Top Fantasy Impactful New Offensive Coordinators
Feb 20, 2014
.By Matt Southall, @mattsouthall22014 Offseason Fantasy Football: News, Updates….Turnovers are a coach’s worst enemy on game day. Whether it’s a fumble at the goal line just before halftime or a late interception that seals their team’s fate, any coach you ask will say their team could probably turn the ball over less often. Although turnover within an NFL organization is a completely different sort of turnover..This kind of turnover, similar to the “oops” type, has a benefactor and a victim. One coach loses his position he worked countless hours to attain, and another coach accomplishes his dream job of calling plays for a NFL team. It happens every year. It never fails. The life span of an NFL head coach is brief on average, and subsequently his right-hand man generally falls under the axe as well..There will be 13 new offensive coordinators for NFL teams in 2014, and that means 13 new offensive philosophies, which can impact the fantasy game a great deal. See Phillip Rivers’ 2012 season versus his 2013 campaign after the arrival of (now HC for the Tennessee Titans) Ken Whisenhunt for a recent and quality example..Let’s take a look at the top five new play callers for NFL teams, and how they may shake up the fantasy landscape..Houston Texans: After an extensive college coaching career Bill O’Brien spent four years under New England Patriots HC Bill Belichick where he coached an array of offensive positions before being promoted to OC. His only year as play caller for the Patriots was in 2011; New England lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. Not many coaches would have accepted the job at Penn State after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but O’Brien did and the Nittany Lions went 15-9 in his two years at State College..O’Brien will take on the task of HC and OC for the Texans after cleaning house back in early Jan. when he fired 16 assistant coaches. He is the only HC of the seven newly anointed who chose to take on both tasks. There are still several unanswered questions regarding the Texans’ QB situation that will likely be answered by the direction in which Houston decides to go in the upcoming draft, which they’ll have the number one overall selection. Regardless of where the Texans get their signal caller, be it the draft or through free agency, O’Brien will go with the guy that fits his system and the players he is inheriting..The move to get O’Brien bodes well for Houston’s fantasy studs, who will benefit from the new system a great deal. Andre Johnson should still be drafted in the top 12 at his position after his resurgence back into fantasy relevance — see touchdowns — in 2013. Second year WR DeAndre Hopkins will continue to improve, as he did throughout his rookie season, and will undoubtedly receive more targets in a new, more modern NFL scheme. Arian Foster’s fantasy stock took a hit after a disappointing 2013 season, but the departure of backup RB Ben Tate to free agency certainly doesn’t hurt the amount of carries Foster will likely be gifted..Tennessee Titans: Titans owner Bud Adams stole Ken Whisenhunt from the awaiting Detroit Lions, who were a favorite to land the man who helped turn Philip Rivers’ career around, by offering him $1 million more than the Lions were willing to give up. Whisenhunt brought 35-year-old (now former) San Diego Chargers TE coach Jason Michael along with upon accepting the position. The Chargers went from 31st in total offense to fifth overall from 2012-13. This is the first OC job for Michael who was been an assistant in the NFL since 2005..Tennessee has some question marks on offense that have yet to be addressed, the most prominent being who will take handoffs after recent rumors surfaced indicating the Titans will likely move on from RB Chris Johnson, via trade or an outright release. QB Jake Locker has shown signs of improvement since being drafted eighth overall in 2011, but his injuries have limited him to just 23 games in three seasons. Locker shouldn’t be given up on just yet by Tennessee or fantasy owners. He has the ability to make an impact every Sunday he suits up, and the introduction of Whisenhunt and Michael could make an abrupt change for the better. Titans WRs Kendall Wright and Nate Washington showed some flash in the second half of the season. A combination of a healthy Locker and a new offensive mindset could put Tennessee back on the fantasy map..Minnesota Vikings: Norv Turner’s illustrious coaching career speaks for itself, but his recent struggles as HC in Washington and San Diego come to mind first to most of today’s fan base. Fortunately newly appointed HC Mike Zimmer is a defensive guru who has granted total control of the offense to Turner. Turner’s teams have had a top 10 scoring offense 10 times in his 23 years as HC or OC..The biggest question mark for the Vikings is their QB quandary, and Turner has already commented about adding a young QB in the offseason, likely via May’s NFL draft. Turner also mentioned the Vikings’ predetermination to get the ball into the hands of Adrian Peterson more – much more – out of the backfield. Cordarrelle Patterson became a prominent threat in the rushing and receiving game for the Vikings in the fourth quarter of the season, and scored three rushing touchdowns on only 12 attempts in 2013. Turner certainly had a hand in Antonio Gates’ reign of fantasy TE supremacy in his time in San Diego, and Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph could be used in similar fashion. A young QB tends to rely on TEs more than seasoned QBs, especially in the red zone where fantasy owners’ hopes and dreams are won and lost..Zimmer and Turner certainly have their work cut out for them, but the weapons they have inherited certainly have the potential to make an impact for owners on Sunday. Don’t sleep on the Vikings in 2014…Click here to see the final two Impactful New Offensive Coordinators..