the season, if there were a retrospective fantasy draft, I would want at least three of my players to be first-round picks.

Fitzgerald might be the most likely of this group to pay off his draft price. But he's the least likely to end up as a mid-to-high WR1.

Bob Henry: I'm probably passing, taking a running back, or taking the risk and shooting for the upside and high week variance that Tyreek Hill adds (in Best Ball formats). While I favor Hill in this scenario, I also recognize that he's riskier than the safety that Larry Fitzgerald offers.

Derrius Guice and Mark Ingram II are some favorite targets of mine in the late third and early fourth, but much of it depends on draft spot and whether you get one of the top-five (PPR) backs, or if you go WR early and come back targeting your RB1 in this spot.

Similarly, if Ertz is on the board than I am far more likely to take him over any of these three receivers.

Jeff Haseley: If Larry Fitzgerald will have the same target shares that he racked up with Bruce Arians running the offense, my answer is him all the way. I have some reservations about how Mike McCoy is going to utilize Fitzgerald in the offense. With Arians, Fitzgerald was the default, go-to option in certain coverage situations, and he came through with flying colors. Will McCoy, and whichever quarterback is under center, have the same force-feeding mindset? That's yet to be determined. This is a toss-up for me. It's hard to go against a future Hall of Famer, so my pick would be Fitzgerald slightly over Stefon Diggs with the hope that Fitzgerald's potential swan song season will be just as productive as his previous years in the league.

Phil Alexander: I'm passing on these guys also. Diggs is the most interesting of the three, but if I'm picking a wide receiver in Round 3, it's likely because I started running back/running back, in which case I'm aiming for more upside from my WR1.

Diggs seems like a more natural fit playing alongside Kirk Cousins than Thielen, but that's far from a guarantee at this point. It's also worth noting Diggs is constantly banged up and tends to play poorly through injury.

Hill is being drafted as if the Sammy Watkins signing barely matters, which seems silly. There's plenty of overlap in their games and only one ball to go around in Kansas City for a slew of talented pass-catchers.

As for Fitzgerald, every player who has remained productive into their mid-thirties has been called ageless...until they suddenly stop producing. We can't rule out another 100-catch season, but I wouldn't gamble a third-round pick on it.

Give me T.Y. Hilton, Josh Gordon, and even Amari Cooper over all these guys in the same ADP range.

B.J. VanderWoude: I think there is the perception that there is similar talent in the next round, but I don't see anyone coming close to Fitzgerald's volume. He's caught 109, 107 and 109 passes the last three seasons, and the Cardinals have not made any aggressive moves to replace him. Betting on him to fail seems like a bad idea at this stage of a draft where 100+ catches can really solidify your team. I don't have strong feelings against Diggs, but I just don't see him reaching the total points of Fitzgerald or Hill.

In year's past, I could see myself taking Fitzgerald very quickly, but I did have to think about whether or not I wanted Tyreek Hill instead. The fact that it is a full PPR league, makes Fitzgerald the choice for me here. He finished 5th among wide receivers in standard PPR leagues, and after looking over his last three seasons, I don't see any reason why he wouldn't continue to put up big numbers. He's not overly reliant on big plays or touchdowns, he's just a technical route-runner who uses his experience to get open. The quarterback situation is a concern, but I could also see a young quarterback like Rosen keying on Fitzgerald as he learns the playbook and progressions. Sam Bradford is a veteran who, if nothing else, can move the ball through the air (238 passing yard per game over his career) and distribute heavy targets to Fitzgerald.

With Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, perhaps Hill's explosiveness won't matter as much, but I also think there's a big difference between having a quarterback who can throw you open versus one who has to throw when you're open. Devin Knotts Devin mentioned Hill's evolving skill set and I agree, he has improved his route-running each season and I would expect that to continue into this season.

I don't know where Sammy Watkins fits in here because the No. 2 wide receiver spot has been a wasteland in Kansas City for so long. Just based on the plays they've run the last couple seasons, I don't see Watkins as a threat to Hill. That is because Hill's place in the offense cannot be duplicated. I would say he's the most important chess piece that the Chiefs have in terms of exploiting one on one matchups. Hill was only 20 points behind Fitzgerald last year, so I don't think there is too big a difference between them, especially as Hill has yet to reach his ceiling as a player.

In the end, Fitzgerald's consistency is the final decision maker for me. Being able to count on 16.5 points per week, with five weeks of 25+ points is about as good as you are gonna do at the 3/4 turn. With that said, I wouldn't be too upset if I got sniped and had to take Hill instead of Fitzgerald. I think they are both solid choices at this stage of the draft.

Danny Tuccitto: My rankings say the slam dunk here is Larry Fitzgerald. But my rankings, which are based on my True Fantasy Points system, are biased towards long-tenured, same-team players like Fitzgerald. If I were to pass on Fitzgerald for this reason, I'd err slightly towards Tyreek Hill over Stefon Diggs. Although all three have a new quarterback to adjust to, I think the transition to Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City will be smoother than both the transition to Sam Bradford/Josh Rosen in Arizona and the transition to Kirk Cousins in Minnesota.

Andy Hicks: I have all three players higher than this draft slot in my rankings. In order I would take Tyreek Hill first, then Larry Fitzgerald and Stefon Diggs would be the third choice.

As Devin mentioned, the arm strength of Patrick Mahomes and the change in offense plays to the strengths of Hill. He finished as a top-five ranked fantasy option last year and still has room for improvement in his play. His touchdown numbers weren’t excessive considering his open field ability and unless Mahomes falls completely flat on his face, Hill should outperform his draft slot.

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