A total of seven teams will have a new head coach heading into the 2014 NFL season and 12 teams will have different offensive coordinators. This can drastically change the play calling of an offense and it’s something to consider when preparing for your fantasy draft. Let’s take a look at some of the key 2014 NFL coaching changes and the players who could see the biggest impact to their fantasy value.
New Head Coach – Jay Gruden, New Offensive Coordinator – Sean McVay
The Redskins had a disappointing season in 2013 in terms of their record, but they did produce a decent amount of fantasy points. In real football though, fantasy points don’t pay the bills and that’s why Dan Snyder fired the Shanahans and brought in a new system. They brought over their tight end coach Sean McVay to be their offensive coordinator and they brought in Jay Gruden (former offensive coordinator of the Bengals) to be their head coach. Gruden will be calling the plays and you should expect his West Coast scheme to be somewhat pass friendly. If anything, this might hurt Alfred Morris just a tad, but overall there should still be plenty of fantasy points to go around in the Redskins high powered offense.
New Head Coach – Lovie Smith, New Offensive Coordinator – Jeff Tedford
Tampa Bay will have a new offensive system in 2014, bringing in Lovie Smith (former head coach of the Bears) as their head coach and Jeff Tedford (former California head coach) as their offensive coordinator. Considering the Bucs have some decent weapons, they had an extremely disappointing year in 2013, averaging only 18 points per game and a league low 277 total yards per game. I am expecting them to deploy a balanced offense in 2014 and hopefully a new system, a healthy Doug Martin, and the addition of rookie receiver Mike Evans will get their offense going.
New Head Coach – Mike Zimmer, New Offensive Coordinator – Norv Turner
The Vikings offense has some decent weapons, but a lack of a solid quarterback option is going to make things difficult for new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. With his time in San Diego, Turner typically ran somewhat of a balanced offense and at times he was slightly heavier with the pass. Last year with the Browns, he ran an extremely pass heavy offense, which was mainly due to their lack of a running game. It will be interesting to see if the Vikings will just feed the rock to Adrian Peterson, or if they will try to get their passing game going. Turner is also somewhat well known for loving to use his tight end, so Kyle Rudolph could be in line for a career year.
New Head Coach – Bill O’Brien, New Offensive Coordinator – Bill O’Brien
The Texans have gone all in with new head coach and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. He proved that he could handle double duty being the head coach and signal caller while at Penn State and he has a huge opportunity this year with the Texans. O’Brien does have NFL experience as he was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots back in 2011 and I expect him to run a somewhat pass heavy offense. The Texans offense is getting a bit older, but if they are able to stay healthy, I expect they will still put up solid point totals.
New Head Coach – Jim Caldwell, New Offensive Coordinator – Joe Lombardi
The Jim Schwartz era is over in Detroit and that has opened the door for the experienced Jim Caldwell (former offensive coordinator for the Ravens) to take over as the head coach and Joe Lombardi as the offensive coordinator. Lombardi was previously the offensive coordinator for the Saints and he should keep the pass first style offense that we are already used to with Detroit. Lombardi will be making the play calls and this should mean another year of high fantasy totals for the Lions passing game and their two pass catching running backs Joique Bell and Reggie Bush.
New Head Coach – Mike Pettine, New Offensive Coordinator – Kyle Shanahan
The Browns have a big challenge in front of them for 2014. They have a brand new coaching staff, they lost their best receiver, signed a new starting running back, and they will probably have a rookie quarterback starting at some point this season. They brought over Mike Pettine (former defensive coordinator for the Bills) as their new head coach and they brought over Kyle Shanahan (former offensive coordinator for the Redskins) to call the plays on offense. Shanahan has proven that he can quickly develop a rookie quarterback with what he did with RGIII and I think he could do the same for Johnny Manziel. I am not expecting the Browns to win many games, but I do think that offense could produce some decent fantasy points at times in 2014.
New Offensive Coordinator – Bill Lazor
When looking at the Dolphins offense on paper I like what I see. They have solid weapons at all positions and I think Ryan Tannehill will take his game to the next level in 2014. The Dolphins have also brought in a new offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor who was the the quarterback coach for the Eagles last year. Lazor is going to be the play caller and it’s expected that he might bring over parts of the Chip Kelly style of offense. This could be good news for Tannehill and the rest of the Dolphin’s offense in terms of fantasy value.