• Jace Sime

Coachella 2021: Head Coach, Coordinator Changes and their impact on Fantasy Players

Every year, leading up to August, we start meticulously diving into fantasy analytics and player profiles to try and project what we think the season will bear. As a new writer, I asked the community what articles they loved to see and what seems to be missing among the fantasy media. One of the most common results I got was a breakdown of coaching changes and players that are going to be impacted by new head coaches or coordinators. I decided I would step up to that challenge, get the wizards orb out, and assemble a breakdown of coaching changes that happened and which players stock should go up, down, or remain unwaivered as a result. One key note here is I'm only going to highlight a new head coach if they're also going to be calling the plays, otherwise , it only makes sense to highlight the coordinator. So let's put on the headset, dial up the plays, and figure out if your player will get drafted or stay...



 


ARTHUR SMITH - HEAD COACH / OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

ATLANTA FALCONS




Previous Team: Tennesse Titans Scheme: Run Pass Balance with a focus on PA Run Calls: 51.7% Passing Calls: 48.3%


Target Breakdown: RB: 6.7% WR1: 25.9% WR2: 23.2% TE1: 15.3%

TE2: 11.2%

Rushing Breakdown RB1: 80.9% RB2/3: 19.1%



PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Mike Davis

Kyle Pitts

Russel Gage Unwaivered

Calvin Ridley

Matt Ryan Stock Down Hayden Hurst

ANALYSIS

Arthur Smith is a rising offensive mind who earned his way to a starting job by transforming the Tennessee Titans offense the past two seasons, making them instant competitors in the division and reviving what was looking like a bust career for Derrick Henry. The key takeaways from Smith are:

1- He was a TE coach for 5 years before becoming the offensive coordinator. Under Smith, the Titans targeted their TE's 30% of the time, the 4th highest in the league. He loves to draw up creative plays to get his TE's open and I think his love for the position played a pivotal role in why they took Kyle Pitts at #4 overall, the highest drafted TE in NFL history. Pitts is an incredible talent and I think he'll take a hefty percent of the workload on the team. Last year, Hurst had 15.4% of the teams targets but I predict a heavy regression with the addition of Pitts, even below Smith's average TE2 target % of 11.2, thus making him a stock down candidate. 2 - He runs a very balanced offensive system, almost perfectly splitting his run vs pass playcalling. He's generally pretty even with his target distribution and doesn't tend to favor one WR over another. He targets his WR1, WR2, and TE's almost evenly at roughly 25% each. Ridley finished last year as the WR4 with 25.1% of the target share and has the potential to be the WR1 this year. Gage get's a huge boost from Julio's departure and I expect him to see a nice target share bump from his 18.1% last year to 23-25% this year. 3 - A big stat that pops out is obviously that he used his RB1 on 80% of their rushing attempts, however, that RB1 also happened to be a big bruiser and one of the best backs in the league so I have to be a bit careful not to overextrapulate that number. Regardless, I think Smith will lean on Davis most of the time as well simply because there's no real options behind him so it's very possible Davis sees a heavy workload. If he does, he will be a very valuable fantasy commodity off volume alone and well worth a 6th round pick. Davis was on a worse offense last year and still finished as the RB15 so now that he's on a better team with a coach that leans on one RB, it's hard not to put him as the player that benefits the most on this team from Arthur Smiths hiring.



 



ANTHONY LYNN - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

DETROIT LIONS




Previous Team: Los Angeles Chargers Scheme: Pass Heavy / RBBC with emphasis on screens and backfield routes Run Calls: 42.6% Passing Calls: 57.4%

Target Breakdown: RB: 17.4% WR1: 26.8% WR2: 14.5% TE1: 17%

TE2: 2.9%

Rushing Breakdown:

