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Ten Coaching Changes That Will Impact Fantasy Football in 2022

What can we expect from new head coaches and offensive coordinators this season?

Stats. Analytics.

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 with a look at how new head coaches and coordinators have run their past offenses and what it might mean for the 2022 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.

So without further ado, let’s look at the new men behind your fantasy football stars.

Buffalo Bills

Head coach: Sean McDermott (2017-present)
Offensive Coordinator: Ken Dorsey (2022)

McDermott returns for his sixth season as the Bills head coach, while Dorsey has been promoted to offensive coordinator after the departure of Brian Daboll. He served as the team's passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach last season and helped guide Josh Allen to one of the best fantasy seasons of all time among field generals.

During Dorsey’s time as the team’s quarterbacks coach or passing game coordinator, Allen has scored more fantasy points than any other player at his position. He's thrown for the sixth-most yards (12,040), the fifth-most touchdowns (93), and rushed for the third-most yards (1,694) and the most rushing touchdowns (23) in that time.

Overall, Dorsey’s offense will look a lot like Daboll’s with maybe a few minor alterations to make the system feel more like his own. I don’t think there will be any significant changes in terms of philosophy on that side of the football. As a result, Dorsey’s presence as the new lead man won’t alter the draft value of his top players.

Stefon Diggs, who had two top-10 finishes under Daboll, should remain one of the best wideouts in fantasy land. Gabriel Davis could break out in the system, and Jamison Crowder could be an under-the-radar asset out of the slot. Keep in mind, Cole Beasley had 325 targets as the main slot man for Daboll over the last three NFL seasons.

The backfield will remain a committee under Dorsey, led by Devin Singletary; rookie James Cook could usurp Zack Moss as the No. 2 back on the depth chart. Singletary, who was a league winner last season, should bring back No. 3 runner or flex value.

Carolina Panthers

Head coach: Matt Rhule (2020-present)
Offensive Coordinator: Ben McAdoo (2022)

The Panthers fired former offensive coordinator Joe Brady in the offseason and hired McAdoo to fill that role for 2022. He had previously served as the offensive coordinator and then head coach of the New York Giants (2014-2017) before being fired himself. McAdoo served as the Jaguars quarterbacks coach under Urban Meyer last season.

McAdoo’s previous offenses featured the passing game in a prominent fashion, as Eli Manning averaged over 600 pass attempts per season from 2014-16. In fact, he had two top-10 fantasy finishes in those three seasons. Unfortunately, the Panthers’ current situation at quarterback, with a lame duck in Sam Darnold, leaves much to be desired.

The running back position found little success in New York during McAdoo’s tenure, but the team had very limited talent on the roster. His top options were Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Wayne Gallman and Orleans Darkwa. That clearly won't be the case in Carolina, of course, with fantasy superstar Christian McCaffrey in his stable. The big question with CMC won't be McAdoo, but rather his ability to avoid injuries.

McAdoo’s offense did field one elite wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., who finished in the top seven in fantasy points three times and was a top five receiver twice in the offense. No other wideout finished higher than 30th at the position, however. The Panthers’ top receiver, D.J. Moore, is unlikely to move into the same elite level as OBJ, but he will be a popular selection as a No. 2 fantasy wideout in most 2022 drafts.

Fantasy fans should also remember that Evan Engram had his best fantasy season while McAdoo was running the Giants offense. That's not to suggest Tommy Tremble will have some sort of breakout campaign, but it's still a notable little factoid.

Chicago Bears

Head coach: Matt Ebeflus (2022)
Offensive Coordinator: Luke Getsy (2022)

Ebeflus comes in as the Bears’ new head man after four years as the Colts’ defensive coordinator. We’ll focus on his offensive coordinator, Getsy, from a fantasy standpoint. He had spent his entire career in Green Bay, serving in a variety of offensive roles. Most recently, he was the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach under head man Matt LaFleur. Getsy has never called offensive plays for an NFL team, however.

Getsy coaching under LaFleur would put him under the Kyle Shanahan tree, but trying to diagnose exactly what his offensive scheme will look like is difficult. After all, Getsy coached a future Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers and had star players like Aaron Jones and Davante Adams in Green Bay. Clearly, he doesn't have that luxury in Chicago.

I would assume that Getsy will tailor the offense around his second-year quarterback, Justin Fields. That should mean a lot of RPOs (run-pass options) and attacking enemy defenses downfield. Getsy can lean on the run, too, as we saw during his one season as the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs averaged over 220 rushing yards per game and 5.7 yards per rush attempt in 2018.

That sort of offensive philosophy would be great for the value of David Montgomery.

Getsy has already talked about further developing his No. 1 wideout, Darnell Mooney, suggesting that his system will enable receivers and help Fields in the passing game. While Mooney is clearly the top fantasy wideout in Chicago, managers might want to keep an eye on Equanimeous St. Brown during training camp. He’s familiar with Getsy from their time in Green Bay, and the depth chart behind Mooney is wide open.

Denver Broncos

Head coach: Nathanial Hackett (2022)
Offensive Coordinator: Justin Outten (2022)

Hackett will be the head man for the Broncos after serving as an offensive coordinator for eight seasons with the Bills, Jaguars and Packers. He was with Green Bay when Rodgers was a top-nine fantasy quarterback three times (2019-21) and had a pair of top five finishes. He was also the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville when Blake Bortles finished ninth in points among quarterbacks during the 2016 NFL campaign.

Hackett’s offenses have typically featured the pass attack more heavily than the ground game, which of course is good news for Russell Wilson. Hackett has already said that he's going to “let Russ cook,” so he could be in for a big fantasy season as a passer.

Running backs have had success under Hackett, as his offenses have produced three top-12 fantasy seasons. Aaron Jones (2019, 2021) and Leonard Fournette (2017) both hit that mark, while T.J. Yeldon was the RB14 in 14 games under Hackett in 2018. He likes to use one featured back when possible, but Hackett also ran a committee in 2016 with Yeldon and Chris Ivory. While I like Javonte Williams to lead the Broncos backfield in touches this season, he won’t see a true featured role with Melvin Gordon in the mix.

At wide receiver, Adams is the lone player to finish better than 24th in fantasy points in Hackett’s offenses. He’s also the only 1,000-yard wideout Hackett has produced. That list of receivers includes Allen Robinson, who finished just 24th back in 2016. This isn’t necessarily bad news for Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton though, as Hackett hasn’t had what you would call an elite level of talent at the position as a coordinator.

Hackett’s system has only produced one tight end who has finished better than 21st at the position (Robert Tonyan – 2020). That list includes guys like Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas. So while Albert Okwuegbunam is considered a fantasy sleeper heading into 2020 fantasy drafts, managers might want to temper their statistical expectations.

Houston Texans

Head coach: Lovie Smith (2022)
Offensive Coordinator: Pep Hamilton (2022)

The Texans have completely overhauled their coaching staff ahead of the 2022 season, hiring veteran head man Smith to run the show and Hamilton to lead the offense. We'll keep our fantasy focus on Hamilton, who ran the Colts offensive attack from 2013-15.

Hamilton was fortunate enough to have Andrew Luck for two full seasons. In that time, he finished second and fourth among quarterbacks. Hamilton’s system threw the ball more than 60% of the time with the Colts, but that could change with second-year QB Davis Mills under center. While he had an under-the-radar good finish to his rookie season, Mills won't be selected in most traditional fantasy redrafts.

Colts running backs didn't find a ton of success under Hamilton, as just one finished better than 23rd in points at the position. That was Frank Gore, who was the RB14 in 2015. Neither Trent Richardson nor Ahmad Bradshaw was able to crack the top 20. The Texans don't have a superstar in their backfield and will likely go with a committee of Marlon Mack, Dameon Pierce and Rex Burkhead. I would target Pierce in fantasy drafts out of this trio, but he likely won’t be more than a matchup-based flex starter.

