We know that coaches try to create an environment for their players to succeed. We also know that coaches have tendencies and preferences for how they utilize their players. Yet, in the fantasy world, these tendencies tend to be unaccounted for, overlooked, or spoken about in terms of personal anecdotes that may or may not be true.
This article contains charts and information to give you a stronger understanding of the impact coaching can have on your fantasy players from the AFC South for the 2022-2023 season.
Frank Reich (Head Coach)
Marcus Brady (Offensive Coordinator)
- Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich has a pretty strong track record of utilizing and getting production out of his running back room as a whole…because of this and other factors (young, talented, above-average offensive line, etc.) Jonathan Taylor is clearly the safest running back pick you can make in your 2022 fantasy football draft(s).
- With Reich’s running back usage, Nyheim Hines could even be worth a look as a late-round selection as well in PPR formats.
- As for Reich’s history of utilizing the wide receiver room, it’s less optimistic. Because he features both his running back and tight end rooms at an above-average rate relative to other play-callers, this means that he’s generally been slightly below-average in featuring his wide receiver room as a whole…keep this in mind when deciding whether you want to draft Michael Pittman, Parris Campbell, or Alec Pierce at their current ADPs.
- While his tight end usage has decreased a bit in recent years, Frank Reich still holds one of the best career averages & track records of utilizing the position in the passing game. Right now it’s looking like a committee approach to the position. But because of Reich’s history of success utilizing the position, you should pay close attention to the battle between Mo Alie-Cox, Kylen Granson, and Jelani Woods – if one emerges as the clear top pass-catching tight end they are going to be a TE1 in this offense.
- The Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady has only been an offensive coordinator at the NFL level under Frank Reich. Because of that and the fact that Frank Reich is the team’s primary play-caller, Brady’s past information & tendencies is less important here. But just for anyone interested, we included his NFL data as well as his CFL coaching data.
Pep Hamilton (Offensive Coordinator)
- Pep Hamilton has been phenomenal for quarterback development over the course of his career, which bodes well for Davis Mills. Mills probably won’t be more than a streamer in most leagues because he doesn’t have much rushing upside, but this is good news if you are rostering some of his receiving weapons.
- Houston Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s running back room got below-average usage and ended up having below-average fantasy production during his time as the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator…keep this in mind when deciding if & where to draft Dameon Pierce, Marlon Mack, Rex Burkhead, or Royce Freeman.
- Hamilton’s wide receiver room on the other hand got a ton of usage and had great fantasy production during his time in Indianapolis…Brandin Cooks should be a strong WR2 again in 2022 as long as he’s healthy and there should be enough work for one of the other Texans wide receivers to beat their current fantasy expectations – my bet is on Nico Collins with John Metchie III out for the year.
- Hamilton also did a good job of utilizing and getting fantasy production out of his tight end room in Indianapolis…Brevin Jordan and Pharaoh Brown are worth monitoring on the waiver wire throughout the year just in case one takes a clear lead pass-catching role.
Todd Downing (Offensive Coordinator)
- Todd Downing’s offenses average a below-average number of passing attempts…Ryan Tannehill is going to be more of a streamer once again in 2022.
- Based on the stats, Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing was slightly below-average for running back usage & production in 2017 with the Raiders but magically utilized the position a lot more in 2021 with the Titans…I wonder if having arguably the best running back in the NFL, Derrick Henry, had something to do with that. Hint: it did
- Todd Downing has been fairly average in utilizing and getting production out of his wide receiver room over the course of his career…because of this I would guess that only one Titans wide receiver ends up being fantasy relevant in 2022, so pick your favorite between Treylon Burks and Robert Woods.
- Titans offensive coordinator Downing has also been fairly mediocre with his tight ends in terms of both utilization and production…I don’t anticipate that Austin Hooper will be anything more than a streamer in 2022.
Doug Pederson (Head Coach)
Press Taylor (Offensive Coordinator)
- The Jacksonville Jaguars hired Doug Pederson to be the team’s new head coach, and Press Taylor will serve as his offensive coordinator. Press Taylor had never served in an offensive coordinator or head coaching position prior to 2022. Pederson will serve as the team’s offensive play-caller in 2022.
- Head coach Doug Pederson has historically seemed to prefer a running back by committee approach. He’s never had a running back as talented as Travis Etienne, but this past usage is one of the bigger question marks with Etienne’s fantasy profile going into 2022.
- Doug Pederson’s running back room as a whole has had above-average fantasy production in all formats relative to other play-callers.
- On the other hand, Pederson’s wide receiver room has historically been subpar in terms of usage and production. I’m not anticipating this group to produce anything more than streamers in most 2022 fantasy leagues, so keep that in mind when deciding where to draft guys like Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Marvin Jones, etc.
- Pederson has utilized his tight end room extremely frequently in the past – while having guys like Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert certainly helps, Evan Engram is worth a late-round dart throw in this offense.
Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter)