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Coaching Matters: 2022 Buffalo Bills Coaching Staff Preview

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After every NFL season, NFL teams take the time to evaluate not only the players but also the coaching staff and front office as well. While many teams choose to retain the same head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator, a few other teams opt to go in a new direction with their coaching staff.

The Bills will promote Ken Dorsey to offensive coordinator after Brian Daboll left to become the newest head coach of the New York Giants. But other than that though the team will largely be bringing back the same coaching staff in 2022, headlined by head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

This article will look at the potential impact this coaching staff will have on the players and try to pinpoint the Bills players' fantasy values in it.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


The Baseline

To get a better understanding of the value the Bills coaches help bring to this team, we can look at the NFL league averages in each of the past two years in a variety of statistical categories and then compare them to the averages achieved by the Bills' coaches. Here are 'The Baseline' NFL league averages over the past couple of years:

QB Impact

Year Team Pass Att. Team Pass Yds. Team Pass TDs QB Carries QB Rush Yds. QB Rush TDs
2020 League Average
35.19 254.88 1.70 4.19 18.43 0.25
2021 League Average 34.40 244.13 1.54 3.99 17.36 0.18

RB Impact

Year RB Carries RB Rush Yds. RB Rush TDs RB Rec. RB Targets RB Rec. Yds. RB Rec. TDs
2020 League Average
21.68 95.13 0.75 4.71 6.14 34.94 0.18
2021 League Average
21.66 92.20 0.69 4.82 6.22 36.36 0.19

WR Impact

Year WR Rec. WR Targets WR Rec. Yds. WR Rec. TDs
2020 League Average
13.24 20.21 166.67 1.04
2021 League Average
12.45 19.75 155.55 0.96

TE Impact

Year TE Rec. TE Targets TE Rec. Yds. TE Rec. TDs
2020 League Average
4.76 7.03 51.29 0.45
2021 League Average
4.77 6.93 50.44 0.37

Defense Impact

Year Points Allowed Pass Yds Given Up Run Yds Given Up Plays Against Yds/Play
Turnovers Forced
2020 League Average 24.8 240.2 118.9 64.3 5.6 1.3
2021 League Average 23.0 228.3 115.2 63.3 5.4 1.3


Previous Coaching Staff

In order to get an understanding of how the Buffalo Bills' fantasy players may be impacted this year, we also need to look at what kind of production former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll saw out of his offense during his time as an offensive play-caller. By doing this, we will have a better understanding of where the new coaching staff is starting from and where the primary changes will occur.

Former Offensive Coordinator: Brian Daboll

Brian Daboll struggled early in his career as an offensive coordinator, calling plays for franchises that lacked talented players such as the Cleveland Browns (2009-2010), Miami Dolphins (2011), and the Kansas City Chiefs (2012). But he eventually figured it out during his time with the Buffalo Bills (2018-2021) and his offense performed so well that he earned the New York Giants head coaching job this offseason. Below are some statistics from his career as an offensive play-caller to help provide a baseline of where new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey will be starting from.

QB Impact

Year Games Team Pass Att. Team Pass Yds. Team Pass TDs QB Carries QB Rush Yds. QB Rush TDs
2020 Bills 16 37.25 299.13 2.5 6.75 25.94 0.5
2021 Bills 17 38.53 261.76 2.12 8.06 46.12 0.41
Daboll's Career Averages (OC/HC)
129 32.00 214.06 1.26 4.86 23.42 0.32

RB Impact

Year Games RB Carries RB Rush Yds. RB Rush TDs RB Rec. RB Targets RB Rec. Yds.
RB Rec. TDs
2020 Bills 16 18.13 81.31 0.5 3.38 4.56 25.38 0.13
2021 Bills 17 18.24 78.82 0.71 4.12 5.35 29.24 0.24
Daboll's Career Averages (OC/HC) 129 22.39 94.12 0.47 3.88 5.20 28.44 0.12

