Jared Goff could be a fantasy upgrade for Rams, even as a rookie

The top overall draft pick has the blessing of low standards with his new team, where he doesn't have to do a lot to outperform his predecessors.

| 4 months ago
(Harry How/Getty Images)

(Harry How/Getty Images)

Jared Goff could be a fantasy upgrade for Rams, even as a rookie

(Editor’s note: Every day, we’re offering our Crazy Fantasy Stat of the Day, something that catches our eye and helps us learn something for fantasy for 2016.)

Not much is expected out of Los Angeles Rams rookie quarterback Jared Goff in 2016. Sure, he was the No. 1 overall draft pick in April’s draft, and hopes are always high for such a pick, but for immediate fantasy impact, Goff doesn’t promise a whole lot right away.

To wit, Goff is the No. 33 quarterback in our staff consensus rankings — behind one quarterback for every team plus two different 49ers. In the recent PFF Friends and Family Dynasty League draft, which of course accounts for multiple seasons, Goff went in the middle of the second round. He might have plenty of skill, but in an offense without much in the way of wide receiver weapons, there just might not be enough for Goff to take advantage of.

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On the other hand, he has a low bar to clear in order to be the Rams’ best fantasy quarterback in a while. That’s our Fantasy Stat of the Day: In the PFF era (2007-present), the Rams’ No. 1 quarterback has finished, on average, 27th among all quarterbacks in fantasy production. That average top quarterback has only played 11.7 games a season and put up 139.2 fantasy points. The best any Rams’ quarterback has done in that span is Sam Bradford in 2012, who played all 16 games and put up 237 fantasy points … and still only finished 18th in fantasy scoring.

The Rams have run through some quarterbacks in recent years. Marc Bulger was the top passer 2007-2009, before Bradford had a four-year run at the helm. The last two years, the team’s top fantasy quarterbacks were Austin Davis and Nick Foles, which … well, that’s not so fun.

[Is Goff worth a look in two-quarterback leagues? Check our new fantasy draft tool and see.]

All of this adds up to low team standards for Goff. Imagine he stays healthy for the season and averages 15 fantasy points a game, which wouldn’t be anything special — 29 quarterbacks had a better per-game average last year. But that production over a full 16-game season would give Goff 240 fantasy points—better than any Rams quarterback has in our entire sample.

Whatever Goff ends up being, odds are heavily in favor of his being at least an improvement on Foles, Davis and Case Keenum, the guys who have been playing for the team in recent years. That’s good news for second-year running back Todd Gurley, and even better news for the wide receivers, lending credence to our Dan Schneier’s claim that wide receiver Tavon Austin could make a leap into next season’s Fantasy 101. Whatever happens, though, there’s a good chance Goff will be the Rams’ best fantasy quarterback in a decade.

Draft Guide 2016

| Fantasy Editor

Daniel Kelley is the fantasy editor for Pro Football Focus. He has previously appeared at SB Nation.

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