These days, there's no shortage of information to prepare for your fantasy drafts. Heck, there might even be too much info! Well, I'm going to add to the madness by looking at how offensive coordinators and head coaches have run their offenses and what it might mean for the 2021 season. After all, the coaches and OCs are the minds behind the chess game that is the National Football League. Some coaches like to run the football, thus producing a ton of fantasy points at the running back position. Others prefer the air assault, making fantasy heroes out of quarterbacks while loading up wide receivers and tight ends with oodles of targets and chances to score points in the passing attack.
Well, this article will break it all down for you.
We’ve already looked at both the AFC East and AFC North, so let’s continue this series with the AFC North. What you'll find below are each team’s current head coaches and offensive coordinators. I’ll discuss which positions have thrived or failed based on past statistics and fantasy finishes during their respective tenures in the league.
Head coach: David Culley (2021)
Offensive Coordinator: Tim Kelly (2019-present)
Culley has a long, impressive resume as an offensive coach in the NFL, working with the Eagles, Chiefs, Bills, and Ravens. Kelly has been the Texans offensive coordinator since 2019, during which time Deshaun Watson has produced a pair of top-five fantasy finishes. Of course, his off-field issues and desire to be traded makes Watson a real risk in fantasy drafts at this point. He's worth just a late-round look as a speculative QB2.
Kelly’s running backs haven’t done much in the stat sheets, as David Johnson (RB21) is his best fantasy finisher. Houston has added Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, and Rex Burkhead in the offseason, making for a potentially confusing backfield committee that fantasy managers would be wise to avoid in a prominent role this upcoming season.
Texans wideouts have had some level of success under Kelly, as DeAndre Hopkins had a WR5 season in 2019. Will Fuller averaged 17.1 points per game and was on pace to have a top-10 fantasy season in 2020, but he was suspended in his final five games. In his absence, Brandin Cooks stepped up and finished with an average of more than 15 points. With Fuller now in Miami, Cooks is the most valuable of the Texans wideouts, with Randall Cobb also worth a look. Unfortunately, it's tough to gauge the true value of either player since we're unsure who the team's quarterback will be at this point.