RB1: 48.1%

RB2/3: 51.9%



PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

D'Andre Swift

Breshad Perriman


Unwaivered

TJ Hockenson

Tyrell Williams Stock Down Jared Goff


ANALYSIS


Anthony Lynn has been a coach in the NFL since 2000. Being a former pro RB himself, he spent 16 of his coaching years as a Running Back's coach for 7 different teams. His first gig as an offense coordinator came in 2016 with the Buffalo Bills and ended in him being the interim coach in week 17 after Rex Ryan was fired. The next year, he was named Head Coach of the Los Angeles Chargers and held that title for 3 seasons before being let go. In his 2016 stint with the Bills, they lead the league in rushing yards and touchdowns; with the Chargers, he groomed Melvin Gordon into a Pro Bowl RB and helped undrafted RB Austin Ekeler grow into one of the leagues premier pass catching backs. Needless to say, Lynn is a RB whisperer and the biggest beneficiary of his hiring is by far second year RB D'Andre Swift. As a rookie, Swift had 12% of the teams receiving targets and 43% of the rushing workload. Both these metrics should see a jump this year as Swift has the natural talent and draft pedigree to be a 3 down receiving back. Swifts workload is a bit difficult to predict this year as Lynn was very balanced in LA, splitting the carries among 2 or 3 of his backs. In 2016, however, he leaned totally on LeSean McCoy, who received every single carry in the backfield that year. That logic would denote that if Lynn knows he has a special player in the backfield, he's going to feed him the rock. As for the passing game, it's an obvious downgrade for Goff as Lynn is not near the offensive mind that Sean McVay was in LA and with a downgraded receiving core, that hurts his outlook even more. That aside, Lynn isn't afraid to air the ball out, in fact, his inaugural season with the Chargers, they led the NFL in passing yards. Breshad Perriman finds himself in a much better position as the WR1 of this team than a Gase led Jet's offense. Perriman saw just 17% of his teams targets in New York, but Lynn's coaching history shows he favors his WR1's, who he targets over 26% of the time. If Perriman can flash the athleticism he showed in 2019, he can find himself being a target machine and being a very sneaky fantasy value at the end of most drafts.



 



MARCUS BRADY - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS




Previous Team: Colts (Current) Scheme: [Frank Reich] - West Coast with focus on backfield routes and RB involvement in the passing game Run Calls: 45.7% Passing Calls: 54.3%

Target Breakdown: RB: 22.1% WR1: 18.1% WR2: 14.1% TE1: 7.7%

TE2: 7%


Rushing Breakdown: RB1: 59% RB2/3: 41%

Note: Above data metrics are Frank Reichs during his tenure as HC of the Colts since he will remain the primary playcaller.

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Carson Wentz

Unwaivered

Jonathan Taylor

TY Hilton Michael Pittman


Stock Down

_________

ANALYSIS


There's not going to be a lot to dive in to on this one. Brady is relatively new to the NFL coaching world, having been a QB coach under Frank Reich the last 3 seasons. Prior to that, he was a QB in the CFL for 7 years but now finds himself with his first stint as an offensive coordinator. It's difficult to predict player impact with rookie coordinators since there's no existing data to extrapolate from, however, this one is pretty much a wash regardless. Although Brady is an OC by title, this is still Frank Reich's team and Reich will remain the primary play caller. I list Brady in this article because, unlike other HC's who retain play calling abilities, Reich chose to replace Nick Sirianni instead of simply leaving the position vacant. Even though Reich called the plays last year, he still heavily consulted with Sirianni and we expect the same to happen with Brady. That all aside, I don't see the Brady promotion making an impact enough to change the stock of any players on this team from last year. Wentz, however, goes from a team that threw the ball 59.7% of the time to 54.3%. So, a slight decrease, but he also ends up on a better team with better coaching and one of the best O-Lines in football.



 



DARRELL BEVELL - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS




Previous Team: Detroit Lions Scheme: Up Tempo Pass Heavy Run Calls: 38.6%% Passing Calls: 61.4%

Target Breakdown: RB: 17.5% WR1: 19.6% WR2: 20.6% TE1: 18.1%

TE2: 3.9%


Rushing Breakdown: RB1: 43.2%

RB2/3: 44.7%

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Trevor Lawrence

Laviska Shenault

Marvin Jones

DJ Chark


Unwaivered

----------


Stock Down

James Robinson

ANALYSIS


Bevell is a 21 year coaching vet in the league, having been an offensive coordinator for the past 16 years. His experience is likely the reason he came out on top for the job in Jacksonville, but his hiring leaves a lot to be excited about in Duval. He has quite an impressive resume, from revitalizing Favres career in Minnesota that almost led to a Super Bowl appearance, to leading an explosive Seahawks offense that dominated for 6 years and earned him a ring. In has past 3 years in Detroit, Bevell turned the Lions offense around, finishing as a top 10 passing offense every year. One interesting note is that he doesn't seem to favor players, as he spreads the ball around extremely evenly. His top 4 skill position players outside of QB are within a 3% target share of each other with his RB's being a half percent away from a perfect split. Going into 2021, he brings his experience and offensive mind to a struggling Jaguars team that's looking to regain some resemblance of life in their offense, and with Lawrence at the helm, that should make the task easier. Trevor Lawrence was the undisputed #1 overall pick this year and the most highly touted prospect since Andrew Luck. His gunslinging arm pairs perfectly with Bevell's heavy pass scheme and I think his rookie year could be a special one. If Lawrence stock is going up under Bevell, then so are his receivers. Shenault enters his second year and showed flashes of explosiveness last year that could be fully realized on a team with more talent and opportunity. Chark has already proven he can hold down the #1 spot on this team, but seemed to struggle with Minshew at the helm last year. If Lawrence lives up to his draft capital, Chark could find himself returning to his 2019 form when he finished as the WR16. Marvin Jones follows Bevell to Jacksonville, where he'll be the #2 option on the outside. Last year, Jones finished as the WR17 under Bevell so he could be a sneaky play going in to 2021.


The only player on this team that I have losing stock is James Robinson. He had the highest workload of any RB in the league last year at 95.4%, but that is going to drastically change this year. Not only did the Jaguars spend a first round pick on Clemson RB Travis Etienne, but Bevelle does not traditionally run 3 down backs. I expect Robinson to still contribute but his workload is likely going to drop to the 40-50% range, a significant drop from what we saw in 2020.



 



JOE LOMBARDI - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS



Previous Team: New Orleans Saints Scheme: Power Running / Quick, Short Passing Run Calls: 39.6% Passing Calls: 60.4%

Target Breakdown: RB: 18% WR1: 21.2% WR2: 23.8% TE1: 7.8%

TE2: 2.4%


Rushing Breakdown: RB1: 75%

RB2/3: 25%

Above data is based on Lombardi's offense he ran in Detroit

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Justin Herbert Austin Ekeler Mike Williams


Unwaivered

_________


Stock Down

Keenan Allen Jared Cook

ANALYSIS


The 49 year old grandson of legend Vince Lombardi enters his 15th season in the NFL as a coach. Though he spent a season and a half as the Offensive Coordinator of the Detroit Lions, he's spent most of his coaching career as a QB Coach, including 10 total years in New Orleans in which he helped Drew Brees ascend to superstar status, recording four 5,000 yard seasons ,10 pro bowls, and a superbowl together. In his 19 year career, Brees only had 5 seasons in which he threw single digit INT's and 4 of them were under Lombardi. Although his grooming of Brees is an impressive resume piece,, he had a rough stint in the motor city and didn't make it through his second year in the job. During his tenure there, his offenses were ranked 19th and 20th overall. In passing, they were 12th and 9th, but in rushing they were near the bottom of the league at 28th and 32nd. Joe now gets a second shot at being an offensive coordinator, taking on a resurging Chargers team led by Offensive Rookie of the Year QB Justin Herbert, the biggest winner from the Lombardi hire, in my opinion. Although he impressed to the tune of 4,336 yards and 32 TD's, he was still raw in his efficiency. He was the QB39 in red zone completion rate and the QB35 in catchable pass rate at 73.9%. At the end of the season, he finished with an accuracy rating of 7.4, the QB25 in the category. What's exciting is that he put up the numbers he did with that efficiency so if Lombardi can help him clean that up, he could possibly have yet another QB he turns in to a 5,000 yard passer. One surprising thing I've noted from Lombardi's coordinating history is that he doesn't tend to feed his top players more than the others. He had the privilege of having Calvin Johnson, yet he gave Golden Tate 14 more targets on the season. If this pattern carries over to LA, we could see a dip in Keenan Allen's 26.8% target share. In contrast, I see Mike Williams getting a large uptick in targets from his 14.5% average to 20%+. Ekeler should not only stay consistent with his 17.4% target rate, but if Lombardi feels confident in his ability, we could see a significant increase in rushing attempts as well, as Lombardi ran a 3 down back system with a similar sized player in Reggie Bush. Jared Cook is a player that's dropping on my radar after this hiring though. On top of the age issue, Lombardi had one of the lowest TE utilization percentages in the league with Detroit. 2021 could be a fun ride to see what Lombardi is able to do with Herbert and if he learned from his time in Detroit alongside another 5 years under Sean Peyton. Needles to say, I think the Chargers are on the rise.



 



ERIC STUDESVILLE / GEORGE GODSEY - C0-OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS

MIAMI DOLPHINS



Previous Team: Miami Dolphins (current) Scheme: Balanced with Power Run Run Calls: 43.6% Passing Calls: 56.4%

