PROFOOTBALLFOCUS compares the new sixteen offensive coordinators to the former coordinators who they have replaced.
The significance may foresee what changes positive or negative will take place and which fantasy football players will be affected by these changes.
Now while some may see these changes as being a forecast for huge fantasy numbers for other players this could be a huge hit in fantasy production.
Also it is important to keep in mind teams such as the San Francisco 49ers who changed not just coaches but team philosophy.
Last off-season it would have been impossible to predict the rise of the San Francisco 49ers since they was no sign of communication with players and coaches due to the NFL lockout. However the 49ers would go 13-3 and almost made the SuperBowl.
Now the problem is that changes in coaching did not have the same positive effect for most of the 49ers in terms of fantasy football production.
Example Running-back Frank Gore:
Gore had 282 attempts rushing the most he has ever had however his receiving
numbers took a huge impact with only 17 receptions. A clear change in coaching philosophy using Gore as a blocker instead of a receiver.
Example QB Alex Smith had his best overall statistical year.
Last season QB Alex Smith had a QB rating of 90.7 he was the 9th overall best passer rating during the 2011 NFL season.
Now while the passer rating is not as significant as lets say yards thrown, or touchdowns thrown, the rating is a sign of not turning the ball over and that helped the all around production of the entire team.
Now going into a new season will this production increase the value of Smith, Gore, and Davis? Yes, but the addition of endzone threat Randy Moss suggest that the 49ers are addressing a problem they had last year and that is not having a player besides Davis who could stretch the field.
My point is a change in coaching can affect a teams production but a fantasy players production may not see the same positive results.
Will Smith and Gore continue to produce decent numbers? Yes, but will that translate to fantasy production as well? No
Fantasy Football production can be found just as easily on teams that are not winning and a coach that believes in going to his “go to” player is a fantasy gem!
No greater example can be found than Buffalo Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey and his constant calling on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to bail him out. While Fitzpatrick became a fantasy football starter his team went into the dog house.
Example of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick threw 24 TD’s and 3832 yards and also 23 interceptions with a 79.1
passer rating to boot. Not to mention Fitzpatricks 569 attempts!
Gailey should get Fantasy Football Coach of the year with that philosophy!
With that said people always ask me what do you look at overall when trying to decide which player to take on draft day and the answer is always the same. Attempts will make a player a fantasy star not percentages.
If a head coach gives you the first, second, twenty fifth chance to make a play eventually you will make that play. That is just the law of averages.
So look over those numbers closely and see who will be getting those attempts by those new coaches and you will find a fantasy football gem.
CBSsports With NFL free agency beginning to slow down it is time to start analyzing the offensive players in new places. Dave Richard breaks down some very relevant fantasy football players that will or could make an immediate impact on your fantasy football draft day.
NFL.com While you and I may think sending a private jet to pickup a backup QB is crazy. Then in addition you have a full blown press conference for a back up QB is insane. Then sending the message to your’e starting QB he will be splitting splitting snaps with the back up QB is a borderline reason to have someone committed. However that is what the New York Jets are doing right now to Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez.
The Jets are setting the stage for someone to have full blown meltdown and I don’t think it will be Tebow.
SunSentinelThe Miami Dolphins are a train wreck that continue to go off the track! Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland appears incompetent of signing free agent talent and owner Steven Ross appears to be a scrooge with his money!
Now the Dolphins are claiming that were ready to cut WR Brandon Marshal before the trade with the Chicago Bears for two third round draft picks this season.
Ross also implied head coach Joe Philbin never wanted Matt Flynn who was his former backup quarterback at Green Bay?
Ross also was not willing to pay Alex Smith $8 million a year and Tim Tebow was never an option?
PROFOOTBALLWEEKLY RADIO: Fallout of the Saints Bounty, Matt Forte has to share carries in Chicago, and QB Matt Flynn joins the Seahawks!
ProFootballWeekly: This was a huge news week in the NFL and Publisher Hub Arkush and staff talk about what flew under the radar of the national media. If you haven’t listened to the PFW radio show this is a great week to jump on and take a listen because of all the moves and stories that took a back seat to Tim Tebow and the Saints.
ESPN: Some so called fantasy experts have done little or no research into what neck fusion surgery is and how it will not affect Peyton Manning’s play. Instead they are jumping to conclusions and some are even suggesting a head shot will paralyze Manning. Truth be told fusion surgery will not make you any more likely to break your’e neck then a perfectly healthy neck.
That is why it was so reassuring to read Christopher Harris’s column on Manning’s true fantasy potential as a Denver Bronco. Harris also writes about the the potential of the Broncos receivers and running-back Willis McGahee.
In this quick ten minute podcast I discuss Peyton Manning and how some writers are already telling fantasy football enthusiast to pass on him in draft? Also a follow up on my fantasy football analysis of the Three Super Bears!
