Amplification of deterministic disturbances in inertialess channel flows of viscoelastic fluids is studied by analyzing the frequency responses from spatio-temporal body forces to the velocity fluctuations. In strongly elastic flows, we show that velocity fluctuations can exhibit significant amplification even in the absence of inertia. Our analysis demonstrates that streamwise-constant disturbances are the most amplified. Explicit expressions are established for the worst-case amplification of velocity fluctuations arising from different components of the body forces. These show that amplification from the wall-normal and spanwise forces to the streamwise velocity component scales quadratically with the Weissenberg number. The underlying physical mechanism involves stretching of polymer stress fluctuations by a background shear, which is a close analog of the vortex titling mechanism that is responsible for amplification in inertial flows of Newtonian fluids.