Best NFL Offenses

A lot of fantasy talk has gone around about getting players in the most “efficient” offenses. Ok, so who are these teams? Here you go, with offensive TD’s:

(1) Cowboys: 64. Surprising in some ways, but only because of their lack of success in the playoffs.
2.Buccaneers: 63. With Brady gone, expect some serious drop-off here.
3. Chargers: 58. Expect this to continue.
4a. Chiefs: 57. Disappointing, but maybe to be expected as the NFL adjusts to Andy Reid’s offense?
4b. Bills: 57. Does this get better or worse with Daboll gone?
6a. Packers: 54. Aaron Rodgers isn’t getting younger.
6b. Bengals: 54. Improve the o-line, and this gets better.
8a. Cardinals: 52. This team worries me. Could it be the Cards history of regressing from success?
8b. Rams: 52. I don’t see the Rams getting better, which is either the same or worse.
8c. Colts: 52: Pretty impressive for a Carson Wentz offense. Improve the QB and this team may be a league leader. Regardless, the o-line will carry this team far.
11. Patriots: 51. Rookie QB gives this team the 11th best offense? Mac Jones needs some more love.
12a. 49ers: 50. To be expected. If anything, this is an off year for a Shanahan offense.
12b. Eagles: 50. Wait, what?! What is this team doing here? Maybe Hurts is the next Lamar Jackson?

Beyond this, the honorable mentions: Seahawks (49), Titans (49), and Vikings (48).

This is where the dropoff occurs, with the next best teams being the Saints and Browns with 43.

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Last offseason, I did some analyzing about how important team scoring is for a player to perform.

In a nutshell: it depends.

The Dallas Cowboys are the highest-scoring team in the NFL. Yet none of their skill position players was really elite, maybe with the somewhat surprising exception of Dalton Schultz on TE.

Lamb finished as WR20, Amari as WR28, Zeke at least as RB6, Pollard as RB28 (all based on my half-PPR league).

OTOH, the Seahawks, who are not a top-12 offense, managed to support 2 top-12 WRs (Lockett as WR11, Metcalf as WR12).

It’s all about target distribution. A target hog in a mediocre offense can be a better fantasy weapon than a player in a high-powered offense that spreads the ball around a lot. Think Justin Jefferson vs. CeeDee Lamb in 2021.

Stil, it is worth keeping team production in mind. “Player X may carve out a role as WR2 on his team” carries an entirely different meaning on a 4500+ yd team that makes little use of their TEs, compared to a 3500 yd team that frequently gets TEs and RBs involved in their passing game.

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The contrary argument to yours is: When a team scores a lot of TD’s, somebody has to get them.

But I also see your point: There are some players who excel regardless of the team around them. CMC comes to mind (when he’s healthy).

Personally, I think the truth lies somewhere in-between these two extremes. A good player can be great in the right system surrounded by talent (i.e. Cooper Kupp). But a great player may only be good or worse in the wrong system (i.e. Allen Robinson for many years, Odell Beckham).

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There can also be great players in great offenses that just won’t cut it for fantasy purposes.

CeeDee Lamb is a prime example. Common consensus is he’s one of the most talented WRs in the league. He plays for the most productive offense. He doesn’t have terrifying competition in the team. And he wasn’t injured this season.

He finished as WR20 in my half PPR league.

The Cowboys had the second best passing offense in the league. 4,800 passing yards, that’s 282 per game. 41 passing TDs. It doesn’t get much better than that.

But here’s the fantasy problem: too many mouths to feed. If you look at passing yards and TDs for the individual players:
CeeDee: 1,102 / 6
Amari: 865 / 8
Schultz: 808 / 8
Wilson: 602 / 6
Gallup: 445 / 2
Pollard: 337 / 0
Zeke: 287 / 2

That’s 4,446 of 4,800 yards and 32 of 41 TDs distributed among 7 different players. Which resulted in none of the WRs making their fantasy owners happy. The best WR of the 2nd best passing offense finished only as a low-end WR2 in fantasy.

On the other side of the spectrum, Kirk Cousins and the Vikings had 500 yards and 8 TDs less than the Cowboys, making them a mediocre passing offense. But Justin Jefferson finished as WR3, as he commanded the lion’s share of that volume. 1,616 yards and 10 TDs - that’s +50% on top of CeeDee’s stat line.

CeeDees share was 22.9% / 14.6% (yards / TDs).
JJ’s share was 36.6% / 30.3%.

The Vikings’ cake was a lot smaller than the Cowboy’s, but JJ’s slice was a lot bigger.

Had JJ played for the Browns, who only passed for 3,320 yards and 20 TDs, JJ’s stat line would have been 1,200 yd / 6 TDs, even if he had commanded the same target share. But that would still have ranked him ahead of CeeDee, albeit only slightly.

TL;DR: if you want a good WR for your fantasy team, you need to look at both the team volume and the player’s target share. It’s the combination of both that determines how good a player will perform.

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Good points indeed! Actually, this may show a flaw in the Cowboys offense, as opposed to other top offenses.

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I think from an NFL point of view, it’s actually a good sign if you have many successful scorers on your team. Only for fantasy purposes, it doesn’t work that well.

Also since pass catchers in versatile teams tend to show a lot of yo-yo’ing in their weekly perfomances. Amari Cooper’s seasonal stats are a good example for that. Of his 16 games, he had 4 games with 15+ FFP, and another 4 in the 10-15 FFP range. And 8 below that, including 5 games with 5 FFP or less.

That rendered him unstartable, as you never knew when his good games would come. His ceiling was WR2+ territory, but his floor was 3 FFP, which will easily break your neck if you start him even as a flex option.

I’ll try to trade him away this offseason, but I’m afraid he’ll garner little interest in the league.

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To be honest, I haven’t been a fan of Cooper since his Raider days. He started out fine, but his last season there was a tale of alligator arms. He just wasn’t trying. Then his first season with Dallas, he looked great. My thought then was, “Enjoy him while you can, Dallas. As soon as he gets bored of you, expect the dropsies.” He’s a prima donna, and not even a good one at that.

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