Target Breakdown: RB: 4.5% WR1: 28.5% WR2: 11.7% TE1: 9.4%

TE2: 8.9%


Rushing Breakdown: RB1: 48.5%

RB2/3: 51.5%

Data is based Godsey's two seasons as the Texans OC

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Myles Gaskin

Will Fuller

Unwaivered

Mike Gesicki


Stock Down

Tua Tagovailoa DeVante Parker

ANALYSIS


Things are going to be quite interesting in Palm Beach this year as we're getting the first co-coordinator situation in the league. Runningback Coach Eric Studesville and Tight End Coach George Godsey have both been promoted and will share the role in calling plays in 2021. Studesville has never held a coordinator position outside a few games as the Broncos interim coach in 2010. Godsey, however, held the OC mantle in Houston in 2015 and 2016. Looking at the situation on it's face, I have to place the odds on Godsey being the primary caller since he has experience in the role so I used his data to break down how he runs his offenses. Unfortunately for this Dolphins offense, Godsey did not leave a positive impact in Houston. His offenses finished 21st and 28th respectively and he eventually had play calling privilege's taken away from him. He seems to run a very balanced offense overall, spreading the ball around to pretty much everyone outside of the 28.5% share Hopkins got. He favored a RBBC approach, giving his RB2 and RB3 more combined carries than his starter. This approach may change with Studesville in the mix though and depending on how much Ahmed improves from last year. Studesville, who has been the Dolphins RB Coach for the past two seasons, is a decorated coach who will continue to make Myles Gaskin a relevant fantasy option. He's coached CJ Anderson, Willis McGahee, and Marshawn Lynch to Pro Bowl seasons and has coached 10 other RB's to 1,000 yard seasons over his 23 year coaching career. Gaskin, who finished the RB27, was plagued by injuries last year but breaking down his healthy games, he was on pace for 1,058 yards rushing and another 692 through the air. He had 3 top 10 fantasy finished and could be a sneaky top 15 back this year if he stays healthy. Although Godseys offense struggled overall, he's still a very talented and respected TE Coach. Since his arrival in Miami, he transformed Mike Gesicki from the TE58 to the TE11 in 2019 and the TE7 in 2020. I don't see this trend changing and with a 9th round ADP, you could be looking at fantastic value if you get a top 7 TE. Another player to keep on eye on is Will Fuller. We already know he has the dynamic playmaking ability and explosiveness to be a WR1, but he's also the top option on the team and has history with Godsey whom he played under as a rookie in 2016. Godsey showed that, when he has a top tier player at the position, he's going to feed him as we saw Hopkins eat to the tune of 28% of team targets. The two players I see taking a hit from this move are Tua and Parker. Parker simply because Godsey tends to spread the ball around a lot. When Fuller and Nate Washington were the WR2's in Houston, they saw less than 12% of the targets so I'm a bit uncomfortable buying in on Parker until I see if Godsey continues his past trends or not. Tua is a stock down player because of the situation itself. Not only did we see Tua struggle quite a bit adjusting to the NFL, but now he has a change in offensive system and has two coaches that will I assume will be implementing different offensive styles. This article, in which Sports Illustrated sits down to talk offense with the two new coordinators, neither of them could even identify an approach they were taking to the offense. We just got generic we have to score points and win games. The interview itself didn't imbue confidence in me and has me worried that this offense is going to be inconsistent this year which is not going to help Tua take the step forward he needs.



 



KLINT KUBIAK - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

MINNESOTA VIKINGS



Previous Team: Miinnesota Vikings (current) Scheme: West Coast with Wide Zone Runs and emphasis on Play Action Run Calls: 47.6% Passing Calls: 52.4%

Target Breakdown: RB: 13.1% WR1: 24.4% WR2: 25.8% TE1: 11.6%

TE2: 10.8%


Rushing Breakdown: RB1: 79.4%

RB2/3: 20.6%

Data is based on Gary Kubiaks offense last year which Klint is expected to continue

