Robert Woods moves to Los Angeles; fantasy stock low
The Los Angeles Rams will seek to fill the void left by Kenny Britt via the addition of former Buffalo Bills wideout Robert Woods. The Rams are signing Woods to a five-year contract worth $39 million, with $15 million guaranteed, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Woods has been a mediocre talent for the Buffalo Bills since entering the league in 2013. His best season came in 2014, when he logged 64 catches for 697 yards and five scores. He caught 51 passes for 613 yards and one touchdown in 2016.
As ho-hum as Woods was for the Bills, his departure hurts Buffalo, because it leaves virtually nobody behind Sammy Watkins on the depth chart. Look for Buffalo to fill that void quickly.
In Los Angeles, Woods joins a wideout corps that includes Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper and Michael Thomas (no — not that Michael Thomas). Brian Quick could also remain in Los Angeles, but he’s a free agent.
As sad as it is, Woods could become Los Angeles’ No. 1 wideout. If that’s the case, we have to pay some attention to him in fantasy by default.
While serving as the Rams’ No. 1 receiver in 2016, Kenny Britt gained over 1,000 yards and finished the season as a tail-end WR2 for fantasy purposes. Woods, however, is not as good as Britt, so we can go ahead and call that type of season Woods’ absolute ceiling. He’s more of a fantasy benchwarmer who could maybe fill your flex spot once the bye weeks hit hard.
The addition of Woods has little impact on Tavon Austin’s role in the offense — not that you should really care much about Austin at this point, anyway. Woods had an average depth of target of 11.3 yards last year, while Austin’s aDOT was 7.7. They work different areas of the field.
Woods’ presence more likely will have the biggest impact on Cooper and Thomas, as his arrival will mean that one of those young receivers will need to wait a little longer for their chance. Cooper played 202 snaps in 2016, while Thomas played only 105.
Barring some huge, unexpected leap in production from Jared Goff in 2017, you can safely avoid Los Angeles’ entire group of receivers and be just fine in fantasy.