It’s shaping up to be an unprecedented year of offensive turnover in the NFL. Coaching staffs are being replaced at a furious pace. Teams are scrambling to provide their franchise QBs with coordinators that understand how to wind them up and turn them loose. Offensive minded and youthful head coaches are being appointed to re-brand and restart the engines of idling teams. This turnover (pun intended) means good things for dynasty football owners! The @DFF_Degenerates got together again to talk candidly about this glorious off-season madness.
What coaching changes have you the most excited for dynasty football, and why?
@dibari22: I’m typically a negative person, so I usually look for the glass to be half empty. I’m not sold on John Gruden after a 10-year hiatus and I think the Raiders take a step back. But if you want something good, I guess Mike Vrabel in Tennessee. He seems to be putting together a great staff and is saying all the right things early, I look for Mariota & Corey Davis to have solid 2018s for fantasy.
@DFF_Walk: The easy answer is John Gruden, but I would say that I’m cautiously optimistic about the Raiders dynasty prospects moving forward. I’m not a Derek Carr guy but I think he’s serviceable enough to make other players extremely fantasy relevant (e.g. Amari Cooper). I’m curious where they go at RB because Marshawn Lynch isn’t the long-term (or even short-term) answer.
@TravisNFL: Honestly, the coaching change that I’m most excited about is Todd Haley becoming the OC in Cleveland. Haley has an extensive history as a successful play-caller and just the simple act of taking the playbook out of Hue Jackson’s hands could work miracles for that Browns’ offense. I’m excited for Josh Gordon, whoever the heck the QB is, and whoever the heck the RB is in 2018.
@DynastyGOAT: He’s not a sexy pick as far as fantasy football is concerned, but I’m most interested to see the impact of Steve Wilks in Arizona. He was the defensive coordinator in Carolina, so I’ll be watching carefully to see how he uses David Johnson.
@DFF_JamesH: Not excited, but curious to see what Detroit will be like under Matt Patricia.
@amazehayes_roto: I am extremely excited for Pat Shurmur as the new head coach of the New York Giants. He was an amazing and productive offensive coordinator in Minnesota and should have fun with his new weapons in New York. As fantasy players, we should be drooling over what Shurmur can do for the skill position players of the Giants: Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, Brandon Marshall, and potentially a top running back from the 2018 class. If all things go well, the Giants could be a team that houses many fantasy producing players in 2018 and beyond.
@DynoEconomist: Todd Haley. Cleveland needs to find a competent QB, but they have to many young assets to not turn it around eventually.
@DFF_Madman: Derek Carr will become a greater fantasy threat and more consistent with the addition of John Gruden and team. Unlike the Cult of Chucky, I don’t expect an immediate Super Bowl team, but I do expect better fantasy points.
I like the Tennessee situation even better than Oakland with the addition of Matt LaFleur! It makes sense we will see immediate improvement from Marcus Mariota and Corey Davis. However, I think Mitch Trubisky stands the most to gain with the offensive resurrection in Chicago, under both Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich. The Bears put together a veritable dream team of offensive coaches. If they add a few key offensive players, you know, like maybe some WRs… this offense is going to be very explosive and exciting for dynasty (and all of fantasy) football.
@DFF_Thebrain: I think the most recent hire is the one I like best. It’s not a head coaching hire, but John Defilippo being hired as offensive coordinator by the Minnesota Vikings is very intriguing. Whomever the Vikings decide they will sign to be their next quarterback gets to work with the coach credited for turning Carson Wentz into an MVP candidate in his second season and guiding Nick Foles to a Super Bowl championship!
@ChristipherBean: Coaches affect distribution and snap count, not talent. So, none of them. OK, FINE, I’ll play along… Todd Haley in Cleveland.
Not because he’s going to “turn around the browns,” a blind bum in an alley could turn around the Browns with $110m in cap space and 5-picks in the first 2-rounds (everyone should thank Sashi Brown, and remember the wrong guy was fired). Todd Haley is more willing than most to use a guy like Duke Johnson in a workhorse role. Of course, Dorsey is probably going to waste a 1st Round Pick on an RB because he is an awful GM who can’t draft worth a damn, so this is probably moot.
Name a dynasty player who will have an offensive resurgence this next NFL season, and why.