Hamilton’s offense has only produced one top-12 fantasy receiver, T.Y. Hilton (WR12) in 2014. Hilton also finished 22nd in fantasy points in 2015, but he is the only wideout to rank better than 36th at the position under Hamilton’s watch. That will change this season, however, as Brandin Cooks should be a top-20 receiver as the top option in the passing game. Guys like Nico Collins and John Metchie will be worth a late-round flier in drafts, but managers might want to temper expectations based on Hamilton's past.

Tight ends have had some level of success under Hamilton, as Coby Fleener was a top-10 player at the position in 2014. That same season, Dwayne Allen ranked 19th. The Texans will head into the season with Brevin Jordan as their top tight end, and I think he could end up being a top-20 player at the position in his second year in the league.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Head coach: Doug Pederson (2022)
Offensive Coordinator: Press Taylor (2022)

The Jaguars ended the forgettable Urban Meyer era quickly, hiring Pederson as their new head coach. Taylor, a first-time offensive coordinator in the NFL, won’t call the plays. That duty will be on Pederson, who has eight years of experience as either a coordinator or a coach, most recently with the Eagles (2017-20) as their head man.

In his final three years with the Birds, his offenses threw the ball around 60% of the time. Carson Wentz had a pair of top-10 finishes, including a QB5 ranking in 2017 that could have been even higher had he not gotten hurt after 13 games. Alex Smith had three top-20 finishes at the quarterback position while Pederson was the coordinator in Kansas City. This all bodes well for Trevor Lawrence, who had a forgettable rookie season but still has a high statistical ceiling and could be a nice fantasy draft bargain.

Pederson has overseen a pair of top seven running back seasons, both in Kansas City with Jamaal Charles. Andy Reid was calling the plays for the Chiefs, though, so a better gauge of how the position has done under Pederson would be to look at his time with the Eagles. In four seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, the team produced only one top-15 season from a running back. That was Miles Sanders, who was 15th in 2019.

Beyond that, no player at the position has finished better than 23rd and no runner has rushed for more than 867 yards in a single season. That’s not the most favorable news when it comes to fantasy darling Travis Etienne, but I can still see him finishing as a top 15 back in his second season. Of course, much of that will depend on the status of James Robinson, who is coming back from an injured Achilles tendon suffered last year.

One position that has not had much success under Pederson is wide receiver. In fact, only Jeremy Maclin (2015) has finished better than 21st in fantasy points. He's also the only wide receiver to have a 1,000-yard season under Pederson's watch. The Jaguars have a crowded group of wideouts after a busy offseason that saw them sign Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, so I wouldn't be surprised if this trend continues. Kirk is the best fantasy option, but I don't see him as being much more than a No. 3 wideout.

While his wide receivers have been mediocre, Pederson’s tight ends have found plenty of success. Even if we exclude the two seasons in Kansas City with Travis Kelce, the position has still provided five top-10 finishes based on fantasy points. Furthermore, Pederson produced a top-10 tight end in all but one of his five seasons in Philadelphia.

Clearly, this doesn't mean you should go out and draft Evan Engram to be your starting fantasy tight end this season. It does, however, make him a more attractive late-round selection as a backup who could potentially become a more valuable asset in 2022.

Las Vegas Raiders

Head coach: Josh McDaniels (2022)
Offensive Coordinator: Mick Lombardi (2022)

McDaniels will take on his second head coaching job in the league, and he'll be calling the plays for what should be an exciting Raiders offensive attack. During his 16 seasons as either a head coach or offensive coordinator, his starting quarterback has finished 15th or better 13 times. That stat is skewed of course, because most of those finishes were accomplished by the greatest quarterback to ever play the game in Tom Brady.

