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Coaching Matters: Offenses That Will Improve From Week 3


This series continues into its third week of where I dive into offensive areas that will improve or decline based on coaching 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 a wild Week 3 where we saw performances such as the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers catching 26 passes on 36 targets for 4o5 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns against the Seattle secondary or the New York Giants running backs taking only ten carries for 17 rushing yards, it's important to look at their play-caller's history and see if these performances are likely to continue, if they will change for the better, or if they will change for the worse.

This article will take a look at which of these areas are in line for improvement in future weeks. Let's dive in!

 

Improvement Ahead

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

 

New York Giants Running Backs

For the second week in a row, the New York Giants running backs land on this list of teams that should improve. Against the San Francisco 49ers, the New York Giants running backs were terrible. On the ground, they combined to take ten carries for 17 rushing yards, and through the air, they had three catches on six targets for 17 receiving yards.

But wait, there's more! On the year, the New York Giants running backs have combined for 40 carries, 72 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 14 receptions (on 22 targets), 127 receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns. There's nothing to say except the production out of this group so far this season has been abysmal.

Prior to this season, over the course of 208 games, Jason Garrett's running back room averaged 23.63 carries, 106.15 rushing yards, and 0.69 rushing touchdowns per game. Through the air over those 208 games, his running backs averaged 5.61 targets, 35.07 receiving yards, and 0.09 receiving touchdowns per game. This rushing attack is on pace to be the worst of Garrett's career, but even with Saquon Barkley out for the year, expect at least a little improvement for these running backs on the ground.

But even with this projected improvement, it's going to be hard to trust any of these running backs to be anything more than an RB3 in fantasy leagues.

Fantasy players this impacts: Devonta Freeman, Dion Lewis, and Wayne Gallman

 

Houston Texans Running Backs

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a tough matchup for running backs. On Sunday against the Steelers, the Texans running backs took 14 carries for 24 rushing yards and one touchdown. Through the air, David Johnson was the only running back on the team to get any work, to the tune of two receptions on three targets for 23 receiving yards.

After this performance, the Texans running backs have combined for 41 rushing attempts, 149 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, seven receptions (on 12 targets), 71 receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns on the year (three games). On a per-game basis, that's 13.67 carries, 49.67 rushing yards, 0.67 rushing touchdowns, 2.33 receptions (on four targets), 23.67 receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns per game.

Looking at head coach Bill O'Brien's running back room track record, we can expect some improvement here. Over 112 games prior to the start of the 2020 season, O'Brien's RB room averaged 5.06 targets, 29.78 receiving yards, 0.18 receiving touchdowns, 24.88 carries, 100.71 rushing yards, and 0.50 rushing touchdowns per game.

A tough opening schedule and Bill O'Brien's past tendencies suggest that there's going to be an improvement for the Texans running backs. Now is a fantastic time to buy this backfield!

Fantasy players this impacts: David Johnson and Duke Johnson

 

Dallas Cowboys Running Backs (Run Game)

In the loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Ezekiel Elliott was the only player to get any carries from the team's running back room. He took 14 carries for 34 rushing yards and scored one rushing touchdown. In the air, Elliott and Tony Pollard combined for seven receptions on 13 targets for 19 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. This means that through the first three games of the season, the Dallas Cowboys running backs are averaging 20.67 carries, 78.33 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 6.33 receptions (9.33 targets), 36 receiving yards, and 0.33 receiving touchdowns per game.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has had his running backs average 21.17 carries, 89.18 rushing yards, 0.57 rushing touchdowns, 5.38 targets, 31.44 receiving yards, and 0.10 receiving touchdowns per game in the 304 games he coached (as either a head coach or an offensive coordinator) prior to this season.

Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore had only been an offensive coordinator for 16 games prior to this season. In this time, his running backs combined to average 24.19 carries, 113.25 rushing yards, 0.88 rushing touchdowns per game, 5.69 targets, 32.94 receiving yards, and 0.19 receiving touchdowns.

RB Room Carries RB Room Rushing Yards RB Room Rushing Touchdowns RB Room Targets RB Room Receiving Yards
RB Room Receiving Touchdowns
2020 Cowboys (3 games) 20.67 78.33 1 9.33 36 0.33
Mike McCarthy (304 games prior) 21.17 89.18 0.57 5.38 31.44 0.1
Kellen Moore (16 games prior) 24.19 113.25 0.88 5.69 32.94 0.19

Based on these coaches' previous history of utilizing the position, expect an increase in carries and rushing yards for the Dallas Cowboys running backs in the future.

Fantasy players this impacts: Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard

 

Jacksonville Jaguars Running Backs (Run Game)

The Jacksonville Jaguars running backs took 13 carries for 49 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and in the air, they were good with 11 receptions on 12 targets for 118 receiving yards and zero touchdowns in Week 3. This means that through the first three weeks of the season, the Jaguars running backs are averaging 15.67 carries, 73.33 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 6.67 receptions (on 7.67 targets), 63.33 receiving yards, and 0.33 receiving touchdowns per game.

In the 144 games prior to this season as an offensive coordinator or head coach, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone had his running backs average 23.40 carries, 94.15 rushing yards, 0.62 rushing touchdowns, 8.86 targets, 49.47 receiving yards, and 0.21 receiving touchdowns per game.

In addition, Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden had his running backs combine to average 21.95 carries, 87.59 rushing yards, 0.54 rushing touchdowns per game, 5.27 targets, 34.65 receiving yards, and 0.16 receiving touchdowns in the 133 games he coached as an offensive coordinator or head coach prior to this season.