@dibari22: Marcus Mariota. I think he regressed a bit last year, much more than anyone anticipated, and the new staff coming in must realize he’s the key to their future winning. He’s got all the weapons around him with a solid receiving corps, an established running game, and versatile tight ends with a good offensive line… no excuses this year.
@DFF_Walk: Does Aaron Jones count? He’s by far the best pure runner in Green Bay. Had it not been for injury, we would be talking about a player with high-end RB2 upside in an Aaron Rodgers’ led offense.
@TravisNFL: Dak is back, baby! I’m a firm believer (I have to preach it at least once a week on the Super Flexible Podcast) that all players have had (or will have) bad years, and we should not give up on a guy after one bad season, especially if it was preceded by an historically great one. Good players will have seasons that are statistical clunkers. I’ve seen enough from Dak Prescott to know that he is capable of (and has the talent to produce) elite fantasy upside. Dallas still has a top O-line in 2018 (and may even bolster it further through the draft), an elite run game to keep defenses honest, and it’s an almost certainty that they bring in more and better receiving weapons for Dak. Don’t be surprised when he’s an elite fantasy option once again.
@DynastyGOAT: Amari Cooper.
Dynasty experts everywhere thought Cooper was going to be a breakout WR1 last year. I’m not ruling out the potential, but 2017 was a disaster for his fantasy owners. A mediocre 48-reception season wasn’t even good enough to play in a flex spot. Gruden will bring a lot to the offense next season. Cooper should be one of the main beneficiaries.
@DFF_JamesH: Jamison Crowder: With Alex Smith as the new QB, there will be changes to that offense. Also, if Reed can stay healthy you have to think he is going to be a monster with Smith.
@amazehayes_roto: If by resurgence, you mean a return to grace in the hearts of fantasy players, then I am picking Julio Jones. We all knew the Falcons would fall back down to Earth in 2017, but nobody expected THIS far of a drop-off. The Falcons’ passing game severely regressed in every way imaginable, with Matt Ryan throwing his lowest number of yards since 2010. Despite catching 88 receptions for 1444 yards, Julio Jones only scored three times all season. His TD% was cut in half from 2016 to 2017 from 4.65% to 2.03%, leading me to believe that number must increase back to the mean in 2018. With a 4% TD% in 2017, Julio would have caught six touchdowns and no one would be pushing him into the second round of dynasty startups. Julio Jones is not dying people; HE IS STILL AN ELITE RECEIVER.
@DynoEconomist: Amari Cooper. He was BAD last year, but his track record tells me that will not be the case going forward. Mariota as well. He had so many weapons last season. I do not understand how he regressed so much.
@DFF_Madman: I’m going with three players at different positions. Like Di Bari, I really like the situation for Mariota, but I think it will be a more significant change in fantasy point production for Mitch Trubisky… eventually. I think Corey Davis will break out this season and Lamar Miller will continue what he was able to do with Watson at QB last year, which vaults him back into RB1 numbers.
@DFF_Thebrain: Willie Snead. He had a terrible season and was seldom used after an early season suspension. Fact is, there is a role to be had on this team for a receiver of Snead’s skill set. Given the Saints’ cap situation, I think Snead will get another opportunity to be fantasy relevant next season.
@ChristipherBean: Jerick McKinnon. Sound odd? I know many were impressed with him this year. Well, he’s going elsewhere in 2018, and hopefully as a lead RB. He’s earned it. Oddly, while his 40.00% 2nd Level Success rate is 7th/72 (Min. 50 rushes), he was 59th in Breakaway runs. Basically, he never got lucky and never had an open field to work with, earning every yard for himself. That should regress, and with added volume, which hopefully provides a solid uptick in Fantasy production. (Side note: 100% with Travis. Dak is better than both Watson and Wentz. He’s a major comeback candidate as well)
Name a dynasty player who will fall back to Earth (or off it) during the upcoming NFL season and why.
@dibari22: Alvin Kamara. He had an incredible season, but he’ll never be able to reproduce those numbers from an efficiency standpoint. He produced 1.59 fantasy points per touch last season. By comparison, Le’Veon Bell averaged 0.84 fantasy points per touch. Even Todd Gurley’s monster year was sitting at 1.11 points per touch. Kamara still has tremendous upside, but he’ll probably never repeat what he did as a rookie.
