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Wolf's Big Board:     Monday, May 29, 2017     Tier One - The Big Three   1 ) David Johnson (ARI) RB1   2 ) Le'Veon Bell (PIT) RB2   3 ) Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) RB3   Tier Two - High-end WR1 and RB1s   4 ) Antonio Brown (PIT) WR1   5 ) Julio Jones (ATL) WR2   6 ) Mike Evans (TB) WR3   7 ) Odell Beckham JR. (NYG) WR4   8 ) DeMarco Murray (TEN) RB4   9 ) Melvin Gordon (LAC) RB5   10 ) LeSean McCoy (BUF) RB6   11 ) Jay Ajayi (MIA) RB7   12 ) AJ Green (CIN) WR5   13 ) Jordy Nelson (GB) WR6   14 ) Michael Thomas (NO) WR7   15 ) Dez Bryant (DAL) WR8   16 ) Devonta Freeman (ATL) RB8   Tier 3 - Lower-end RB1 and WR1s, elite second options   17 ) Lamar Miller (HOU) RB9   18 ) DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) WR9   19 ) TY Hilton (IND) WR10   20 ) Leonard Fournette (JAX) RB10   21 ) Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE1   22 ) Brandin Cooks (NE) WR11   23 ) Demaryius Thomas. (DEN) WR12   24 ) Jordan Reed (WAS) TE2   25 ) Doug Baldwin (SEA) WR13   26 ) Amari Cooper (OAK) WR14   Tier 3.5   27 ) Todd Gurley (LAR) RB11   28 ) Carlos Hyde (SF) RB12   29 ) Christian McCaffrey (CAR) RB13   30 ) Jordan Howard (CHI) RB14   31 ) Marshawn Lynch (OAK) RB15   32 ) Davante Adams (GB) WR15   33 ) Alshon Jeffery (PHI) WR16   34 ) Isaiah Crowell (CLE) RB16   35 ) Tyreek Hill (KC) WR17   36 ) Keenan Allen (LAC) WR18   37 ) Spencer Ware (KC) RB17   Tier 4 - Elite QBs, Solid #2 RBs + WRs, side TE1s   38 ) Bilal Powell (NYJ) RB18   39 ) Tom Brady (NE) QB1   40 ) Sammy Watkins WR19   41 ) Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB2   42 ) Travis Kielce (KC) TE3   43 ) Terrelle Pryor (WAS) WR20   44 ) Allen Robinson (JAC) WR21   44 ) Mike Gillislee (NE) RB19   45 ) Mark Ingram (NO) RB20   46 ) Golden Tate (DET) WR22   47 ) Jamison Crowder (WAS) WR23   48 ) Greg Olsen (CAR) TE4   48 ) Tevin Coleman (ATL) RB21   49 ) Willie Snead (NO) WR24   50 ) Doug Martin (TB) RB22   51 ) Michael Crabtree (OAK) WR25   52 ) Brandon Marshal (NYG) WR26   53 ) Julian Edelman (NE) WR27   54 ) Donte Moncrief (IND) WR28   55 ) Drew Brees (NO) QB3   56 ) Ameer Abdullah (DET) RB23   57 ) Jimmy Graham (SEA) TE5   58 ) Tyler Eifert (CIN) TE6   59 ) Martavis Bryant (PIT) WR29   Tier 5 - Last Startable WRs and RBs + TE1 Candidates   60 ) Pierre Garcon (SF) WR30   61 ) Eric Decker (NYJ) WR31   62 ) Jarvis Landry (MIA) WR32   63 ) Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) WR33   64 ) Samaje Perine (WAS) RB24   65 ) Joe Mixon (CIN) RB25   66 ) CJ Anderson (DEN) RB26   67 ) Matt Ryan (ATL) QB4   68 ) Stefon Diggs (MIN) WR33   69 ) Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) WR34   70 ) Ty Montgomery (GB) RB27   71 ) Hunter Henry (LAC) TE7   72 ) Corey Davis (TEN) WR35   73 ) Adrian Peterson (NO) RB28   74 ) Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) WR36   75 ) Delanie Walker TE8   76 ) Paul Perkins (NYG) RB29   77 ) CJ Prosise (SEA) RB30   78 ) Eddie Lacy (SEA) RB31   79 ) Dalvin Cook (MIN) RB32   80 ) Theo Riddick (DET) RB33   81 ) Frank Gore (IND) RB34   82 ) Cameron Meredith (CHI) WR38   83 ) Mike Wallace (BAL) WR39   84 ) DeSean Jackson (TB) WR40   85 ) Martellus Bennett (GB) TE9   TIer 7 - side QB1s and Top WR and RB Lottery Tickets   86 ) Andrew Luck (IND) QB5   87 ) Derek Carr (OAK) QB6   88 ) Kirk Cousins (WAS) QB7   89 ) Marcus Mariota (TEN) QB8   90 ) Philip Rivers (LAC) QB9   91 ) Ben Roethlisberger QB10   92 ) Dak Prescott (DAL) QB11   93 ) Jameis Winston (TB) QB12   94 ) Joe Williams (SF) RB35   95 ) Derrick Henry (TEN) RB36   96 ) Kareem Hunt (KC) RB37   97 ) Jamaal Williams (GB) RB38   98 ) Davante Parker (MIA) WR41   99 ) Josh Doctson (WAS) WR42   100 ) Ted Ginn (NO) WR43  
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Stock Up: Stefon Diggs learning all three receiver positions, star of Vikings camp

