What can we expect from new 2023 AFC Playcallers

Tinjau Awal Pelanggaran yang Meningkat pada 2023 untuk Bola Terbaik

New England Patriots: OC Bill O’Brien

Recent rankings: 2022: 17th in points, 26th in yards,  2021: 6th in points, 15th in yards

What to Expect:

The Patriots’ experiment last season of not having a traditional offensive coordinator, was a massive mistake and setback to QB Mac Jones. Bill O’Brien returned from the college ranks to take over the offensive coordinator and playcalling duties for the Patriots. He was the Patriots offensive coordinator back in 2011, helping lead their team to an AFC title. Most of O’Brien’s NFL experience comes from his time as the Texans Head coach (2014-2020). It’s not clear yet what nuances we will see in this year’s Patriots offense, it’s pretty easy for it to be a major upgrade.

Mac Jones and the Patriots offense was far more efficient and productive his rookie season than last year when they even added a few weapons to the team. O’Brien has a long history of working with quarterbacks so his hiring is a major plus for Jones, and could help restart his career. This offense should be at least average, and capable of even more if we see some development from some of the Patriots young players.

How to React:

Currently only Rhamondre Stevenson is getting any sort of buzz in the Bestball community. If the Patriots offense can return to roughly their 2021 levels, that means JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mac Jones, Hunter Henry, and likely at least one of Tyquan Thornton or Devante Parker are being severely undervalued. I wouldn’t overload Patriots, but I do think they are great mid-to-late-round targets for your teams.

New York Jets: OC Nathaniel Hackett

Recent rankings: 2022: 29th in points, 25th in yards, 2021: 28th in points, 26 in yards

What to Expect:

The Jets offense the past two seasons has been one of the least efficient and productive units in the league. A lot of that can be attributed to the growing pains and struggles of Zach Wilson, but not all of it. That led to the Jets to replace their offensive coordinator with former Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett. Prior to Hackett’s disastrous stint with the Broncos, he was considered a very good offensive coordinator, both with the Packers, Jaguars, and the Bills.

The good news is there isn’t much projection here with how his offense will fit with the team, given that the Jets traded for Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers won back-to-back MVP’s under Hackett in 2020 and 2021, and it would not be surprising for Rodgers to have a big resurgence this season. The Packers weren’t even super pass-happy during those seasons, so if the pass rate goes up we could see even more fantasy output. Given the tough division they play in, the Jets might be forced to be more aggressive in some of their games.

How to React:

This is a really easy one here as right now it appears that people are weighing Rodgers/Hackett’s 2022 season too much against them. Rodgers dealt with a thumb injury much of the season, and couldn’t keep his young WR corps healthy. Hackett was clearly in over his head last season, but now he is back in a comfortable role, with a Quarterback that he has a lot of trust built up with. The Jets also have a nice group of weapons led by RB Breece Hall, WR’s Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, and Corey Davis. Wilson and Hall are being drafted in the top 2 rounds, but other than those two it’s easy to draft Jets players. Rodgers is being drafted in the 9th-11th round range and can be a steal at that price.

Baltimore Ravens: OC Todd Monken

Recent rankings: 2022: 19th in points, 16th in yards,  2021: 17th in points, 6th in yards

What to Expect:

The Ravens’ stats from the past two seasons are a bit misleading as they’ve had to deal with Lamar Jackson missing a combined 10 games, and the team dealt with a number of other key injuries to the offensive line and playmakers. Even with those factored in, it did feel like the offense was lacking and unable to contend with some of the top teams in the conference. It was also very streaky as it would show up one week putting up huge numbers, only to fall flat the next game. OC Todd Monken was brought in to give this offense a jump start and inject more tempo and passing attempts in the game plan.

Monken was an NFL offensive coordinator from 2016-2019 with the Buccaneers and Browns, before taking on the same role with the Georgia Bulldogs these past three years at the college level. In 2017 and 2018 the Buccaneers were one of the top passing offenses in the league, which has led some to speculate that is what we will see in Baltimore. That wasn’t the case in 2016 and 2019 at the NFL level, and Georgia wasn’t known as a real pass-first offense. It’s likely the truth will be somewhere in between, but what is potentially the most hopeful is if the Ravens do increase their pace of play, and take advantage of their playmakers. Monken is also helped by the fact that the Ravens added a pair of pass catchers this offseason in O’dell Beckham and rookie Zay Flowers. This gives Baltimore the most talented pass-catching group they’ve had in 10 years.

How to React:

Overall Monken’s addition to the offense should be seen as a strong positive, as more passing and pace of play can be pluses. Add in the extra weapons, and hopefully we will see Jackson increase his efficiency metrics back to what we saw in 2019 and 2020. If that’s the case Jackson could end up as QB1. Mark Andrews, J.K. Dobbins, and Rashod Bateman all look like strong plays. OBJ and Flowers are worth taking shots on as well.