@DFF_Walk: DeMarco Murray. Easy, he will fall off the Fantasy Earth next season. He was a shell of himself in 2017 and will be a rotted husk in the 2018 season. A close second for me would be Doug Martin. His pirate ship has sailed in Tampa Bay and he’ll likely have to compete for a spot elsewhere next season. (At the time of writing, Muscle Hamster was still a Buccaneer; so, @DFF_Walk was indeed prophetic.)
@TravisNFL: Jack Doyle will not finish inside the top-10 TEs in 2018. Doyle finished as the TE7 in PPR leagues in 2017. He was tied for the 2nd lowest yds/target and 3rd lowest yds/reception amongst the top-50 fantasy TEs. The reason he finished so highly was strictly volume, finishing the year with the 5th most targets at the TE position. Now let’s remember, Doyle had Jacoby Brissett throwing him the ball all year. Who is the best friend to an inexperienced/bad QB? That’s right, the tight end. I fully expect Andrew Luck to be back under center for the Colts in 2018, and that changes everything for that offense. No longer will T.Y. Hilton be relegated to 6.8 targets/game (his lowest since his rookie year). No longer will Jack Doyle receive 7.2 targets/game like he did in 2017 (he received 4.6 targets/game in his “breakout” season in 2016). Andrew Luck doesn’t need Jack Doyle like Brissett needed him. Jack Doyle will also not be the only healthy TE who can catch the ball in 2018. He is an unathletic, safety-valve player, who is not the center of a functioning offense. Give me Jason Witten 5 rounds later.
@DynastyGOAT: Mark Ingram. In 2017 he set personal bests in rushing yards, rushing TDs, receptions, and receiving yards. The soon to be 29-year-old is a near lock for regression.
@DFF_JamesH: Robby Anderson. I like Anderson a lot, but the Jets will be bolstering their offense this off-season which could see him get pushed down the pecking order.
@amazehayes_roto: Alvin Kamara. Since 2000, Kamara ranks 10th in total TD% (minimum 200 touches) among running backs with a 6.44 touchdown percentage. Looking at next season for the nine players ahead of Kamara, the average difference in percentage is -2.82%. This nearly cuts Kamara’s 2017 TD% in half, which would have given him eight total touchdowns instead of 13. This is a significant drop in touchdowns and fantasy points, not to mention his projected regression in rushing efficiency after posting 6.07 yards per carry in 2017. It was a hyper-efficient and hyper-productive season for Kamara and I expect a decent regression back down to Earth. However, I still expect Kamara to be a backend RB1 in 2018, no worse than a high RB2.
@DynoEconomist: Jarvis Landry.
The guy failed to break 1000 yards on 112 receptions. That is not normal. No team will be a consistent winner with that kind of offense.
@DFF_Madman: I’m going Jack Doyle too. I had the benefit of owning him while he put up those career numbers and I like players who are greater than the sum of their parts. Those are the guys we cheer for. However, I don’t see Doyle as a long-term asset at tight end. I expect modest TE2 numbers for his career and definitely expect him to fall back to Earth this season. I didn’t know Travis and I agreed on Doyle as a dynasty downer. So, what came first: The chicken or the egg? Sure, he had a high dominator rating last year, and Travis helped explain exactly why that was. I’m selling high on Doyle. He’s more Jesse James and less Kyle Rudolph and will certainly regress.
@DFF_Thebrain: Duke Johnson. Duke benefited from a below average season by Isaiah Crowell and some positive game scripts to be much more fantasy relevant than he had the right to be. The Browns will no doubt address the running back position and with one of their two top-5 picks. Drafting highly coveted running back Saquon Barkley is not out of the question.
@ChristipherBean: Kareem Hunt. Hunt finished with a pedestrian 31.08% 2nd Level Success Rate (37th/72, min. 50 carries), but with a high 13.96% Breakaway Success rate (13th/72). That’s not good. It shows an element of luck with many long open-field runs that are not consistent year/year. Picture Isaiah Crowell in 2016; that is Kareem Hunt.
Thank you for reading! Special thanks to the entire @DFF_Degenerates roundtable. Stay tuned throughout the year as we gather to address hot and cold takes alike to keep our collective finger on the pulse of this beast known as Dynasty Football.