NFL Coaches are Kryptonite to Your Fantasy Football Teams

Devonta Freeman

Let’s face it, during fantasy football draft season we are consumed by which running back, wide receiver and quarterback we are going to draft.  Unfortunately, we overlook the ‘masterminds’ behind the players, the men behind the curtain.   No matter how talented your draft decision is, it all depends on who is making the decisions, whether it be the head coach, the offensive coordinator and or the defensive coordinator.  They matter people.  But no worry, we here at FakePigSkin are here to make your upcoming fantasy season a success, and it all starts with an evaluation of the coaching positions.

You think it’s not true?  How about just a glimmer into the Atlanta Falcons.  Yes, head coach Dan Quinn stayed the same, but the offensive coordinator changed.  The Falcons went from wunderkind Kyle Shanahan  to journeyman Steve Sarkisian.  That is akin to going from Chris Hemsworth as Thor to Chris Hemsworth as the goofy guy in Ghostbusters all female reboot.  Yeah, they want you to believe that it will be magical because it is Hemsworth, but it’s not the same.  Nope, not even close. ‘

Statistically speaking it was close:

2016 team stats                                                       2017 team stats

points per game                                                              1st                                                                            T-14th

pass yards/game                                                         3rd                                                                            8th

rush yards/game                                                            5th                                                                             13th

red zone pct                                                                 8th                                                                             23rd

In 2017 quaterback Matt Ryan completed 64.7 percent of his passes.  He had 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.  His all-everything wide receiver Julio Jones was targeted 148 times for 88 receptions.  He was on the receiving end of three touchdowns.  And as far as utilizing the running backs, Devonta Freeman played in 14 games.  He was giving the ball 196 attempts, with 865 yards and seven touchdowns.  He averaged 4.4 yards a carry.  Freeman also was targeted 47 times for 36 receptions in the receiving game.  He finished with one touchdown and 317 yards.

Compared to 2016 stats with Shanahan at the helm:  Matt Ryan had 534 attempts with 373 completes for 69.9 completion percentage.  He also had 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.  Jones was targeted 129 times for 83 receptions in 14 games.  He also doubled the number of touchdowns he would have in 2017.  Freeman was responsible for 11 touchdowns on a 4.8 average yards a carry.  He had 227 attempts, ending the season with 1079 yards.

So close is good?  But it sometimes hides what is important: the Falcons went from averaging 33.8 points a game in 2016 to 22.1 points a game in 2017.  Their red zone scoring dropped by 12 percent under Sarkisian calling the plays.  Nope, not even close.

The talent is unquestionable.  According to FantasyPros, Jones’ ADP was fourth, and Freeman’s ADP was eighth and Ryan was the fourth quarterback taking in the draft.  You were dazzled by the previous year’s accomplishments and thought almost the same, is the same? It’s okay.  We will straighten it all out.

But we will get more in-depth with the Falcons later on.

It is the people who put the talent in position to succeed that we are currently concerned.  So stick with us during the NFL “off-season” and we are going to do our best to align the great talent with the men behind the curtains.

So much flux going on.  But we got you.

Next up: Cleveland Browns

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