Fantasy Impact of NFL Coaching Changes
We can’t predict the future, but we can look to the past to make some pretty accurate guesses about how things might play out in the weeks and months to come. Ten different NFL teams have decided to make some changes to their coaching staff during the offseason, and we’re going to be looking at the history of these coaches to determine how they might influence the future of their new teams. This sort of information and analysis can really help fantasy players, especially in the early weeks of the season.
Between your season-long fantasy drafts, watching the games, getting your FanDuel and DraftKings accounts funded, and doing your player research done, by the time week one of the season rolls around it may be too late to lock in this sort of foundational knowledge that is so important for daily fantasy success. You have to understand systems, playcalling tendencies, player roles within systems, and even more details for each NFL prior to the first week of games. This starts with getting a base knowledge of who is calling the shots for each NFL team.
Rob Chudzinski, Colts
Chudzinski has switched to the offensive coordinator role with the Colts, and his pass to run ratio or 57:43 shows that he really does favor the pass. In the last 24 games, Chudzinski called an average of 40.3 passes in each game, but it’s important to look at these statistics in context. In the past, he’s worked with a poor Browns team and a Panthers team dominated by Cam Newton, so it made sense for him to favor the pass. We can expect a few more runs this season with the Colts, but fantasy fans need to be careful here as the work will probably be spread out quite a lot between the TE, WRs and RBs. One man who will surely benefit is Andrew Luck, so he might be worth including in your rosters.
Adam Gase, Dolphins
Having spent just one year with the Bears, Gase has decided to move on to Miami. Still, he did seem to enjoy his time at the Bears as he had a level of control that wasn’t quite possible during his time with the Broncos. Last season, he had a pass to run ratio of 53:47, while his new team had a ratio of 60:40. Due to the nature of the Miami team, Gase will probably have to rely on the pass more often than not, but we can expect to see plenty of runs, so there should be some chances for his RBs to shine. Jay Ajayi could be set for a great season, while young Kenyan Drake also has a lot of potential. In the past, we’ve seen Gase adapt his calls to suit his team. He focuses on his best players and lets them get involved in the action, so we expect the Dolphins’ receivers to do well this season. This means that DeVante Parker could be worth serious consideration for your fantasy contests.
Hue Jackson, Browns
After a few years spent with the Bengals in several different roles, Jackson has been given the position of Head Coach in Cleveland. His average pass to run ratio is 54:46, and he has also allowed an average of 24.7 RB carries in each game. During his brief time with the Browns so far, Jackson has already revealed his admiration for Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell, so we can expect these two young RBs to be given plenty of opportunities by their new coach. If you have to pick between them, we rate Johnson as the guy with the most potential. He could put up some big numbers in 2016. With so much focus on the backs, we wouldn’t recommend investing in any Cleveland receivers.
Terry Robiskie, Titans
Robiskie has been in the game for a few decades now. The 61-year old coaching veteran is the new offensive coordinator for the Titans, and we think he can go on to do plenty of good work in this new role. With an average pass to run ratio of 51:49, he’s a balanced playcaller who seems well-suited to the Titans’ roster. He loves to give plenty of carries to his RBs, and Mike Mularkey seems to feel the same way, so it could be a great season for the likes of DeMarco Murray and young Derrick Henry. All of the stats point towards Robiskie focusing on these players, but tight end Delanie Walker could suffer as a result.
Chip Kelly, 49ers
It’s fair to say that Kelly had a pretty mixed time with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he’ll probably need to shake things up if he wants to see more success with the 49ers. The stats from his period in Philly show a pass to run ratio of 55:45. He’s tended to favor the pass quite a lot in the last couple of years, but does still strive to be a balanced playcaller. Kelly has given his RBs 25.7 carries per game on average, but that stat isn’t really too important. He’s always been the sort of coach who adapts his strategy depending on the players he’s working with. When he sees the relatively low level of quality in the WRs at the 49ers, we can expect him to put a bit of extra focus on the RBs, along with tight end Carlos Hyde.
Doug Pederson, Eagles
Pederson is the new head coach of the Eagles, having left his former position as offensive coordinator at the Chiefs. He’s proven to be a very balanced playcaller in the past, with almost a 50:50 ratio of pass to run. We can expect Pederson to bring that same attitude over to his new team, especially with the Eagles current signal caller issues. Philadelphia’s running backs should be able to make the most of this situation, with Ryan Matthews certainly being one to watch.
Ken Whisenhunt, Chargers
After being in charge of the Titans, Whisenhunt made the switch to become offensive coordinator in San Diego. We think that this was a really great move for the team. Given Whisenhunt’s history, particularly with the Chargers when he was with the team back in 2013, we can expect a big focus on the run. Back then, we were witnessing a huge average of 27.9 carries per game, and we expect Whisenhunt to go straight back to that same style of play in the new season. Melvin Gordon will need to catch fire for the system to work to perfection, so Whisenhunt will be hoping to get the best out of his team’s young star.
Ken Zampese, Bengals
Ken Zampese, son of NFL coach Ernie Zampese, is finally being given his first chance to coordinate offensive plays in the big leagues. He’s worked in a variety of roles with several different teams throughout his career so far, but has only ever been an offensive coordinator at Northern Arizona University, way back in the mid-nineties. Since 2003, Zampese has been with the Bengals, so he knows the ins and outs of the team better than most people. We don’t expect too much to change in Cincinnati, as Zampese will most probably try to keep things simple and build on the work that has already been done over the last few years. We can, however, expect the QB to have a bigger role than normal.
Dowell Loggains, Bears
Loggains has worked as a QB coach with the Bears and the Browns, but before that he did have a year as an offensive coordinator with the Titans. During that season, his pass to run ratio was 54:46, and he showed a big focus on wide receivers, with those players accounting for more than 60% of the catches on Loggains’ watch. With Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White on the roster, Loggains will have plenty of talent to work with, but we can still expect him to keep the play fairly balanced. We can also expect QB Jay Cutler to have a solid season.
Rob Boras, Rams
After Frank Cignetti Jr. got fired at the end of 2015, Boras got promoted to the offensive coordinator job with the Rams. He doesn’t have a whole lot of experience, and the same can be said for his colleague, passing game coordinator Mike Groh. Boras has only called four games with the Rams, and showed a slight preference for the run over the pass. We don’t quite know what to expect from these guys, but we can at least estimate that the Rams should be putting a lot of focus on Todd Gurley during their offensive plays.