RB Room Carries RB Room Rushing Yards RB Room Rushing Touchdowns RB Room Targets RB Room Receiving Yards
RB Room Receiving Touchdowns
2020 Jaguars (3 games) 15.67 73.33 1 7.67 63.33 0.33
Doug Marrone (144 games prior) 23.40 94.15 0.62 8.86 49.47 0.21
Jay Gruden (133 games prior) 21.95 87.59 0.54 5.27 34.65 0.16

Based on all this information, there is likely to be a slight uptick in carries and rushing yards for the Jaguars' backs, as well as a downtick in touchdowns per game.

Fantasy players this impacts: James Robinson, Chris Thompson, and Ryquell Armstead

 

Miami Dolphins Wide Receivers

The Dolphins wide receivers had 10 receptions on 10 targets for 109 receiving yards and a touchdown in Week 3's Thursday Night Football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. On the year (three games), the Dolphins' wide receivers are averaging 12 receptions on 17.67 targets for 130.33 receiving yards and 0.67 receiving touchdowns per game.

Chan Gailey has been around so long in this league that he coached two seasons where targets weren't even tracked in 1989 and 1990. In the 192 games (of his 224 games as an offensive coordinator or head coach) prior to this season where targets were tracked, his wide receiver room saw 20.78 targets per game. Over the 224 games he'd been a coach, his WR room averaged 154.93 receiving yards and 0.89 receiving touchdowns per game.

The Dolphins wide receivers are looking like a strong buy-low based on Chan Gailey's usage historically. Invest accordingly.

Fantasy players this impacts: DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Isaiah Ford

 

Cincinnati Bengals Running Backs 

Joe Mixon was the only back to get carries and he had 17 carries for 49 rushing yards and zero touchdowns. Through the air, Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard combined for five catches on six targets for 71 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. On the year (three games), the Bengals running backs are averaging 18 carries, 58 rushing yards, zero rushing touchdowns, 6.33 receptions (on eight targets), 52 receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns.

Looking at Bengals head coach Zac Taylor's 21 game history as an offensive coordinator or head coach prior to this season, his running backs combined to average 21.05 carries, 81.14 rushing yards, 0.43 rushing touchdowns, 5.48 targets, 32.86 receiving yards, and 0.14 receiving touchdowns per game.

Based on this information, the Bengals running backs are in line for some improvement, in particular with regards to the run game.

Fantasy players this impacts: Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard

 

Running Low

Denver Broncos Running Backs

The Denver Broncos got thrashed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, losing 28-10. In the game, the team's running backs got 10 carries for 30 rushing yards and zero rushing touchdowns. Through the air, they had six receptions on eight targets for 43 receiving yards and zero receiving touchdowns. After this game, the Broncos running backs are averaging 18.33 carries, 74 rushing yards, 0.33 rushing touchdowns, and 4.33 receptions (on 5.33 targets) for 29.33 receiving yards and 0.33 receiving touchdowns per game on the year (three games).

The Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmur, coached 169 games as an offensive coordinator or head coach prior to this season. In those games, his running back room averaged 6.86 targets, 38.56 receiving yards, 0.11 receiving touchdowns, 23.10 carries, 96.32 rushing yards, and 0.66 rushing touchdowns per game.

Fantasy players this impacts: Melvin Gordon, Phillip Lindsay, and Royce Freeman

 

New York Jets Wide Receivers

The New York Jets struggled on Sunday, losing 36-7. In that blowout, their wide receivers combined for only six receptions on 11 targets for 99 receiving yards and a touchdown. On the year, that means the Jets wide receivers are averaging 11.67 receptions on 19 targets for 131 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown per game.

WR Room Targets (per game) WR Room Yards (per game)
WR Room TD (per game)
2020 Jets (3 games) 19 131 1
Adam Gase (112 Games Prior) 21.61 175.29 1.19

Over the 112 games prior to this season, Adam Gase's wide receiver room averaged 21.61 targets, 175.29 receiving yards, and 1.19 receiving touchdowns per game. What this shows us is that we should expect better performances than last Sunday's blowout loss, but the New York Jets wide receivers in the season as a whole seem to be getting roughly the workload we'd expect in an Adam Gase offense.

Fantasy players this impacts: Breshad Perriman, Jamison Crowder, and Braxton Berrios

 

Indianapolis Colts Wide Receivers

In the Indianapolis Colts' 36-7 blowout of the New York Jets, the Colts' wide receiver room had 10 receptions on 14 targets for 135 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. On the year, that puts this group at 35 receptions on 53 targets for 377 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. On a per-game basis, this is 11.67 receptions on 17.67 targets for 125.67 receiving yards and 0.33 receiving touchdowns per game.

Over the 96 games prior to this season, Frank Reich's wide receiver room averaged 19.45 targets, 144.88 receiving yards, and 0.93 receiving touchdowns per game. Based on this, I would expect the Colts wide receivers to improve from Sunday's performance. However, I'm a little more uncertain about major improvement on the team's season stats. The number of targets this year (three games) for Frank Reich's wide receivers is actually higher than 2019, so there's a very real possibility that this is what we should expect from the receiving corps going forward.

Fantasy players this impacts: T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman (out), Parris Campbell (out), and Zach Pascal



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Whether it's injuries, bye-week blues, or simply poor performance, we've got the waiver-wire cure...but it just might cost you! Alongside our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Budget (FAB). In... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Dissecting Contact Quality In Search Of Fantasy Bargains

Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 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 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 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 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 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 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 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 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 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 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