Texans acquiring Stefon Diggs may make Nico Collins into a fantasy steal

The Texans' acquisition of Stefon Diggs might make Nico Collins a value pick in 2024 fantasy football drafts.
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After totaling 70 receptions for 927 yards and three touchdowns over his first two seasons, things came together nicely for Houston Texans wide receiver Nico Collins in 2023. He and C.J. Stroud had a nice rapport, and a third-year breakout came (80 catches for 1,297 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games).

In fantasy, Collins was a top-12 wide receiver across the board (standard, 0.5-point PPR, full PPR) last year. Looking to 2024, even with the healthy return of Tank Dell, there was reason to think Collins can keep it going.

Then the Texans acquired Stefon Diggs from the Buffalo Bills earlier this month. While his production fell late last season, Diggs still tied for the sixth-most targets in the league (160) and he was top-10 in catches (107). The balance of targets has automatically shifted in the Texans' passing game, with the magnetic (and at times malcontent) force Digg is in that regard.

So now, Collins' fantasy stock is falling and will surely keep falling as draft season gets closer. His Expert Consensus Ranking among wide receivers, via Fantasy Pros, has fallen three spots (WR16 to WR19) in the last week (as of April 15). ADP data being what it is in April, which is to say limited, Diggs and Collins are close in two of three core scoring formats. In full PPR (ESPN), per Fantasy Pros, Collins is WR10 while Diggs is WR16 (as of April 15).

Nico Collins is a more appealing fantasy WR than Stefon Diggs this year

It's easy to point Collins' efficiency numbers from last season, including 16.2 yards per catch, 11.9 yards per target, 3.11 yards per route run (all top-7 numbers in the league), and say they're not sustainable. His target share (22.7 percent) was already low for a fantasy WR1, and now Diggs is coming for a high volume of targets. Houston may throw the ball more next season, but they already had a top-12 passing rate in the league last year (59.1 percent).

Collins is obviously a better asset than Diggs in dynasty leagues, at 25 years old compared to Diggs entering his age-31 season. But for this year alone, if their ADPs are comparable, Collins is a better choice based on upside. If Collins' ADP falls below Diggs', Collins becomes a real potential draft value.

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Collins isn't the clear WR1 for the Texans, at least for this year. But to crush his fantasy prospects for 2024 based on Diggs' presence and resume is too aggressive.