Coaching can be a major factor for an NFL player. Last year we saw many different teams benefit greatly from a coaching change and with that came huge fantasy dividends.
Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron thrived in Rob Chudzinski’s pass heavy vertical attack, while the entire Philadelphia Eagles offense exploded onto the scene with Chip Kelly’s run based spread base offense. Mike McCoy gave Philip Rivers a fantasy revival, and Marc Trestman made the Chicago Bears one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL.
Here are a few coaching changes this year that should impact teams and fantasy stats greatly.
Jay Gruden, Head Coach Washington Redskins:
Jay Gruden will bring a pass heavy offense to Washington. The big winner here is definitely Robert Griffin III. Gruden made Andy Dalton a starting fantasy quarterback; he has much more to work with in RGIII. I think RGIII has a very high ceiling and he should have his best season from a fantasy perspective with Gruden at coach. Alfred Morris, on the other hand, should see a statistical hit. Gruden likes pass catching backs, like Roy Helu, and will probably start to phase Washington away from the zone run scheme Morris thrived in.
Hue Jackson, Offensive Coordinator Cincinnati Bengals:
The man taking over for Gruden in Cincy, Hue Jackson will implement a run first offense instead of the pass heavy attack Gruden had. Andy Dalton will become a game manager more than a vertical threat; his numbers will drop drastically. A.J. Green should still post good numbers; however, I would not expect them to be quite as high as they were last year. The big winners here are Giovani Bernard and Stephen Hill. They should be huge factors in this run first offense.
Bill Lazor, Offensive Coordinator Miami Dolphins:
Lazor is going to bring a Chip Kelly run based spread over to the Dolphins. While the Dolphins offensive is not as talented as the Eagles he got to work with last year, the Dolphins should still have solid production. Look for Lamar Miller to play the LeSean McCoy role in this offense and potentially put up top 15 running back points. He should have a monster season in Lazor’s offense. The same goes for Mike Wallace, who will be playing the DeSean Jackson role. I also think that Ryan Tannehill will show big strides with development. Lazor was the Eagle’s QB coach and made Nick Foles look like Peyton Manning.
Ben McAdoo, Offensive Coordinator New York Giants:
McAdoo will give the Giants what they need this year: a quick hitting attack that allows their physically gifted WRs to get the ball in space. Victor Cruz should catch a ton of balls this year, making him a good target for any PPR league. Rueben Randle should see a lot of red zone targets and should end the season with a double-digit touchdown total. As long as Eli Manning keeps his interceptions low, he should see a boost in his stats as well. Eli should have a Rivers like resurgence this year and prove that the reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated. The only concern with the Giants is the running game, which looks to be a committee between Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, with Jennings being the third down back.