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Coaching Matters: Offenses That Will Decline From Week 1


This series carries over from the preseason, where I evaluated offensive play-caller tendencies by division in order to glean insight as to fantasy football value. After much research, I've developed a broad knowledge of how each team's play-caller historically operates and compiled data to help make informed decisions throughout the regular season as well.

After an incredible week 1 where we saw performances like Gardner Minshew throwing more touchdown passes than incompletions, Odell Beckham Jr. only had 3 receptions and 22 receiving yards on 10 targets, or the Atlanta Falcons WR room having three 100+ yard receivers, it's important to look at their play-callers history and see if these performances are likely to continue, if they will change for the better, or if they will change for the worst.

Now, let's dive into the performances that are in for regression based on their play-callers' previous history. To review the other side of this analysis, read about teams whose offensive units should show improvement after Week 1.

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Negative Regression Coming

These are the areas and positions that will likely decline in the coming weeks based on the team's play-caller tendencies in the past.

 

Falcons Wide Receivers (Dirk Koetter)

We saw three Falcons receivers go for over 100 receiving yards on Sunday with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage combining for 27 receptions on 36 targets for 401 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Even if you don't know a ton about football, you can tell that this kind of performance from a wide receiver room is not sustainable since it's rare for quarterbacks to throw for 400+ yards. Looking at offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's profile as a coach it's clear that this production won't keep up.

Over the course of his NFL career prior to last week, Dirk Koetter coached 208 games with his wide receiver room averaging 21.10 targets, 166.95 receiving yards, and 0.89 receiving touchdowns. In addition, looking at just last year for the Atlanta Falcons, the wide receiver room averaged 26.3125 targets, 213.75 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown per game. Even if the team maintains the great wide receiver production from last year, they're in for some major regression from week 1.

Fantasy players this impacts: Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage

 

Bills Wide Receivers (Brian Daboll)

Josh Allen had his first career 300-yard passing game against the Jets during week 1's 27-17 win. The Bills wide receivers caught 23 passes on 31 targets for 247 receiving yards and a touchdown. Considering offensive coordinator Brian Daboll's wide receiver room averaged 18.01 targets, 123.60 receiving yards, and 0.54 receiving touchdowns per game in the 96 games he coached prior, it seems unlikely that this production is sustainable long-term.

Fantasy players this impacts: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and John Brown

 

Washington Football Team Running Backs - Touches & TDs (Scott Turner)

The Riverboat Ron era got off to a great start in Washington, with the team beating the Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener. But one area that may be due for some regression on the team is the usage of running backs.

Yesterday, the Washington Football Team gave their running back room 29 carries and they took that work for 63 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. In addition, through the air, the running backs caught three passes on seven targets for nine yards (Antonio Gibson had two catches on two targets for eight yards, and J.D. McKissic had one catch on five targets for a yard). While the team's running back yards was a little low, the number of looks and touchdowns to their running backs was high.

Compare this to Scott Turner's averages in the past. Prior to this game historically Scott Turner's running back room averaged 14.75 carries, 60.75 rushing yards, 0.75 rushing touchdowns, 12.25 targets, 100 receiving yards, and 0 receiving touchdowns per game (four games as an offensive coordinator) with Christian McCaffrey as his primary running back. And considering none of his running backs are Christian McCaffrey this year, there's a real possibility that the usage (27 opportunities for running backs per game) and touchdowns will decline. This is most concerning for Peyton Barber's fantasy value since he was the goal-line back and largely inefficient, but it's worth monitoring for Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic as well.

Fantasy players this impacts: Antonio Gibson, Peyton Barber, and J.D. McKissic

 

Packers Wide Receivers (Matt LaFleur)

The Packers offense was humming against the Vikings, as the team won 43-34. Their wide receivers combined for 22 receptions on 27 targets for 315 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. But considering Matt LaFleur's wide receiver room has averaged 18.38 targets, 143.73 receiving yards, and 0.81 receiving touchdowns per game in the 48 games as an offensive coordinator or head coach prior, it seems safe to say that there'll be some regression. I would only trust Davante Adams in this offense.

Fantasy players this impacts: Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Allen Lazard

 

Rams Running Backs (Sean McVay)

No Todd Gurley, no problem. The Los Angeles Rams started their season off on a good note beating the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 on the back of a strong running game. They ran the ball 40 times, with the Rams runnings backs totalling 35 carries, 124 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 5 targets, 4 receptions, 35 receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns yesterday. Considering that head coach Sean McVay's running backs had historically averaged 22.06 carries, 95.98 rushing yards, 0.81 rushing touchdowns, 5.57 targets, 38.84 receiving yards, and 0.23 receiving touchdowns in the 96 games prior he had been an offensive coordinator or head coach in the league.

There's value to be had in this backfield, but don't expect the Rams running backs to consistently have weeks like week 1.

Fantasy players this impacts: Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers, and Darrell Henderson Jr.

 

Chiefs Running Backs - Run Game (Andy Reid)

While Clyde Edwards-Helaire running wild in his first start is a great story, there were some anomalies in the usage of the Kansas City Chiefs running backs than Andy Reid typically deploys. Last Thursday, the Chiefs running backs got 32 carries, 161 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 4 targets, 7 receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns. Considering Andy Reid's running back room had historically averaged 19.98 carries, 87.62 rushing yards, 0.65 rushing touchdowns, 6.73 targets, 42.94 receiving yards, and 0.29 receiving touchdowns in the 336 games as a head coach in the NFL prior to week 1, it seems likely that the running backs will see less work on the ground.

Even if you argue that this is one of the best running back rooms that Andy Reid has ever had, the numbers still suggest that the team is in for some regression in the ground game. Take a look below at Andy Reid's per game season highs for his running backs in various categories.

Andy Reid will better utilize his running backs through the air in future weeks, but it's gonna come at the cost of the ground game.

Fantasy players this impacts: Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams

 

Chargers Running Backs - Run Game (Anthony Lynn)

For the first time since 2003, the Chargers played a game without Philip Rivers on the roster. They ended up winning after Randy Bullock missed a field goal for the Bengals.

In the game yesterday, the running backs room took 33 carries for 148 rushing yards and a touchdown. This is a great day for the team on the ground, but through the air, only Austin Ekeler received receiving work...in the form of one reception on one target for three yards. Considering head coach Anthony Lynn's running back room averages 22.42 carries, 102.87 rushing yards, 0.94 rushing touchdowns, 8.29 targets, 57.95 receiving yards, and 0.40 receiving touchdowns per game over the course of the 62 games prior.

Ultimately, if we go based on Lynn's previous experience, we should expect positive regression in the receiving game for Lynn's running backs as well as some regression in the ground game.

Fantasy players this impacts: Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, and Justin Jackson



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RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More