To McDaniels’ credit, though, he did help lead Matt Cassel to a QB8 finish in 2008. Kyle Orton also had a pair of top-15 finishes when he was the head coach in Denver. Now in Las Vegas, McDaniels will coach a quarterback in Derek Carr who is more talented than any other signal caller he's had besides Brady. Carr, who finished as the QB14 last season, is a prime breakout candidate with Davante Adams now in the offensive mix.

Speaking of wide receivers, McDaniels’ offense has produced seven top-10 finishes and another six in the top 20. His wideouts have produced 1,000-plus seasons seven times, and receivers have hauled in 90 or more passes on nine different occasions. This is of course good news for Adams, who might struggle to produce at the same level he had the last two seasons in Green Bay but should still be a top-10 fantasy receiver in 2022.

One other quick note on the wideouts … of the 13 times a receiver has finished in the top 20 under McDaniels, eight have come running most of their routes out of the slot. That's good news for Hunter Renfrow, who won't be a top-10 wide receiver like he was last season but could still end up being a pretty good bargain in some fantasy drafts.

At running back, McDaniels has been infamous for using backfield committees often in New England. He has had some top-10 players with the Patriots such as James White (2018) and LeGarrette Blount (2016), though, and Damien Harris finished as the RB14 in 2021. Steven Jackson was the RB10 when McDaniels was the OC in St. Louis. But even in a scenario where Josh Jacobs leads the Raiders’ backfield in touches, Kenyan Drake, Brandon Bolden and maybe rookie Zamir White could be in the overall mix. That will limit Jacobs to being more of a low No. 2 fantasy runner or flex starter in drafts.

McDaniels’ success with tight ends is evident, as his offense featured a future Hall of Famer in Rob Gronkowski. He was a top-10 tight end four times and finished 11th once. McDaniels has only had one other top-10 player at the position, though: Hunter Henry (2021). Still, having a player like Darren Waller should mean another tight end in the top 10. While his target share will decline with Adams in the mix, Waller should still see more than enough opportunities to be a top-10 player at what is a pretty thin position.

Miami Dolphins

Head coach: Mike McDaniel (2022)
Offensive Coordinator: Frank Smith (2022)

McDaniel will take over as the head man in Miami this season, but he has a very small resume as an offensive coordinator in the NFL. While he did serve as the run game coordinator for four years in San Francisco, he was the OC just once (2021). In that one season, head coach Kyle Shanahan was the team’s main play caller.

McDaniel has spent the majority of his NFL coaching career with Shanahan, so fantasy fans can expect a similar offensive approach. As a result, we'll continue to see a wide zone run scheme paired with a West Coast style of offense in the pass attack.

If we look at Shanahan’s history as a coordinator or head coach, he’s had three different quarterbacks (Matt Ryan – 2016, Matt Schaub – 2009, Robert Griffin III – 2012) finish in the top five. No other quarterbacks have ranked higher than 14th, however.

That’s probably a good ceiling for Tua Tagovailoa.

Shanahan has had some success with running backs, as five have finished in the top eight in points under his watch. Elijah Mitchell finished as the RB26 last season, but he missed six games due to injuries. The problem with McDaniel’s Miami backfield is the depth, which will make it tough to predict touch shares on a week-to-week basis. Chase Edmonds is the best fantasy option, but Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel loom as well.

There have been some stud receivers who have thrived under Shanahan’s watch, as Andre Johnson, Julio Jones and Deebo Samuel all combined for a total of five top-six fantasy finishes. Only two others have finished in the top-20 under his watch, however. That was Pierre Garcon (2013) and Santana Moss (2010). Shanahan has also had just one season (2008) when two wideouts have both finished in the top 25 in PPR points.

Of course, Shanahan has never had what McDaniel does in Miami: a pair of star wide receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. McDaniel was the OC last season when the Niners had Samuel (WR3) and Brandon Aiyuk (WR35), but the latter faltered overall.