Last week Tuesday was the start of NFL free agency and while most free agent
receivers were out with their agents trying to land a new contract in a new city one receiver was being traded. The Chicago Bears traded two third round draft picks to the Miami Dolphins for receiver Brandon Marshall reuniting him with a former Broncos teammate and current Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
The Bears now have three genuine NFL stars at three different positions making them a triple threat in the NFL. This move will shake up fantasy football draft boards in fall when people get a glimpse during preseason football of what the Bears will bring to the NFL regular season.
The Bears new General Manager Phil Emery clearly gets it! Emery made a necessary move to bridge the gap with other teams in the NFC North Division yet some called the move reckless? Reckless because of an incident that alleges Marshal of hitting a woman in a New York City night club the Sunday morning before the trade occurred.
Bears coach Lovie Smith made clear that the Bears went through all “necessary channels” before executing the trade and appears confident of any legal ramifications that Marshal may encounter.
While most assumed the Dolphins traded Marshall because of the alleged incident in New York or if Dolphins new head coach Joe Philbin didn’t feel Marshal fit his offensive scheme? Regardless of all that the trade was a win for the Chicago Bears and new GM Phil Emery.
The combination of all three Cutler, Marshall, and Matt Forte will add a new dimension to the Bears that they have never had. A talented trio of pro bowlers at the most important positions on the offensive side of the ball a real triple threat.
Brandon Marshall has had five consecutive straight seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards something the Bears desperately need in a go to receiver. Just compare Marshall to all former offensive Chicago Bears stars.
Bears single season receptions: Bears receiver History 100 vs. Brandon Marshall 104
Bears Career Receptions: Bears receiver History 492 vs. Brandon Marshall 494
Bears Career Receiving Yards: Bears receiver History 5,059 vs. Brandon Marshall 6,247
Taking these three categories to compare against Brandon Marshall all three scream the Bears landed a real talent. Against all Bears career receivers in the history of the franchise Marshall still comes out ahead in overall production. That list includes former Bears receivers Marty Booker, Marcus Robinson, and Curtis Conway all of them top tier NFL receivers at one point during their career with the Bears. The list also includes hall of famers Mike Ditka and the legendary running-back Walter Payton.
Now realizing the true impact of adding Brandon Marshall to the Bears we can start to analyze how the Bears will make the transition of a team with little fantasy football depth into a team with three solid fantasy football stars.
Let’s compare the Cutlers numbers in 2009 with the Bears to his numbers in 2008 his last year with the Broncos and Marshall.
Jay Cutler Bears 2009 this is his best statistical year as a Bear.
Att 555, Comp336, Pct 60.5%, Yds 3,666, Avg 6.6, Yds/G 229.1, TD 27, Int 26, Sck 35
Jay Cutler Broncos 2008 this is his best statistical year overall.
Att 616, Comp384, Pct 62.3%, Yds 4,526, Avg 7.3, Yds/G 282.9, TD 25, Int 18, Sck 11
Quarterback Jay Cutler will see an overall increase in his completions, huge increase in yardage thrown, and while touchdowns thrown could be greater than both years it certainly will beat the thirteen touchdowns thrown last season.
Cutler talked about his expectations and his communication on the field with Marshall to WMVP ESPN Chicago,
When Brandon is open and I miss him he’s going to let me know when we got a one-on-one matchup and Brandon doesn’t win I am going to let him know because those are missed opportunities and we can’t have them. It’s kind of funny we got Jeremy Bates (former Denver quarterback coach) back. We are putting in some plays. In the office we were just talking. We were kind of just figuring out what we needed and stuff. It’s fun to finally add a true ‘X’ guy over their like we use to have that can just win at any cost.”Listen Here
Cutler clearly trusts Marshall and that trust is shown by Marshall’s 104 receptions during the 2008 season. Now can they duplicate that kind of production again this upcoming season? Well it could be asking a lot however consider several different factors for why it is possible.
One reason why Cutler struggled to put up touchdowns last season was offensive production by receivers in the red-zone. That is where Cutler most likely will target Marshall as defenses will be forced to use single coverage on Marshall and not give Forte an opening to run.
Former Bears GM Jerry Angelo surrounded Cutler with second and third tier receivers instead of a true number one receiver. The closest thing that has come to Brandon Marshall was former Bears TE now Panther Greg Olsen who caught eight touchdowns from Cutler in 2009. Olsen was traded in 2011 by former GM Angelo to the Panthers for a third round draft pick which produced the fruits of ironically the Brandon Marshall trade to the Dolphins.
The wild card in this speculation is the protection issues that the Bears have had. In his three seasons with the Bears Cutler has been sacked 110 times as opposed to the 51 times he was sacked in Denver. However the good news is the Bears offensive line improved slightly last season in protection surrendering 2.3 sacks (23 sacks in 10 games) a game compared to the 3.4 sacks (52 sacks in 15 games) surrendered on average the previous season.
Also consider the changes in coaching as former Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz has been replaced by offensive line coach Mike Tice. This move will reduce the amount of drop backs used in the offense which lead to the large amount of sacks in the first place.
It was almost as if the opposing defense would spread the Tackles and send the middle linebacker every time the last two seasons. Martz made adjustments to his game plan but continued making repetitive mistakes that at times cost the Bears yardage in sacks. I don’t expect to see the exact same scheme with Tice at the helm of the offensive play calling.