WR Impact

Year Games WR Rec. WR Targets WR Rec. Yds. WR Rec. TDs
2020 Bills 16 19.5 26.69 243.56 1.75
2021 Bills 17 16.71 26.06 194.06 1.29
Daboll's Career Averages (OC/HC) 129 11.72 20.15 147.77 0.79

TE Impact

Year Games TE Rec. TE Targets TE Rec. Yds. TE Rec. TDs
2020 Bills 16 2.63 4.25 28.63 0.56
2021 Bills 17 3.41 4.88 37.12 0.59
Daboll's Career Averages (OC/HC) 129 3.09 5.07 35.91 0.32


2022 Offense

2022 Offensive Coordinator: Ken Dorsey

Ken Dorsey's Coaching Career
Year Team Role
2013 Carolina Panthers QB Coach
2014 Carolina Panthers QB Coach
2015 Carolina Panthers QB Coach
2016 Carolina Panthers QB Coach
2017 Carolina Panthers QB Coach
2019 Buffalo Bills QB Coach
2020 Buffalo Bills QB Coach
2021 Buffalo Bills
Pass Game Coord. & QB Coach

Ken Dorsey Takeaways & Expectations

The 2022 season will be the first time that Ken Dorsey will serve in an offensive coordinator role and have the opportunity to call the plays at any level. Because of this, it's a lot harder to project what his offense will look like for the Bills, and the best we can do is look at some previous coaching data from some of the people that Ken Dorsey has worked closely with in the past.

Starting with the quarterback position, it is likely that Ken Dorsey will be able to help maintain Josh Allen's high level of performance given his background as a quarterbacks coach. During Dorsey's time as a quarterback's coach, he helped Cam Newton become an MVP (2015) with the Carolina Panthers and helped Josh Allen become a perennial MVP candidate with the Buffalo Bills. With Josh Allen as his quarterback again this season and the offense mostly intact, it would make a lot of sense for Dorsey's offense to be pretty similar to the one in 2021 and give Josh Allen a huge workload. He should be a locked and loaded top 5 fantasy quarterback this season, with an opportunity to finish once again as the number one fantasy quarterback.

Once we move onto the skill positions it becomes a little murkier on how much utilization Dorsey will provide each position since he has exclusively coached quarterbacks up to this point in the league. If he's anything like the offensive coordinators that he's worked under in the past, Mike Shula (2013-2017) and Brian Daboll (2018-2021), then that would mean that the Buffalo Bills backfield will see a below-average workload both on the ground and through the air in 2022. More than likely it's going to be difficult for one of the Bills running backs to be anything more than a FLEX play in 2022 unless Dorsey surprises us and goes a different route than the coaches he's worked with in the past.

Jumping to the wide receiver position, the Bills have featured their wide receiver room heavily over the past couple of years and enjoyed quite a bit of success. Because of this, it is likely that they try to maintain a high level of usage for this group in 2022 and give the Bills' wide receivers plenty of opportunities to be fantasy relevant.

Finally, the tight end position under Dorsey looks like a huge question mark. When Dorsey worked as the Carolina Panthers quarterbacks coach, the team frequently utilized their tight end room – led by former Pro Bowler Greg Olsen. Working as the quarterbacks' coach in Buffalo, the team didn't utilize the position as much with Brian Daboll calling the plays. If we had to take a guess on what happens here, we would guess that there is a slight increase in targets from the 2021 tight end room with Ken Dorsey calling the plays based on how well Dawson Knox played at times last year. Having said that, it probably won't be to the level to make Knox break into the top-five fantasy tight ends in 2022.