Shanahan’s offense does like to use the tight end, as he’s coached a total of five top-six fantasy finishes at the position including George Kittle (2018, 2019, 2021), Chris Cooley (2010) and Owen Daniels (2008). In all, Shanahan has produced a combined 10 top-20 fantasy tight ends in his coaching career. That’s good news for Mike Gesicki, who likely won’t be a top-10 option but should be a viable No. 2 option or matchup-based starter.

Minnesota Vikings

Head coach: Kevin O’Connell (2022)
Offensive Coordinator: Wes Phillips (2022)

O’Connell will take on his first-ever head coaching job in the NFL after three seasons as an offensive coordinator between Washington and Los Angeles. Wes Phillips will take on his first NFL job as an OC, but O’Connell will handle all of the play-calling duties. His offense will mirror what Super Bowl winning head coach Sean McVay has done with the Rams, featuring three-receiver sets, plenty of play action and a zone run scheme.

The offense should benefit Kirk Cousins, who was the quarterback in Washington when McVay was the offensive coordinator. Under his watch, Cousins finished fifth in fantasy points in 2016 and eighth in 2015. You like that? Overall, McVay’s offense has seen five top-12 finishes among quarterbacks including Matthew Stafford’s QB6 finish in 2021.

McVay’s running backs (not named Todd Gurley) haven’t had a ton of success, though Alfred Morris was the RB17 in 2014. Darrell Henderson averaged 13.6 points per game last season under McVay and O’Connell, but he missed time due to injuries and was replaced by Cam Akers late. Still, I like this offense for Dalvin Cook. If he can avoid injuries, which has been a serious problem, he should finish as a top-10 runner.

At wide receiver, McVay and O’Connell coached the greatest fantasy wide receiver of all time last season when Cooper Kupp scored 439.5 points. In all, McVay’s system has produced five top-15 finishes and all of them have come over the last five seasons. In an offense that could be described as “pass happy,” Justin Jefferson should continue to shine. Adam Thielen should also be a viable No. 3 fantasy wideout or flex starter.

The McVay system has also produced three top-10 fantasy tight ends, though just one of them has occurred in the last five years (Tyler Higbee – 2019). Still, managers should take a look at Irv Smith Jr. as a late-round selection who could be a bargain.

New York Giants

Head coach: Brian Daboll (2022)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Kafka (2022)

Daboll gets his first head coaching job in the NFL after eight seasons as an offensive coordinator between Cleveland, Miami, Kansas City and Buffalo. He’ll also be calling the plays ahead of new OC Mike Kafka, who has no NFL experience in that role.

The Giants are hoping Daboll can reverse the fortunes of Daniel Jones, who has been mostly a dud in fantasy land. While Josh Allen was a top-six quarterback in three years, including two as the QB1, he’s the lone quarterback who has finished better than 21st under Daboll’s watch. In his defense though, the other signal-callers he’s coached in the NFL include the likes of Matt Moore, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy and Matt Cassel.

Regardless, this is likely Jones’s last, best chance to be a fantasy-relevant quarterback.

At running back, Daboll’s system has produced a pair of top-10 players in Peyton Hillis (2010) and Jamaal Charles (2012). Two other runners, Reggie Bush (2011) and Devin Singletary (2021) have finished in the top 20. It’s also notable that backs have seen 50 or more targets five times in Daboll’s coaching career. That should bode well for one of the biggest risk-reward players at the position, Saquon Barkley. Aside from Charles, Barkley is easily the best running back Daboll has ever had in his offensive system.

Daboll’s lone top-10 fantasy wideout during his coaching career is Stefon Diggs (2020-21). He’s had just one other receiver (Brandon Marshall – 2011) rank in the top 20. That being said, none of the Giants’ wide receivers will be anywhere close to being top-50 picks in drafts. In fact, Kadarius Toney is their highest-rated receiver based on the average draft position data (ADP) at the National Fantasy Football Championships. Daboll’s presence will slightly help the appeal of guys like Toney, Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard, but none of them will be drafted as more than No. 4 of 5 wideouts.

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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!