Tice was the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and the offensive play caller for a team that emphasized running the ball first then opening big passing plays down the field. In 2003 Tice coached the Viking’s to the number one passing offense and a rushing attack that gained huge yardage.
That brings me to the final piece of the puzzle Bears running-back Matt Forte.
When Jay Cutler went down last season Forte was keyed in by team defenses
making it difficult for him to be productive. No better example can be found than in week twelve of the 2011 NFL season when the Chicago Bears played the Oakland Raiders. Forte had twelve rushing attempts and gained fifty nine yards. While that is not bad considering he only had twelve attempts his receiving numbers were the problem. Where Cutler could stretch the field exposing a check down to Forte for a large gain the Raiders would place single coverage on receivers and the linebackers would keep Forte in check keeping him from breaking off a deep run and exposing an underneath opening.
One thing the Bears can do better than any of their divisional rivals is lead a balanced attack. The Packers and the Lions both struggled in the running game and the Vikings are not a very good passing team. Yet the Chicago Bears are a balanced offense and Forte will lead that balance.
Forte’s strength is his ability to not just run but catch the ball and produce yards. In 2011 Forte had 52 receptions and 490 receiving yards making him the Bears third leading receiver.
With the presence of Brandon Marshal teams will be exposed to Forte’s ability to create plays in the open field. Defenses will play more cover three and cover two instead of sending linebackers and safeties too blitz pressuring Cutler into interceptions.
Also consider the other side of the argument when Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall played together in Denver they never had a talent quite like running-back Matt Forte. Both Marshall and Cutler had to depend on each other and occasionally they would receive contributions from running-backs Peyton Hillis, Michael Pittman, Selvin Young and Tatum Bell. All four of those running-backs never had the run and catch talent of Forte and the talent for staying healthy.
While the Chicago Bears hoped Mike Martz could bring back “The Greatest Show on Turf” I have a feeling that Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, GM Phil Emery, and Offensive Coordinator Mike Tice, along with deep supporting cast of returning Bears players will create the next version of “The Super Bears”.
NFL.com Michael Fabiano makes the case for Chargers RB Ryan Mathews to suddenly become a premier back. However I have more doubts than whims about a sudden increase in Mathews fantasy production than Fabiano.
Stokley, “he looks as good as he has ever looked to me. I think he is back to normal. I thought he looked great a week and a half ago when I was with him and we threw for three straight days and he had thrown two straight days previous, so that’s five days in a row.”
“On Saturday nights during the 2009 NFL season, Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the lightning-rod leader of a feisty unit, would stand in front of his men holding white envelopes filled with cash—bonuses for their performances the previous week. As Williams called up player after player, handing them envelopes with amounts ranging from $100 for a special teams tackle inside the opponents’ 20-yard line to $1,500 for knocking a foe out of the game, a chant would rise up from the fired-up defenders:
“Give it back! Give it back! Give it back!”—
“If they’re (the St Louis Rams) not going to want me on the team because of that, that’s fine," continued; "It is what it is.”—Fox Sports Interview with Rams LB Brady Poppainga responding to his comments about Rams defensive coordinator Greg Williams
ProFootballWeekly Exectuve Editor Dan Arkush explains how that the one team besides the Saints that expects to be hurt the most by the performance bounty is the St Louis Rams. The ironic thing is the Rams never had a performance bounty to anyone’s knowledge.
Injury Expert Will Carroll answers questions about Peyton Manning's fusion surgery
SI writer Will Carroll is considered by fantasy enthusiast the best source for advice on professional athlete’s injuries and recovery. Carroll covers fantasy baseball and fantasy football and while he is not a doctor; to all who write about the fantasy industry he is the Dr. James Andrews of fantasy sports.
Carroll’s depth of investigation on injuries makes him a must follow on twitter and SI.com.
While the game we play is a fantasy Carroll’s no none sense approach to real life sports injuries gives his readers insight to what they can expect. Everything from a MLB pitchers injured rotator cuff to NFL quarterbacks post concussions.
Yesterday Carroll answered some quick questions I had about former Indianapolis Colt Peyton Manning and the speculation over his fusion surgery.
TheFFInformer: What is the risk of Manning’s neck injury and is there a greater
risk of paralysis after fusion surgery?
Carroll: No, the neck is fused, so it’s actually stronger than most people’s (but a bit less flexible.) He’s at no more risk than anyone for paralysis.
TheFFInformer: How much is his arm strength and throwing motion affected by the fusion surgery? Can he throw across his body?
Carroll: His arm strength is coming back and is at a playable level now. The video showed him (specifically) throwing across his body.
I want to thank Will Carroll for taking the time and granting me the permission to write his reply on my blog.
SI.com I know you woke up this morning and are watching the video replay of the Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay divorce press conference. However while watching the video you suddenly realize, ‘Hey Peyton Manning is a free agent!’ and now the question is where could he be?
Well here is a clue. Their mascot is a dolphin. Did you guess it yet?