Every year roughly ¼ of NFL teams see a change in their coaching staffs. These changes to a new scheme could help or hurt certain players based on various concepts. For example, some play-callers are more pass-heavy while others might utilize more concepts like play-action.
In this series, we will review all the new Play-Callers (PC)/Offensive Coordinators (OC) to see where their styles differentiate from the previous season’s outputs. This article will dive into pass volume to see which teams should see the biggest potential swing in this category based on their new PC/OC. The below chart outlines the teams that will have a new PC/OC in 2022. Please note, that some teams were left off this list as they hired within or the new OC doesn’t call plays.
Drop-Backs of New OC
|New York Giants||39.2||39.7||7|
|Las Vegas Raiders||40.5||39.5||-17|
2021 Drop-Backs – This is the # of drop-backs per game the team listed in column 1 averaged in 2021
Historical Avg. Drop-Backs of New OC – This is the average number of drop-backs per game that the new OC has averaged as a PC and/or while serving on other coaching staff
Total Projected +/- Drop-Backs – This is the total projected differential of drop-backs that the offense should see with their new PC vs. their 2021 outputs
FYI, If you’re curious, roughly 88% of drop-backs become pass attempts
Team: Houston Texans
New Play-Caller/OC: Pep Hamilton
Total Projected +/- Drop-Backs: 81
The combination of Davis Mills going into his second season and the promotion of Pep Hamilton should help boost the volume for Houston. Last year the Texans ranked 23rd in drop-backs and 22nd in attempts. Meanwhile, during the 3 years under Hamilton, the Colts were in the top half of the league in drop-backs and pass attempts.
The primary beneficiary of this influx of pass volume is Brandin Cooks. Last season Cooks saw a target on 25% of his routes. Just on this potential uptick in pass volume, he could see 16 more targets or 1 more per game in 2022. The good news for Cooks is all 3 years that Hamilton was OC T.Y. Hilton averaged over 135 targets per season. Last season Cooks finished as the WR24 in PPG while seeing 134 targets in 16 games. If we apply his catch %, yard per target, and TD% with an additional 1 target per game his PPG would jump to 13.1 PPG. This would have made Cooks the WR12 in 2021. Currently being drafted as the WR28 in Bestball10s ADP, Cooks offers value at his current price.
Team: Denver Broncos
New Play-Caller/OC: Nathanael Hackett
Total Projected +/- Drop-Backs: 58
The acquisition of Russell Wilson along with the new coaching staff should be a welcome sign for all the pass catchers in Denver. Ironically, if we look at Wilson’s career-high 17-game pace in pass attempts (593) from 2020, it’s right in line with our projection. During that 2020 season, Wilson locked into his top two targets in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Both finished as top 8 WRs in fantasy.
However, before we start tripping over ourselves to scoop up the weapons in Denver, we must take a few things into context. First, outside of Metcalf and Lockett, no other player saw 50 targets that season. In 2021, 5 Broncos players hit that mark. Yes, this did include Noah Fant who left via the Wilson trade, but Albert Okwuegbunam had 40 targets and will take on a bigger role this season.
Another key factor is how this competition for targets impacted the Denver skill position group. Last season no Denver WR was inside the top 50 while Fant was TE14 in .5 PPR PPG. Currently, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton both have top 30 WR ADPs, Tim Patrick sits at WR67 after being the most productive WR in 2021, and Albert O is TE15. Yes, we should expect improvement for these players with Wilson, but if every Denver WR improved by 4 PPG the top WR for the Broncos would have been the WR25 last season.
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
New Play-Caller/OC: Doug Pederson
Total Projected +/- Drop-Backs: 41
After a complete dumpster fire that was Trevor Lawrence’s first season, Doug Pederson steps in to hopefully bring a steady hand. This lackluster season does provide some buying potential as low expectations could equal value in drafts. During his time as the Head Coach in Philly, Pederson oversaw offenses that supported 2 top 40 WRs in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, both Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery were top 40 in PPG, but neither stayed healthy enough to hit the mark on the season. Where his offenses made the biggest impact was at the TE position. From 2016 to 2019 the Eagles produced a top 7 TE in every season and 2 top 10 TEs in 2019.
Currently, no Jaguars WR is being drafted as a top 40 WR and only Christian Kirk finds himself inside the top 70. Meanwhile, Evan Engram and Dan Arnold sit at TE23 and TE32. Overall, it’s hard to point at one player as the clear favorite, but camp reports should help us find out quickly who should be on our radar in 2022.
Team: Miami Dolphins
New Play-Caller/OC: Mike McDaniel
Total Projected +/- Drop-Backs: -65
The change to run game guru Mike McDaniel should bode well for the Dolphins as a football team. However, for us fantasy managers it might not be so glamorous. The 49ers since 2017 only produced 2 top 24 WRs. This includes Brandon Aiyuk in 2020 and Deebo Samuel in 2021. Where Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle truthers can hang their hats on is that over the second half of 2021, both Aiyuk and Samuel were top 20 WRs. This production came with George Kittle producing at a top 3 TE level. Speaking of Kittle, George has been a top 4 TE in PPG from 2018 to 2021.
Now the only issue with drafting these Dolphin skill position players using the best-case scenario outlined above is their current draft cost. Currently, Hill (WR7), Waddle (WR11), and Gesicki (TE12) are all being drafted as fantasy starters. This is after a season that all 3 of Hill (WR8), Waddle (WR15), and Gesicki (TE16) finished lower in PPR PPG on teams with higher pass volume.
Finally, the downtick in pass volume could pose a bigger issue for players like Waddle and Gesicki. In 2021, neither player was as efficient as their 49er counterparts. Gesicki’s 2.20 points per opportunity was significantly lower than Kittle’s 2.71. Meanwhile, Waddle’s 2.34 points per opportunity trailed both Deebo (2.49) and Aiyuk (2.78) by a wide margin.
References: Razzball, Sharp Football Stats, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, FFToday, Player Profiler, and Bestball10s