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Irv Smith Justin Jefferson


Unwaivered

Dalvin Cook Kirk Cousins Adam Theilen


Stock Down

_________

ANALYSIS


The 34 year old son of Superbowl winning coach and last years OC, Gary Kubiak, Klint Kubiak is set to take the reigns of a Minnesota team that's been a top 11 unit 3 of the last 4 seasons. This will be Klints first opportunity as a coordinator so it's always difficult to try and predict exactly what to expect, but based on reports that Klint was selected because Zimmer wanted to maintain continuity with the system and scheme, that suggests that he won't be waivering too much from the scheme his father ran last season. Kubiak Sr. ran the West Coast offense him and Mike Shannahan put together in Denver. A few things of note are the heavy utilization of RB Dalvin Cook and the 22.4% target share the TE core received. Should Dalvin stay healthy this season, there's no reason to believe he won't finish a top 5 back once again. All in all, there's not a ton to dive in to or pick apart here. The Vikings haven't added any players of note to the offense this offseason so we can still expect Theilen and Jefferson to assume the combined 50% workshare of the teams receiving targets. With Kubiak presumably maintaining last years system, we can expect similar results the skill position group with a predicted increase by two particular players. Justin Jefferson rises on my board solely because he's entering his second year. He finished an incredible rookie year as the WR6 averaging 14/points a game in half PPR. Although impressive, his catch rate was only 70.4%, the WR34 in that metric, and his target separation was 1.8 (WR33). If he can take that step forward and improve in this areas, which I think he will, he'll be an even bigger force to reckon with on the field and on fantasy rosters. Irv Smith takes a massive leap for me and I predict he'll be on a lot of playoff rosters towards the end of the year. In 2020, after a slow start, Smith flashed a lot of potential. From weeks 6 on, he was on averaging 9 fantasy points a game and a 16 game pace of 144.8 fantasy points, a stat that would've netted him the TE3 spot last season. Going in to 2021, we see the departure of Kyle Rudolph, who received almost half of the teams TE targets. If Kubiak continues to keep the position heavily involved in the target share and Smith get's even half of Rudolphs vacated workload, he is in position to be a major breakout candidate this season.

 



MIKE LAFLUER- OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

NEW YORK JETS



Previous Team: San Francisco 49ers Scheme: Up Tempo West Coast with Outzine Zone Runs Run Calls: 43.4% Passing Calls: 56.6%

Target Breakdown: RB: 24.2% WR1: 22.9% WR2: 17.6% TE1: 24%

TE2: 4.3%


Rushing Breakdown: RB1: 48.6%

RB2/3: 51.4%

Data is based on Kyle Shannahans offense

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Michael Carter

Chris Herndon Zach Wilson

Unwaivered

Corey Davis


Stock Down

Denzel Mims Jamison Crowder

ANALYSIS


Another coach getting his first opportunity to handle the reigns of an NFL offense, Mike LaFleur looks to defibrillate a jets offense that's barely had a pulse the past the decade and give Jets fans a reason to be happy on Sundays again. A young coach with only 7 years of NFL experience, Mike held a position with the Falcons for two seasons as an offensive assistant before spending the last 4 years in the Bay Area as Wide Receivers Coach and Passing Coordinator. The 34 year now finds himself following his former defensive coordinator and new Head Coach Robert Saleh and with that, expected to bring the high profile "Shannahan Offense" with them to New York. If there's anything this offense is know for, it's high pace of play, outside zone runs, and heavy targets to both the RB and TE positions. Rookie Michael Carter stands apart as a stock riser under LeFleur as the Jets want to have a RB that is exceptional at receiving and can contribute to the offensive style and pace LeFleur will demand. He's got the agility and burst to go along with his pass catching ability to make him a duel threat in a backfield where he has little to no competition outside an injury prone Tevin Coleman. Chris Herndon is a TE I feel has had a hype train since his rookie year but the train has since derailed and most fantasy owners have chalked him up as a bust. Although he has regressed every year since finishing the TE15 his rookie season, he still showed flashes of talent from time to time, notching 3 top 10 finishes in the last half of the season last year. If LaFleur takes cues from Kyle and decides to utilize the play action and feed his TE's to the tune of 28%, then not only could we see Herndons potential come to fruition, but he could be a startable weekly option off of volume alone. The WR1 in the Shannahan system is pretty heavily targeted at 22.4% but it comes as no surprise in this situation as it's already been expected Corey Davis will see a large share as the #1 option. Zach Wilson is still an unknown commodity in the NFL, but with LeFLeurs history as the passing game coordinator in San Fran, he may have the skill set to help Wilson successfully transition his talents to the pro level. I expect a high paced offense focused on Wilson and Carter with Herndon seeing a large portion of the teams targets. Between Davis taking the WR1 role and the Shannahan system targeting the 2 and 3 receivers <20%, I see some regression from both Mims and Crowder and would avoid them until we see how LeFleurs particular take on the system is going to shake out.



 


NICK SIRIANNI - HEAD COACH

SHANE STEICHEN - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES



Previous Team: Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers Scheme: West Coast with focus on backfield routes and screens Run Calls: 45.7% Passing Calls: 54.3%

Target Breakdown: RB: 22.1% WR1: 18.1% WR2: 14.1% TE1: 7.7%

TE2: 7%


Rushing Breakdown: RB1: 59% RB2/3: 41%

Note: Above data metrics are Frank Reichs and Sirianni's joint offense.


PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Miles Sanders DeVonta Smith Jalen Hurts

Unwaivered

Jalen Reagor

Dallas Goedert


Stock Down

_________

ANALYSIS


Sirianni will undoubtedly be the primary play caller with the council of Streichen, but what works so well here is that both coaches ran very similar systems and offensive schemes last season. Nick Sirianni is a 12 year coach in the league who has spent years as a QB and WR coach and the last 3 seasons under Frank Reich as the Offensive Coordinator of the Colts. During his tenure, the Colts averaged 9th in the league in total offense and 11th in both passing and rushing yards. In those 3 years, he helped Andrew Luck and Phillip Rivers both achieve 4,100+ yard seasons and in 2018 led a crippled offensive unit to 7 wins. Even more impressive is how well he established and utilized the run game, leading Marlon Mack to consecutive 1,100 and 1,200 yard scrimmage seasons and last year rookie Jonathan Taylor to over 1,500 scrimmage yards. Steichen, a 10 year coach in the league, gets a second continuous year as an offensive coordinator, but this time for a different team. He heads to the east coast to help new Head Coach Nick Sirianni repair an offense in Philadelphia that ranked 26th in the league last year, including 30th in points per drive. Steichen spent the previous season in LA under Anthony Lynn where he helped run Lynn's offense that was 9th in offensive yards. Prior to be the OC, Steichen had spent almost all of his career (except 2013) with the Chargers as their Quality Control Coach and 4 years as their QB Coach. Lynn and Steichen helped develop Herbert into the offensive Rookie of the Year and Steichen will be bringing his talents to Philly to try and make magic out of second year QB Jalen Hurts. Hurts showed a lot of potential last year when he was given the starting role, averaging 229 passing yards and 68 more on the ground per game. His small sample size reflects a 17 game pace of nearly 4,000 yards through the air and 1,100 rushing, an incredible projection that could translate in to a fantasy goldmine. That potential still needs to be untapped, however, and I think a Head Coach and OC that focus on a strong run game to set up the play action is just the kind of system Hurts needed. Another player that is benefiting from this coaching change is Miles Sanders who should see a large increase in workload, particularly in the passing game, if Sirianni and Steichens past are of any hint. Last year, the Chargers and Colts targeted their RB's the 4th and 5th most in the league respectively and with nobody outside of rookie Kenneth Gainwell to truly threaten Sanders for opportunity, he could find himself in the perfect situation to pay off for fantasy owners. RB isn't the only area seeing an increase in target share. Rookie DeVonta Smith should find himself in a prime position to feast on the offensive opportunity this team has. One area the Eagles lacked in was feeding their top weapons, as no receiver on the team had more than a 15% target share. Steichen, on the other hand, targeted his WR1 26.8% of the time, showing that he wants to get the ball in the hands of his play makers as often as possible. If Smith shows up and balls out, he could be reaping a quarter of this teams workload through the air.



 


MATT CANADA - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

PITTSBURGH STEELERS



Previous Team: Pittsburgh Steelers Scheme: Power Run with Jet Sweeps, Outside Zone Running and Pocket Movement form QB. A lot of pre-snap movement as well to create deception. Run Calls: 65.2% Passing Calls: 34.8%

Target Breakdown: RB: ? WR1: ? WR2: ? TE1: ?

TE2: ?

Rushing Breakdown:

RB1: 62%

RB2/3: 38%


Above data is based on Canada's offensive coordinator position with LSU. I was unable to locate targeting statistics.

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Najee Harris

Unwaivered

Diontae Johnson JuJu Smith Schuster Chase Claypool


Stock Down

Ben Roethlisberger

ANALYSIS


Canada is by far the most difficult of the new coordinators to analyze. He's only been in the NFL for one season and before that spent 5 years as the offensive coordinator of 4 different teams. He's been recognized in college because of how he uses his pre-snap movements to disguise his offense and his ability to fit his scheme to the talent of the players on his team. He has an impressive resume, leading the Badgers to the Rose Bowl in 2012 and creating an electric offense for Pitt in 2016 that scored 35 or more points in 77% of their games while leading upsets of Clemsen and Penn State. With only one year under his belt in the NFL as the QB Coach of the Steelers in 2020, it's going to be challenging to try and project Canada's impact on this team and it's players. There's really only two players that I'm able to definitively pick out from the roster that I believe get impacted by Canada's promotion and that's Najee and Ben. Najee is a big, tackle breaking back that also has the ability to be a backfield dual threat. He has a large catching radius and fits the bill for what Tomlin looks for in his RB's and how he's utilized his RB core in the past. Canada has also been known for utilizing a power running scheme, feeding his lead back over 60% of the time. The combination of utilization, target share, and dual threat ability have Harris soaring up my board and a benefactor of what I'm expecting Canada's offense to be. Big Ben, on the other hand, is the opposite of who I'd expect under center in this new system. Canada, as I mentioned, is well know for pre-snap movement and tends to draw plays that center around pocket movement and mobility out of the QB position, traits which don't line up with a QB like Roethlisberger. GM Kevin Colbert admitted to reporters that some of the current players on the roster aren't quite tailored to fit Canada's vision of this offense and that it's going to be a rollout process until we see the new offense in it's potential. I feel that comment was a subtle jab at Ben and that this is his last rodeo in the NFL (or at least on the Steelers) . I think we'll see bits and pieces of what Canada wants to do with this team but until they have a younger and more mobile QB, it won't fully come to light and that's why I have Ben falling on my radar.



