Fantasy Football

NFL fantasy football: Michael F. Florio's impact of new coaches

There has been no shortage of coaching moves ever since the end of the NFL regular season. There were nine head coaching jobs up for grabs, as well as some offensive coordinator positions. That means there will be many offenses that are now being run by a different play caller, which is sure to shake things up in fantasy.

Teams With New Head Coaches

The Bears moved on from Matt Nagy after the regular season and moving forward former Colts DC Matt Eberflus will operate as their head coach. The offense will now be run by Luke Getsy, who previously served as the Packers QB coach. This is Getsy's first go-around as an OC in the NFL -- but he did previously serve in this role in college as the coordinator for Mississippi State in 2018. In that lone season, Getsy's offense passed 54% of the time and ran 46%. But his offense did throw a deep pass on 23% of their plays -- which ranked 30th out of 233 teams that season. His offense ranked 39th in pass yards per attempt (6.9) 96th in screen passes (14%) and 68th on play-action passes (33%). His offense also ran 11 personnel (three WR sets) 98% of the time, that was the fifth most that season. This is far from a perfect science, but it does help give a peek of what the Bears' new offense could look like next season. An early expectation should be seeing a lot of three wide receivers with a balanced attack that focuses on throwing the ball deep more on passing plays -- last year the Bears threw deep just 12% of the time, which ranked 20th in the NFL. An offense like this can play to the strength of Justin Fields, who can scramble if needed and has a strong arm and deep ball. A potential breakout for Fields remains on the table in an offense of this style. Getsy also operated the past two seasons in Nathaniel Hackett's offense, who is now with the Broncos.

Hackett is now the Broncos head coach and he brought Justin Outten, the Packers former tight end coach, with him to serve as his offensive coordinator. Hackett has served the last three years as the Packers offensive coordinator. Those offenses finished between 12th and 17th in rushing attempts, once finishing in the Top 10 in rushing yards and touchdowns. They did finish inside the Top 10 in passing yards and in the top five in touchdowns in each of the past two seasons. That is largely due to having Aaron Rodgers, but Hackett has shown he can change his offense to fit his personnel. His offenses have finished inside the top two in the NFL in rushing attempts and yards multiple times (as Bills and Jags OC), while doing so once in touchdowns. In his three seasons with the Packers, they threw the ball on 58% of their plays, with 21% going to RBs, 57% to WRs and 17% to tight ends. The Broncos have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball and Hackett could get the most out of them, but it all depends on who their QB will be next season.

The Dolphins nabbed Mike McDaniel from the 49ers to be their next head coach. McDaniel has served under Kyle Shanahan for a decade now, getting his first opportunity to help run the offense in 2021, his lone season as an offensive coordinator. In that one season, the Niners ranked 29th in pass attempts, but 12th in yards and 14th in touchdowns. On the ground they thrived, ranking fifth in attempts and touchdowns and seventh in rushing yards. The Niners threw just 52% of the time, the fourth fewest in the NFL. Of those passes, 19% went to RBs, 57% to receivers and 20% to tight ends. There will be people saying Shanahan was the brains behind the Niners offense, but even if so, McDaniel has helped design that offense for years now and really got to influence it in 2021. You must feel good about Jaylen Waddle after seeing how creative the Niners were with Deebo Samuel. There is only one Samuel, but McDaniel has already shown he can find ways for his best playmakers to thrive. Do not be surprised if the Dolphins go after former 49ers, especially if they try to nab one of Raheem Mostert or Jeff Wilson Jr. Expect a run-heavy offense, that should find creative ways to highlight Waddle in this offense.

The Giants went out and grabbed former Bills OC Brian Daboll to be their next head coach. Daboll, who somehow did not land a gig in the last coaching cycle, cemented himself with another strong campaign in 2021. Daboll has an interesting resume when it comes to play calling. He served as the OC in Cleveland, Miami, and Kansas City before serving in that position the past four seasons in Buffalo. In his eight years as an OC, his offenses finished in the top six in rushing attempts in five of his first six seasons. They routinely finished inside the top 10 in rushing yards, but never did so in touchdowns. His offenses, completely flipped on their heads the past two seasons, when they finished inside the top 10 in passing yards and touchdowns, while abandoning the run at times. That is largely because of Josh Allen, but Daboll deserves credit for not only helping develop Allen, but for recognizing his team's strength and completely revamping the offense. He has spoken a lot about the value of passing in today's NFL, so expect the Giants to continue to throw a good amount. This past year the Giants threw 60% of the time, which topped the Bills (59.7%). In the past two seasons with the Bills, 18% of passes went to RBs, with 61% going to receivers and 18% to tight ends. Daboll is a more proven play caller at the NFL level than the Giants last had and should help this passing attack take some strides forward. Kadarius Toney remains a breakout candidate that you can likely get at a discount after a down rookie season.

