Wed Aug 5 8:11pm ET
By MARK LUDWICZAK
In this Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 file photo, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs runs on the field before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Minneapolis. Stefon Diggs is getting his new beginning with the Buffalo Bills, and he isnt dwelling on his acrimonious departure from the Minnesota Vikings. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File)
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Stefon Diggs has a new beginning with the Buffalo Bills.
And he isn't dwelling on his departure from the Minnesota Vikings.
Speaking with Buffalo reporters for the first time since his blockbuster trade in March, Diggs repeatedly expressed excitement over his new surroundings while also downplaying his role in leaving Minnesota.
''As far as my past with Minnesota, I never actually said anything,'' Diggs said. ''But, granted, this new situation, I can say I'm excited. There's no right or wrong or problems to be fixed or something to replace with my old situation. I have a lot of respect for the Minnesota Vikings.''
Last season with the Vikings, Diggs was fined more than $200,000 for unexcused absences from practices in October. He was also known for cryptic tweets that may or may not have offered insight into his situation with the team. Prior to being traded to Buffalo, Diggs tweeted ''it's time for a new beginning'' - and hours later he was a member of the Bills for four draft picks.
In Buffalo, he's expected to be the unquestioned No. 1 receiver on a team hoping to win the AFC East following Tom Brady's exit from the division.
''I never really was too vocal about it. `It's time for a new beginning' was enough said,'' Diggs said. ''I'm super excited with my new situation. I feel like this is also a great organization built on a lot of hard-working guys, a lot of guys that really grind to get to where they're at.
''I trust the people that are in place. I'm just happy to be a part of it at this point. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything like that, I'm just trying to be as helpful as I can, be a puzzle piece, try to mesh as well as I can to help this team win.''
Diggs has been a game-breaker throughout his career and the Bills are hoping he's the finishing piece who can put them over the top. Diggs finished last season with a career-high 1,130 yards receiving and he was fourth in the league with an average of 17.9 yards per reception. He's considered one of the best route runners in the NFL and is set to form a solid receiving trio alongside John Brown and Cole Beasley.
Priority No. 1 for Diggs with his new team is to work on establishing chemistry with quarterback Josh Allen. The two met up for unofficial workouts in Florida earlier this summer, but have plenty of work to make up with the lack of a traditional offseason.
''I'm super excited,'' Diggs said. ''He's going into Year 3. As a quarterback, as a guy, big arm, big quarterback, a lot of heart, he runs around, he's mobile, can extend the play. He does a lot of things extremely well. More so focused on how I can help him, anything I can do to help him. Always be in his ear, having communication with him, if he needs something from me ... I'm just there to be his supporting cast on whatever he needs and play receiver.''
So far, so good according to teammate and standout cornerback Tre'Davious White.
''Obviously he's a Grade A talent,'' White said. ''To have a transcendent talent like that to add with the other guys that we have ... on paper, it looks great. Those guys are going to have to continue to work each and every day. Just on paper, we look sexy (on offense), we look good.''
After expressing some concerns one month ago about playing football this year - and hours after White said that he was unsure about his own plans for this season - Diggs said that he will be playing amid coronavirus concerns.
''Seeing that the deadline is tomorrow, I'm pretty much bought in on playing football,'' Diggs said. ''I've been here buying into the process as far as getting to know my teammates, getting to know my coaches, kind of starting to get the ball rolling. I put in a lot of time in the offseason training and (working on) my craft ... I made some arrangements where I'm going to be playing football this year.''
NOTES: The Bills activated CB Ike Brown and S Siran Neal off the reserve/COVID-19 list. To make room on the roster, Buffalo released RB Antonio Williams and DE Jonathan Woodard.