Houston Texans: OC Bobby Slowik

Recent rankings: 2022: 30th in points, 31st in yards,  2021: 30th in points, 32nd in yards

What to Expect:

Well it has to be better right? The Texans have been about as bad as can be the last two years, given coaching changes, QB changes, and a real lack of offensive talent. New HC DeMeco Ryans, brought Bobby Slowik over from San Francisco to be his offensive coordinator. Slowik started his career following in his father’s footsteps as a defensive coach, but he switched to the offensive side under Kyle Shanahan in 2019. His highest role was last season as the 49ers passing game coordinator, so this is definitely a step up for him. He has been around the game for quite some time and worked with a number of top young coaches in this league. It’s not clear how he will adapt his offense from what we’ve seen from Kyle Shanahan, but it should be a positive for the Texans.

The Texans will be turning over the offense to rookie QB C.J. Stroud this season, and even though he’s a rookie this should be a big talent upgrade. Dameon Pierce and Nico Collins are already established as solid offensive weapons. This year 2nd year WR John Metchie, rookie Tank Dell, and veteran Robert Woods join the receiver group, with TE Dalton Schultz coming in as a massive upgrade at the position. The real strength of this offense may be in their offensive line, which could be a top-10 unit this season.

How to React:

We should expect rookie growing pains for Stroud, but he has the skill set and talent to succeed at this level. He’s a really good passer, and if they can find a system that fits him he could quickly at least flash upside. He should be viewed as no more than a QB3 option for Bestball, but where his success can translate is in how it impacts everyone else. If the Texans offense sees even a 20% increase in efficiency, that could really be a positive for guys like Pierce and Collins. Schultz also should be a decent tight end, giving a lot of startable weeks. Even Robert Woods could see a bounce-back this year, as he was brought in as a stabilizing presence on this offense.

Indianapolis Colts: HC Shane Steichen

Recent rankings: 2022: 30th in points, 27th in yards,  2021: 9th in points, 16th in yards

What to Expect:

The Colts went into last season with high offensive expectations, only to see it all quickly come crashing down. A mid-season QB and coaching switch is never a good sign, and it led to just a massive underperformance last season. Shane Steichen now enters as head coach, and he will also handle the playcalling duties. Steichen has been on the offensive side of the ball since 2013, and has been an offensive coordinator since 2020. In that time he helped Justin Herbert win Rookie of the Year, and developed Jalen Hurts into a star quarterback. Steichen’s offense last year in Philadelphia was incredibly efficient and helped lead the Eagles to an NFC championship.

Steichen will be in charge of developing rookie Anthony Richardson, as he tries to get the Colts offense back into the positive. Richardson is a rare blend of arm strength, athleticism, and size. His upside is off the charts, but he also is one of the least experienced rookie QBs in quite some time. Surrounding him, RB Jonathan Taylor was RB1 in 2021, Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce are a solid starting pair of receivers. The biggest question mark will be how the offensive line responds. Last season their play was well below what they showed in previous seasons, when it was one of the strengths of the team.

How to React:

Though it is easy to get excited about Richardson long-term, history suggests that he’s currently being overdrafted as QB10. Almost all rookies see serious growing pains, and given his relative inexperience it makes it less likely that he will be an outlier this season. If he ends up just average, he could be a solid QB2, with spike week potential. That would also allow other offensive pieces like Taylor, Pittman, and Pierce to pay off their ADPs. If he struggles though, he could end up hurting the value of the players around him, particularly Taylor and Pittman given their high ADPs.

Tennessee Titans: OC Tim Kelly

Recent rankings: 2022: 28th in points, 30th in yards  2021: 15th in points, 17th in yards

What to Expect:

The Titans offense last season was just unable to move the ball effectively and put points on the board like they had in 2019-2021. They only had 20 or more points in 6 games last year with a high of 27 points. There were a number of reasons that led to this poor performance, including trading away A.J. Brown, Ryan Tannehill missing 5 games, multiple starters on the offensive line getting injured, and a disappointing season for 1st round rookie Treylon Burks. They were all factors and spoiled a really great season from Derrick Henry who had over 1,500 yards and 13 TDs on the ground and another 400 receiving in 16 games.

New offensive coordinator Tim Kelly will need to find a way to keep Henry just as effective, keep Tannehill on the field, and hope that 2nd-year guys like Burks and TE Chigozeim Okonkwo can step up as receiving weapons. Unfortunately, due to cap concerns, the team had to part ways with multiple offensive line starters, so there isn’t much hope of a major improvement to the OL. They did draft one in the 1st round, but this unit looks worse than it did a year ago. Tannehill should be the starting QB, but if the season goes poorly they could look to replace him with rookie Will Levis.