The Jaguars had a long search but ended up landing on Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson to be their next head coach. There are five years of Pederson leading an offense with the Eagles to look back on. At the very least, Pederson should provide stability after what the Jaguars went through last season. Plus, he has a history of helping develop QBs, getting the most out of Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, and even a small sample with Jalen Hurts while with the Eagles. It's hard to knock Trevor Lawrence for struggling as a rookie given all he had to deal with, but his sophomore year should be better. With Philly, Pederson's offenses finished inside the Top 12 in scoring in each of his first four seasons. The Eagles finished just one time outside the Top 10 in pass attempts, and that one time they finished 13th. So, it's safe to expect a good amount of passing for the Jaguars in 2022. Three of the five seasons they finished 12th or better in passing touchdowns, including the 2017 Super Bowl season when they led the league. In his five seasons, the Eagles passed the ball on 60% of their plays with 17% of passes going to RBs, 48% to receivers and 32% to tight ends. Personnel will always impact play calling, but Pederson has always highlighted a tight end in his system. Whether it's Dan Arnold or someone else, the Jags starting tight end is one to keep an eye on for fantasy purposes. Pederson's offenses finished inside the Top 10 in rushing attempts three times as well in his five seasons -- but it was not as fantasy friendly as it sounds. They never finished better than 13th in rushing touchdowns and we often saw multiple backs split time. Here are the highs for his running backs in the five seasons he was with the Eagles: 179 carries, 867 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs. Only one time did a running back top 200 fantasy points, and only three times in five years did one top 150 points. The Jaguars already have a solid RB duo in Travis Etienne and James Robinson, if both are healthy. Expect the duo to share a lot of work, making it harder for them to be consistently productive each week in fantasy. Former Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter was named passing game coordinator for Peterson and the Jags. His offenses with the Lions featured a lot of passes to running backs and slot receivers, but twice he finished inside the Top 10 in passing yards and touchdowns in four seasons. In all four years they finished inside the top 11 in passing attempts. It furthers the thinking that the Jags could throw a lot.

The Raiders made a splash by hiring former Patriots OC Josh McDaniels to be their next head coach. Sure, he benefitted from calling plays for the G.O.A.T. for years, but those concerns should be alleviated by how he was able to change the Patriots offense without Tom Brady and for helping Mac Jones perform the best of all rookie QBs in Year 1. McDaniels' offenses ranked inside the Top 10 in passing attempts in all but two years since 2012 -- each of the two without Brady. They ranked 31st with Cam Newton in 2020 and 25th last year with Mac Jones -- but they finished 14th overall in passing yards showing he was still running an efficient passing attack. The Patriots finished inside the Top 10 in rushing attempts in four years straight and five of the last six. Those offenses have been inside the Top 10 in rushing TDs in every season since 2012 and inside the Top 12 in every year in rushing yards. We have seen McDaniels operate offenses built off the run, with passing attacks geared around a slot receiver and a big, athletic tight end. Ironically, the best weapons for the Raiders are their running back Josh Jacobs, slot receiver specialist Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller. Renfrow could be the Edelman to Waller's Gronkowski in this offense. Plus, the Raiders have resources to find an outside receiver this offseason. There are reasons to feel optimistic about this offense next season.

The Saints hired longtime defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as their next head coach. Allen has a previous tenure as a head coach, leading the Raiders from 2012 through 2014. Those teams finished in the top five in passing attempts twice, but only once did they finish in the top half of the league in passing yards and touchdowns. They did not run the ball well, but that was largely because they were a team devoid of talent that would be trailing often. Much of the offense's identity will be determined by the offensive coordinator, but this is a team with a lot of questions on offense. The most likely scenario here is to have fantasy interest in Alvin Kamara and potentially not a whole lot else.