While flashier second-year wideouts like Tyler Lockett and Devante Parker are gaining all the headlines and fantasy steam, Vikings sophomore Stefon Diggs continues making plays under everyone’s radars. Diggs’ fantasy value seemed to take a serious hit after the team spent a 2016 first round pick on Laquon Treadwell, but the on-field reports suggest nothing but a massive leap forward. According to Minnesota Star Tribune’s Matt Vensel, the Maryland product was asked to learn all three receiver positions in an effort to maximize his playmaking abilities, and the results have been nothing short of exceptional. Diggs has reportedly been the most impressive offensive player throughout camp, and savvy fantasy football owners should invest heavily at his unjustified discount; Diggs is going as the WR44 and 110 overall in FantasyPros composite ADP ranks.

Let’s not forget only a few months ago Diggs was being compared to Antonio Brown after he exploded for 25 catches, 418 yards, and 2 TDs and became the first rookie to ever record 85+ yards in his first four contests. Recall Mike Wallace, who’s played with both Brown and Diggs while they were blossoming as talents, saw parallels to the Steelers great in both Diggs on field game but more importantly his work ethic and passion:

“When you look at a guy, you can tell from day one who can play football. I always felt like he could. Just the skill set, the way he runs his routes, the energy that he has. It reminds me of him. When you see somebody every single day, putting in the amount of work he does, it’s going to happen. He does a really good job of taking coaching and wanting to get better. If he messes up, he’s going to lean on anybody. He’s going to ask an older guy, ‘What should I do here? What should I do there?’ If he continues to do those things, it’ll all work out.”

That same article also noted how “the rookie’s unbridled love of football that might be fueling his early success.. during his first night at the Vikings’ rookie camp the Maryland product was running routes on his own, in the dark, long after practice… And already, Diggs talks about insights he gleans from film study like a veteran receiver.” Players with this drive and genuine love for the game give themselves the greatest chance to develop into studs.

Indeed, Diggs cooled off drastically after his scorching start, topping double digit PPR points only twice in his final 9 contests. His coaches insist this was more a product of weather and game flow than a knock on Diggs himself, as the team had the fewest passes in the entire league in 2016, particularly down the stretch. They also feel being forced into the split end role made Diggs easier to defend, as wide receivers coach George Stewart noted, “He was pigeonholed in one spot so we couldn’t move him to take advantage of matchups. That’s why we preached position flexibility.

[Now] he’s all over the place… He is a playmaker, and with playmakers like Randy Moss, Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, Roddy White, you want to give them opportunities to make plays. And that’s what he’s doing.”

In particular, Diggs is focusing on the “Z” flanker receiver role after being forced into the “X” split end position as a rookie. While the “X” receiver lines up on the line, the “Z” is lined up a bit back, which offers which offers two major advantages:

A) He’ll be able to evade press coverage far easier with some room to use his quicks to gain a free release before the defensive back has his hands on him.

B) He can be put into motion and find mismatches more easily.

The results thus far have been extraordinary:

“In the 10 days since the Vikings first reported to Mankato, Diggs has been by far the most impressive offensive player, ahead of his quarterback and new left guard Alex Boone. He has looked a lot like the kid who last season became the first rookie in NFL history to rack up 85 or more receiving yards in his first four games.

One moment he was crossing up the legs of a starting cornerback with a nifty whip route near the goal line. The next he was blowing by the secondary to catch a deep ball from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. And, yes, that was him, too, making that one-handed grab in the back corner of the end zone.

His routes seem sharper. His biceps and upper body look bigger. And his move to the flanker spot and occasionally the slot should benefit him…Plus, Diggs has been producing so many big plays that on Friday he couldn’t even remember the 70-yard bomb he caught from Bridgewater the day before, the one that left two defensive backs stumbling over each other as he pulled away.”

Clearly, Diggs himself has taken a major leap, and I always target players who love the game and never stop working. The team clearly recognizes his skill and work ethic, and is making a concerted effort to get him the ball more frequently and in more advantageous positions. Yes, the offense will remain among the most run-heavy in the league behind horse Adrian Peterson, but the team is reportedly using more shotgun-based sets to help out Teddy Bridgewater. Even a modest uptick in pass attempts would be huge for Diggs. With his own improvement and as the projected “chess piece” focal point of the passing attack, Diggs jumps up to my WR36.


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