August 5th: ADP Value
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft and has a high ceiling without a doubt, especially since he will be catching passes from No. 1 overall selection Joe Burrow. Both rookies have built a rapport already as the duo conducted workouts together during the offseason. Higgins finished his final season at Clemson with 59 catches and 13 touchdowns off of 1,167 yards. While he is a risky selection in redraft leagues this season due to his potential limited playing time, he is surely worth a first-round pick in dynasty formats as he will likely rack up plenty of receptions from Burrow for years to come.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has begun catching passes from rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow as the team kicks off training camp. The 25-year-old has plenty of hype heading into the 2020 season after racking up over 1,000 yards in his previous two seasons. With A.J. Green seemingly healthy along with the addition of Clemson wideout Tee Higgins, Boyd could see things open up more on the offensive end, while also remaining the team's top pass-catcher.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green went through his first walkthrough under second-year head coach Zac Taylor on Tuesday. The veteran, who recently signed a one-year tender a few weeks ago, missed all of 2019 after injuring his ankle during training camp. While consistent ailments have been the theme for the 32-year-old over the past seasons, there is no denying his ability when healthy. He is no longer considered an elite wideout, however, he is worth a mid-round pick for those looking for an option with an enormous upside.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is still without a new deal as the team heads toward the 2020 season. However, according to director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, the organization views the 24-year-old as a "cornerstone piece of the franchise." Mixon is looking for a contract that would pay him north of $8 million per year, a significant increase from the $1.2 million that he is expected to earn in the final year of his rookie deal. The former Sooner is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and is projected by many to be a fantasy breakout by year's end.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was quick to respond to Ed Werder's Twitter post regarding a potentially reduced role for the former rushing champ, quipping "we all gonna eat." Though Elliott is a shoo-in, first-round pick in fantasy drafts for the 2020 campaign, many still wonder how he will co-exist on an offense that has plenty of mouths to feed, notably Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and 17th overall pick, CeeDee Lamb. Elliott finished 2019 as a top-five back in the majority of formats. Under new head coach Mike McCarthy, who has overseen some productive runners throughout his career, the 25-year-old could be in store for another productive year.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas broke the single-season receptions record last year by racking up 149 catches, surpassing Marvin Harrison's 2002 mark of 143. While that accomplishment would be good enough for most throughout the league, the 27-year-old is aiming to exceed his 2019 total heading into the 2020 campaign. Thomas convincingly dominated the fantasy picture last season, and in addition to his catch total, he also accumulated over 1,700 yards while finishing fifth in yards after the catch. He is expected to finish as the top fantasy wideout this season, and will likely get snagged off the draft board within the top three picks, especially in PPR formats.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was called "the main guy" in the running back room by his coach Bruce Arians. Arians said he is confident in Jones II and that the other guys are fighting for roles. The other guys include third-round draft pick Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who will lose valuable practice time after he hit the COVID-19 list, and veteran running back LeSean McCoy, who won't challenge for a lead back role at this point in his career. Jones II looks the part after an offseason spent bulking up and catching hundreds of passes to address a weakness in his game. The 23-year-old has RB2 upside in the 7th round but it's likely that Vaughn and McCoy cut into his ceiling in 2020, despite what Arians said.
San Francisco 49ers WR Travis Benjamin has opted out of the 2020 season.
Arizona Cardinals TE Maxx Williams (undisclosed) passed his physical Tuesday, Aug. 4, and was taken off the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Jacksonville Jaguars DB D.J. Hayden (knee) passed his physical and was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Updating a previous story, Las Vegas Raiders LB Ukeme Eligwe was placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Updating a previous story, Miami Dolphins WR Allen Hurns was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Updating previous stories, free-agent RB LeSean McCoy (Chiefs) officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Buffalo Bills DT Vincent Taylor was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Devontae Booker was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Updating a previous story, Las Vegas Raiders DT P.J. Hall was released after failing his physical with the Minnesota Vikings and the trade was nullified.
New York Jets RB Trenton Cannon was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Las Vegas Raiders LB Ukeme Eligwe opted out of the 2020 season Tuesday, Aug. 4.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (undisclosed) passed his physical and was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu won't warrant much fantasy consideration heading into the season regardless of who is under center for the Patriots. He may become a streaming option later in the year.
Oakland Raiders DT P.J. Hall (undisclosed) failed his physical with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, Aug. 4, and reverts back to the Raiders. They intend to cut him.