 


SHANE WALDREN - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS



Previous Team: Los Angeles Rams Scheme: Run First Up Tempo with heavy focus on play action Run Calls: 44.5% Passing Calls: 55.5%

Target Breakdown: RB: 7.7% WR1: 23.6% WR2: 23% TE1: 11.3%

TE2: 11%

Rushing Breakdown:

RB1: 45.2%

RB2/3: 54.8%


Above data is based on Sean McVays offense

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Gerald Everett

Unwaivered

Chris Carson

Tyler Lockett DK Metcalf


Stock Down

Russell Wilson

ANALYSIS


Brian Schottenheimer is out and Seattle is poaching Rams QB Coach and Passing Coordinator Shane Waldron to come run the offense in 2021. Waldron is an interesting hire and a first time coordinator in the league. It's no doubt he will bring ideas and schemes from the McVay offense to Seattle and according to Metcalf and Wilson, the scheme so far is pretty intricate and complex. The McVay offense has always been focused on setting up the run and play action. In fact, the Rams lead the league in Play Action passes at 32.5% and have the 8th highest rushing attempts. If Waldron brings this philosophy up to the Pacific Northwest, there's going to be a couple players worth altering expectations heading in to this year. The player I believe will benefit the most from this hire is Gerald Everett. Now on a team where he should see a bolstered target share from the 11% he had in LA sharing targets with Higbee, this will be a prime opportunity for him to put his talents on display. Last year, Everett averaged 2 yards of separation per target (TE6), had a true pass catch rate of 93.2% (TE5), and a perfect 100% contested catch rate (TE1). McVay loves his tight ends and utilized them heavily with a 22% target share last year on an offense that emphasize on opening up TE lanes in the middle of the field. Between Everetts natural skillset, not having to share targets anymore, and Waldron (hopefully) bringing that McVay mindset to the TE position, I think Gerald could be in for a big year. Carson, Lockett, and Metcalf all stay relatively neutral from this move. Waldron comes from an offense that feeds a lead back and Carson is already getting over 60% of the rushing share so he should continue to be in a large volume role. An interesting look at the McVay offense is how it perfectly spreads the ball around the field. The WR1, WR2, and TE's all see a 22-23% target share each. Similarly in Seattle last year, Metcalf and Lockett each had a 24% target share so I expect the split to maintain in 2021. Who I do see dropping a bit from this hire is Russell Wilson. Last year from weeks 1-9 when they were "Letting Russ Cook", he was given 37 passing attempts a game and that turned in to 28.5 fantasy points a game where he was the QB3 behind Mahomes and Murray. Then week 10 hit and Seattle decided to turn down the passing volume and focus more on the run. Wilsons attempts dropped to 32 a game and subsequently his fantasy points to 16.5 where he became the QB12. I think the hiring of Waldron is a statement from Carroll that he wants a coordinator who's going to be more run focused and that ultimately will only hurt Russ' fantasy production. Although Goff averaged 36 attempts a game in LA, they didn't have a reliable 3 down back like Seattle has in Carson (although I think they will in the future with Akers). Waldron isn't going to completely copy paste the McVay system in Seattle but he's going to be heavily influenced by it, and by Pete Carroll's input on what he expects, which has always been run first and run heavy. I still think Wilson will be a top 15 fantasy back but I see him slipping to the QB8-QB12 range under this new system.