How to React:

Tannehill’s peripheral numbers were actually better than people give him credit for. The problem is, the lack of support among his pass catchers and OL, makes it tough to expect this offense to be more explosive. Henry had a tremendous year considering the state of this offense last season. Can he keep it up, or will the team’s lack of efficiency start catching up to his production? This offense is really tough to invest in beyond Henry. Burks struggled and dealt with injuries as a rookie, it still could be a growing process for him, and even if he plays well the total volume is likely low on this team. Okonkwo flashed some in limited usage last season, but it’s unclear if he can carve out a bigger role. He will need to block better to ensure he can stay out there in 1 TE sets. Right now he seems to be overdrafted.

Denver Broncos: HC Sean Payton

Recent rankings: 2022: 32nd in points, 21st in yards,  2021: 23rd in points, 19th in yards

What to Expect:

Last season was a year to forget for the Broncos offensively, as the high hopes of bringing in Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson, were quickly dashed. They finished dead last in total points, managing just 29 touchdowns last season. That number is even worse considering they actually led the NFL in offensive drives, they just couldn’t score. Though there were some key injuries that impacted the offense, overall it was just incredibly inefficient. Sean Payton was brought in as the new head coach and play-caller, to fix this offense.

In terms of track record, it’s tough to beat what Payton has done. From 2006-2011, and 2013-2020 (Payton didn’t coach in 2012), his offense never finished worse than 12 in either yards or points. His team’s finished top 5 in yards 10 times in that stretch, and top 5 in points 9 times. Yes, those numbers fell off in 2021 without Drew Brees, but the Saints had to start 4 different QBs that year and were a total mess with injuries. Keep in mind that when Drew Brees joined the Saints in 2006, it’s not as if there was any expectation that he would turn out as a 1st ballot Hall of Famer. Payton now has to see if he can revitalize Wilson’s career, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see this pairing work. Unlike some other poor offenses last season, skill talent wasn’t the issue. The Broncos have a good group of pass catchers in Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Marvin Mims, and TE Greg Dulcich. They also invested heavily in the offensive line this offseason.

How to React:

I’m cautiously optimistic about the Broncos’ outlook this season. Wilson is just 2 seasons removed from being a top 10 borderline top 5 QB. He even had plenty of flashes in 2021, and even a couple of solid games last year. It would not be surprising at all to see Wilson back as a top-tier QB. His weapons are good, and this offensive line could go from a major liability to a real strength. My one concern with the offense is the running game as Javonte Williams is recovering from a major injury, and Samaje Perine is the only other back with real experience. Despite that, the Broncos as a whole are undervalued, and if Payton has this team as a top-15 offense, you will be rewarded for investing in them.

LA Chargers: OC Kellen Moore

Recent rankings: 2022: 13th in points, 9th in yards  2021: 5th in points, 4th in yards

What to Expect:

The Chargers’ offense wasn’t as bad as people think it was last season. Yes, Justin Herbert was a disappointment from a fantasy perspective, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The Chargers were 3rd in the league in passing yards and 2nd in passing attempts, it’s just the touchdowns that were really lacking. Part of the issue had to do with injuries to the top receivers as Keenan Allen missed 7 games and Mike Williams missed 4, while both receivers left games early as well. Further complicating the issue was the early loss of star LT Rashawn Slater, which forced the team to focus on more underneath passing. This took away Herbert’s arm strength advantage.

While the offense was really good these past two years, there is a lot of reason to expect that new OC Kellen Moore can unlock even more potential from this unit. Moore’s offenses in Dallas were among the most explosive in the league these last 4 seasons. From 2019-2022 his offenses ranked 1st, 14th, 1st, and 11th in yard, while going 6th, 17th, 1st, and 4th in points respectively. That is even more impressive when you consider that Dak Prescott missed 11 games in 2020, and 5 games last season. When Prescott got injured in 2020, the Cowboys were a top 3 offense in the league. Moore’s offenses were great at exploiting weak points in opposing defenses and were pretty aggressive in attacking downfield. If the Chargers get lucky with their offensive health, this legitimately could be the top-scoring and yards-producing offense in the league.

How to React:

I’m buying Herbert and the rest of the Chargers’ offense this season. Between their natural talent, the addition of Moore as the play-caller, and the hope that they can stay healthier, the sky is the limit for this team. While Austin Ekler is an incredible talent, the better value is targeting Herbert and his top two receivers in Williams and Allen. I do have some concerns that Quinton Johnson is being overdrafted, as he still might contend with Josh Palmer for the WR3 role. I do like TE Gerald Everett as a late target as well. Moore utilized Dalton Schultz quite a bit in Dallas.

Author: Alan Hughes