When the AFC Championship Game was over and the Chiefs were celebrating a trip to Super Bowl LIV with a 38-24 victory over the Bills in Kansas City, there was something that stood out. Buffalo receiver Stefon Diggs stayed on the field to watch the festivities. He wanted to see what he was missing.
Diggs said in an interview on CBS Sports HQ that for him it "was a moment of sorrow" but also a learning experience.
"It was a hell of a season that we had," said Diggs, who had six catches for 77 yards on 11 targets against Kansas City. "Just going into that new chapter for me with my new team. So many good things happened. To come up short in that moment I felt like I let my team down from my point of view. I felt like I could have done more. I wanted to remember that moment, I wanted to embrace it in its totality and have an appreciation of it and grow from it. I needed to go through that and see it because I know I'm a champion, and one day I will be."
We'll find out if Buffalo can get back to the AFC Championship Game this season, and maybe this time the Bills can be the ones celebrating a trip to the Super Bowl. They have two prominent players to make it happen with Diggs and quarterback Josh Allen, and both are excellent Fantasy options as well.
As Diggs said, his first year in Buffalo was amazing in 2020. He had career highs in receptions (127), yards (1,535) and targets (166) while scoring eight times, and he finished as the No. 2 PPR receiver behind only Davante Adams. Diggs also led the league in receiving yards.
He did this despite a limited amount of time to work with Allen prior to last season, but Diggs is excited for the future. He expects to be better this season, which is great for Fantasy managers.
"I definitely left a lot of football out there," Diggs said. "I feel like we were kind of in those beginning stages, especially me and Josh. I was learning him, and he was learning me. It kind of got on a roll toward the middle to the second half of the season.
"As far as a learning curve, people don't understand that I was with Josh for six months. You give guys six months to go make something work, and I feel like we tried our best. We did the best we could. There's a lot we can learn and grow from it. I haven't played my best ball yet. I'm scratching the surface right now. But I'm ready to tap into a new level."
Diggs will be drafted as a top five Fantasy receiver this season, and he is worth selecting as early as Round 3 in all leagues. Hopefully, Allen continues to lean on Diggs, who led the NFL in targets in 2020.
Allen benefited in a big way with Diggs on his side, finishing as the No. 2 Fantasy quarterback last year behind only Aaron Rodgers. Allen had 4,299 passing yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and he also added 421 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
I have Allen ranked as the No. 2 Fantasy quarterback this season behind Patrick Mahomes, and Allen will likely be drafted by Round 4 in most one-quarterback leagues. He's become a star quarterback.
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Diggs knows Allen didn't have the best reputation prior to 2020, and Diggs said "the way they were talking about him after I got traded there I almost got in a fight or two." Now, everyone loves Allen -- in Fantasy and reality.
"I can't say enough good things about him," Diggs said. "As you can see going into this past year, they had a lot of doubts about him. I don't know what they're talking about. I've never experienced any Josh Allen but the Josh Allen that I have now, and that guy played lights out.
"He probably needed another guy. We have some great receivers on our team, but he needed one more guy to put him in a good space. That was my job. I was brought there to make his job easier. For me, I'm just super proud of him. His progress throughout the season was something special to watch. He's definitely my MVP no matter what anybody says."
Allen and Diggs had a special season in 2020, but now they have to repeat that success again. If that happens, the Bills will have a chance for another Super Bowl run, and Fantasy managers will benefit as well.
Diggs knows it won't be easy, but he's looking forward to the challenge.
"Each year is a new year," Diggs said. "You can't use what you had last year and go into this year and think it's going to be anything sweet. We need to get back to the drawing board and do what got us there and do what made us a good team. We have to continue to go in the right direction and build that team camaraderie and having that bond as a team. It takes you far. I felt like that's what made us. We got along, we played good football and we were a family. I want to continue to build that in Buffalo."
Diggs said he will remember that moment after the loss in Kansas City for a long time. But he said it's something he doesn't want to experience again.
The next time Diggs reaches that level, he wants to be the one celebrating. We'll find out soon enough if he can make it happen this year.