 


MIKE MCDANIEL - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS



Previous Team: San Francisco 49ers (current) Scheme: Up Tempo West Coast with Outzine Zone Runs Run Calls: 43.4% Passing Calls: 56.6%

Target Breakdown: RB: 24.2% WR1: 22.9% WR2: 17.6% TE1: 24%

TE2: 4.3%


Rushing Breakdown: RB1: 48.6%

RB2/3: 51.4%

Data is based on Kyle Shannahans offense

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Trey Sermon

Trey Lance

Unwaivered

Jimmy Garoppolo Brandon Aiyuk Deebo Samuel


Stock Down

Raheem Mostert

ANALYSIS


Similar to Marcus Brady, there's not going to be a lot to really extrapolate from this promotion. McDaniel is a 15 year coaching vet in the NFL, having spent time in Atlanta during their Superbowl run in 2016 and the last 4 years under Shannahan in San Francisco as the teams Run Game Coordinator and Specialist. McDaniel is young at 38 years old and has built quite a career for himself, however, this is still going to be Kyle's offense and McDaniel is going to be in more of a consulting role than anything which is why I don't see too much stock changing in players on this team. I do have Sermon and Lance rising on my boards because I don't see Mostert staying healthy all year, nor do I see Jimmy G holding the starting job all season. At some point both Sermon and Lance will be starting and when they do, the explosiveness of this offense is going to go to a whole new level. Sermon is an elusive back with incredible contact balance, great short burst speed and I feel confident he's going to thrive under one of the best offensive minds in the league. Lance is going to excel for fantasy owners off of his rushing alone. He's very comparable to Lamar Jackson in that he does tremendous damage on the ground but needs to clean up his fundamentals and accuracy in the passing game. Raheem Mosterts stock goes down due to a combination of age, injury proneness, and the 49ers investing a 3rd round pick in the talent and aforementioned Sermon. After returning from injury last year, Mostert only averaged 54 rushing yards and 7.5 fantasy points a game with his best performance a RB26 finish. There's a chance Mostert has some fantasy value early in the season but I this will most likely be his curtain call and we should expect him to be splitting carries with and eventually fully replaced by Sermon at some point.



 


TODD DOWNING - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

TENNESSE TITANS



Previous Team: Tennessee Titans (current) Scheme: Air Raid offense / Ground and Pound run game Run Calls: 39.9% Passing Calls: 60.1%

Target Breakdown: RB: 18.2% WR1: 17.2% WR2: 18.1% TE1: 15.4%

TE2: 1.9%


Rushing Breakdown: RB1: 55.9%

RB2/3: 40.1%

Data is based on Downings 2017 season as OC of the Raiders

PLAYER STOCK CHANGES


Stock Up

Ryan Tannehill Anthony Firkser

Unwaivered

Derrick Henry

Julio Jones

Stock Down

AJ Brown

ANALYSIS


Downing is getting his second opportunity to lead an offensive unit in the NFL after a 2017 stint in Oakland that ended after one season. During his time in Oakland, Downing loved to air the ball out, calling pass plays 60% of the time, among the highest rate in the league. Although he aired it out often, it came as a surprise to me that no particular position reaped the benefit of those attempts as the ball got spread quite evenly across the board. The RB position, WR1 and WR2 all averaged 17-18% of the teams target share but the TE spot also got to feast with over 15% of the workload. Going in to 2021, Downing will be taking the reigns of the team that has a similar makeup to his 2017 Raiders but with a significant boost in talent at each position. Tannehill comes in as a rising stock player with this move because of a projected increase in passing plays should Downing continue his air raid offensive system. Last year the Titans were pretty well balanced but ran the ball a bit more than they threw it, 52% to 48%. This year, between Downings history and the addition of superstar Julio Jones, it'll be hard not to assume they're going to attack through the air more often and lighten up a bit on Henry's workload. Anthony Firkser is another player on my rising board. Not only did Downing keep Jared Cook heavily involved in Oakland with 15% of the teams targets, but Firkser now has the position to himself with the departure of Jonnu Smith to New England. Smith alone was targeted 15% of the time last year and although I expect a lot of those vacated targets to go to Julio Jones, I have to imagine half of those add to Firksers 11% he had last year. I expect him to have 15-18% of the passing game targets in 2021. Julio and Henry stay neutral for me with the promotion of Downing. He had a similar style player in Marshawn Lynch in Oakland and fed beast mode the ball with 56% of the teams total rushing attempts. As I expect Henry to maintain a similar workload, it's difficult to put him on my rising board because you can't get much better than the 378 carries he had last year, which is just otherworldly. Julio benefited from 20% of the target share in Atlanta and based on Corey Davis' workload in Tennesse last year and how Downing utilizes his WR2, Jones should be in line with a similar share of the offense. The only player I have going down on my board here is AJ Brown. There's no doubt the talent behind the player and I think he's one of the premier pass catchers in the league, but in 2020 he was fed the ball over 27% of the time, a stat that I just can't see him matching this year now that Julio is across the field. To top it off, Downing never targeted his WR1 more than 20% of the time in Oakland and that was with a stud WR in Amari Cooper at the time. I still think Brown eats and does well for fantasy, but I don't think he's going to quite live up to his draft capital.

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