Get ready for your season with theScore’s 2017 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
A rising tide lifts all boats, and a star quarterback, running back, or even, occasionally, a superstar receiver can make his offensive teammates better and elevate their fantasy value.
Conversely, a lack of talent at key positions, especially at quarterback, can sink the fantasy value of an entire offense.
Below are five offenses you should consider avoiding entirely in your draft:
2016 passing yards: 2,951 (31st in NFL)
2016 rushing yards: 1,252 (31st in NFL)
The Rams tried to rejuvenate their offense and accelerate (or salvage) Jared Goff’s development by making Sean McVay the youngest head coach in NFL history, but the lack of talent on this unit isn’t something that can be overcome.
Todd Gurley is the big name here, but he slumped to an awful sophomore campaign in which he averaged just 3.2 yards per attempt and had no run the entire season longer than 24 yards. The offensive line was upgraded this year, though not in a major way, and Gurley can’t really get worse. But with an ADP in the second round, he’s a potential landmine, and risk-averse owners should look elsewhere.
The Rams’ receiving corps could be the worst in the NFL. Kenny Britt, who somehow produced good numbers despite horrific quarterback play last season, bolted for the Browns in the offseason. That should tell you all you need to know.
Perhaps Robert Woods is worth a last-round pick purely on the expectation of volume, but it’s hard to see him scoring many touchdowns. Tavon Austin is terrible, and rookies Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, and Gerald Everett are probably at least a year away from any fantasy value.
2016 passing yards: 2,911 (32nd in NFL)
2016 rushing yards: 2,019 (4th in NFL)
The 49ers passed on drafting a quarterback with the second overall pick, signalling that they plan to rebuild their defense this season and address the offense later. Kyle Shanahan is one of the best attacking minds in football, but he can’t squeeze much fantasy value out of an offense with Brian Hoyer throwing to No. 1 wideout Pierre Garcon. Can you name even one other receiver on this team? Bet you can’t.
Shanahan’s rushing attacks are always productive, but there are too many red flags surrounding Carlos Hyde for owners to feel comfortable drafting him. One day the reports on Hyde are glowing, the next there are rumors he could be cut or traded.
The 49ers traded up to draft Joe Williams, which suggests he could be the running back to target here. But do you really want to invest in a player who quit football in his final season of college play?
2016 passing yards: 3,969 (14th in NFL)
2016 rushing yards: 1,735 (17th in NFL)
The Bears’ inclusion on this list doesn’t mean Jordan Howard, the NFL’s runner-up for the rushing title last season, isn’t worth drafting at all. It’s merely a suggestion that Howard isn’t worth his draft price, and neither is any other player on this offense.
Howard was undeniably productive as a rookie, but he offers very little in the passing game, and the Bears are likely to be in passing mode while trailing many games this year.
Opposing defenses will stack the box against Howard and challenge the Bears to beat them through the air. Whether it’s Mike Glennon or raw rookie Mitchell Trubisky under center, they probably won’t do much damage. Cameron Meredith is a mildly intriguing receiving prospect, but he’s not a No. 1, and he might have to be, considering his surrounding cast includes mega-bust Kevin White and castoffs Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright.
2016 passing yards: 3,466 (27th in NFL)
2016 rushing yards: 1,802 (12th in NFL)
The Jets appear to be tanking. They cut ties with some of their best offensive players this offseason and made no effort to replace them. There’s no reason for fantasy owners to invest in a team that isn’t trying its best to score points and win games.
Players like Bilal Powell and Quincy Enunwa may appear as values at their depressed ADP, but you’re probably better off searching for players in offenses that actually have upside.
2016 passing yards: 3,740 (19th in NFL)
2016 rushing yards: 1,748 (15th in NFL)
The Chiefs were a playoff team each of the last two seasons, but they’re much closer to embarking on a rebuilding phase than many people realize.
The evidence: the Chiefs traded away a future first-round pick to draft Patrick Mahomes (a mega-raw quarterback who likely won’t see the field this season) and released key offensive players like Jamaal Charles and Jeremy Maclin. They know Alex Smith isn’t the answer, and they know a salary-cap crunch is coming.
Tyreek Hill was dynamic as a rookie, but he did much of his fantasy scoring on special teams and gimmick plays, and will now be asked to serve as the Chiefs’ No. 1 receiver and beat No. 1 cornerbacks. That’s a recipe for disaster.
There are reasons for pessimism about Spencer Ware, too. He flopped as the Chiefs’ workhorse last year, failing to top 70 yards rushing after Week 7 and finishing the year with a paltry five total touchdowns.
Travis Kelce was a bright spot, for sure, and could see even greater volume this year, but he’s expensive at his ADP and there’s no shortage of intriguing tight ends available many rounds later.
Avoiding the Chiefs entirely is a bold move for fantasy owners, but in most drafts there’s a more appealing player on the board when Hill, Ware, and Kelce are selected.
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