The Texans surprised many when they went away from their list of finalists and hired Lovie Smith to be their next head coach. Smith served as the Bears head coach from 2004 to 2014, reaching the Super Bowl once, and then was the Bucs head coach in 2014 and 2015. During his entire tenure as a head coach, his teams finished inside the Top 10 in passing attempts just twice and routinely were outside the Top 20. Multiple times they would finish inside the Top 10 in rushing attempts. As a defensive minded coach his approach was often to ground and pound. But new OC Pep Hamilton will have a say in that as well. Hamilton was the QB coach with the Texans and deserves a lot of credit for helping Davis Mills develop as the year went on. He was with the Chargers in the same role in 2020. He has been an offensive coordinator once before with the Colts from 2013 to 2015. In two of those seasons the Colts finished in the Top 10 in passing attempts and in 2014 they led the league in passing attempts, yards, and TDs. This is a Texans team that is still void of a bunch of talent on the offensive side of the ball. I would expect an emphasis on running the ball given the personnel. Hamilton should continue to help this passing game develop.

The Vikings have not yet officially named a new coach, but that will happen after the Super Bowl when they announce Rams Offensive Coordinator Kevin O'Connell as their next head coach. O'Connell has been an OC in the NFL for the past three seasons. The last two he worked under Sean McVay, who we know has his fingerprints all over the Rams offense, but O'Connell deserves credit as well. He also was an OC with Washington in 2019. His offenses have finished inside the Top-12 in passing attempts the past two years and topped out this year finishing fifth in passing yards and second in touchdowns. He has also worked previously with Kirk Cousins as his QB coach in 2017. That season Cousins topped 4,000 passing yards and threw for 27 touchdowns. The Vikings have a lot of proven talent on the offensive side of the ball, and this should once again be a very fantasy friendly offense if they keep it together.

Teams with New Offensive Coordinators

The Bills lost Brian Daboll but went out and promoted pass game coordinator/QB coach to be their new offensive coordinator, as publicly requested by Josh Allen. The Bills also added Joe Judge to be their QB coach and Aaron Kromer to coach the offensive line. Normally I would not talk up an o-line coach hire, but there was a lot of hype around it on social media. The Bills will once again bring back Josh Allen and many of the weapons around him next season -- so there is not reason to worry.

The Lions promoted TE coach Ben Johnson to be their next offensive coordinator, replacing Anthony Lynn. In the middle of the season last year Head Coach Dan Campbell took over play calling duties and Johnson was elevated to pass-game coordinator and drew rave reviews from many of the Lions players. That change occurred in Week 10. The Lions ran a more balanced offense attack from Week 10 on passing just 55% of the time, compared to 65% in the first nine weeks. We also saw the Lions put an added emphasis on getting their receivers more involved. In the first nine weeks, Lions receivers saw just 44% of targets, while backs saw 27% and tight ends 22%. From Week 10 on receivers saw 62% of targets, while backs dropped to 18% and tight ends to 15%. That led to Amon-Ra St. Brown breaking out down the stretch. The Lions still need more talent on offense, but they are sticking with what worked for them down the stretch -- if nothing else this should be a good move for St. Brown.

The Packers promoted offensive line coach Adam Stenavich to be their next OC. He has served as an O-line coach in college and the Niners before this opportunity. There is not much to go off here, outside of Aaron Rodgers has been very high on him. Still, Matt LaFleur will have a heavy influence on this offense and more than anything it comes down to what happens with both Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams.

The Panthers hired Ben McAdoo to be their offensive coordinator. McAdoo operated as the Giants offensive coordinator before serving two years as their head coach. He was with the Giants from 2014 to 2017. In those four seasons the Giants ranked 22nd in PPG (21.2), 29th in rushing yards per game (96.5), 11th in passing yards per game (260.6) and 21st in offensive TDs. They threw the ball plenty though ranking seventh in pass percentage (61%). Of those passes 20% went to running backs, 58% to receivers and 21% to tight ends. That number may be skewed in Carolina if Christian McCaffrey stays healthy. The Panthers have a lot of talented playmakers, but McAdoo will struggle to get the most out of it until they answer the QB question.

The Patriots have yet to hire an offensive coordinator to replace McDaniels, but this is a very important spot to keep an eye on. Bill Belichick runs the defense for the Pats, but the offense had belonged to McDaniels for years. This hire will greatly impact all the offensive pieces in New England, especially the development of Mac Jones.

Follow Michael F. Florio on Twitter and Instagram @MichaelFFlorio

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