Fantasy Relevant Players: Josh Allen, Case Keenum, Matt Barkley, James Cook, Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, Duke Johnson, Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder, Isaiah McKenzie, Khalil Shakir, Marquez Stevenson, O.J. Howard, Dawson Knox, and Tommy Sweeney


2022 Defense

2022 Head Coach: Sean McDermott

Year Games Points Allowed Pass Yds Given Up Run Yds Given Up Plays Against Yds/Play Turnovers Forced
2020 Bills 16 23.44 232.88 119.63 64.06 5.50 1.63
2021 Bills 17 17 163 109.76 59.65 4.57 1.76
Sean McDermott's Career Averages (DC/HC) 209 21.47 218.85 108.23 62.88 5.20 1.78

Sean McDermott has been a fantastic defensive mind over the course of his career. He spent time as the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles (2009-2010) and Carolina Panthers (2011-2016) before joining the Buffalo Bills as the head coach in 2017. Given McDermott's defensive background, let's take a look at the defensive statistics his teams have compiled over the course of his career as a defensive coordinator or head coach.


2021 Defensive Coordinator: Leslie Frazier

Year Games Points Allowed Pass Yds Given Up Run Yds Given Up Plays Against Yds/Play Turnovers Forced
2020 Bills 16 23.44 232.88 119.63 64.06 5.50 1.63
2021 Bills 17 17 163 109.76 59.65 4.57 1.76
Leslie Frazier's Career Averages (DC/HC) 257 22.65 225.14 107.32 63.69 5.22 1.60

Leslie Frazier also brings a ton of experience to the table for the Bills on the defensive side of the ball. Prior to joining the Bills in 2017 as the defensive coordinator, Frazier spent time as the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator (2003-2004), Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator (2007-2010), Minnesota Vikings head coach (2010-2013), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator (2014-2015). Given Frazier's history coaching the defensive side of the ball, let's take a look at the defensive statistics his teams have compiled over the course of his career as a defensive coordinator or head coach.


Other Notable Assistants

Special Teams Coordinator: Matthew Smiley - The Buffalo Bills will have a new special teams coordinator in 2022 as they go from Heath Farwell to Matthew Smiley. Smiley previously worked as an assistant special teams coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-2016) and Buffalo Bills (2017-2021).

QB Coach: Joe Brady - With Ken Dorsey being promoted to offensive coordinator, the Bills needed a new quarterbacks coach this offseason and decided to go with Joe Brady. Brady served as the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator from 2020 to 2021 and is also well known for his role as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach for the 2019 LSU Tigers at the college level.

RB Coach: Kelly Skipper - Kelly Skipper has been a running backs coach since 2007. He was the Oakland Raiders running backs coach from 2007 to 2014 and the Jacksonville Jaguars running backs coach from 2015 to 2016 before settling in as the Bills running backs coach in 2017.

WR Coach: Chad Hall - Chad Hall has been the Buffalo Bills' wide receivers coach since 2019 after previously serving as an offensive assistant for the team (2017-2018). He also played wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles (2010-2012), San Francisco 49ers (2012), and Kansas City Chiefs (2013).

TE Coach: Rob Boras - Rob Boras has been a tight ends coach for most of his NFL career, spending time coaching the position at the NFL level for the Chicago Bears (2004-2009), Jacksonville Jaguars (2010-2011), St. Louis Rams (2012-2014), and the Buffalo Bills (2017-present). He was also the 2016 Rams offensive coordinator, a team that finished 32nd in points and yards.

OL Coach: Aaron Kromer - The Bills will have a new offensive line coach in 2022 as they go from Bobby Johnson to Aaron Kromer. Kromer has a ton of experience as an offensive line coach at the NFL level, working in the role for the Oakland Raiders (2002-2004), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2006-2007), New Orleans Saints (2009-2012), Buffalo Bills (2015-2016), and Los Angeles Rams (2017-2020) prior to rejoining the Bills in 2022. In addition, he also served as an interim head coach for the New Orleans Saints during the 2012 season and as an offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears from 2013 to 2014.

DL Coach: Eric Washington - Eric Washington joined the Bills as a defensive line coach in 2020. Washington has previously been a defensive line coach for the Chicago Bears (2010) and Carolina Panthers (2011-2017). He also previously served as the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator in 2018 and 2019.

LB Coach: Bobby Babich - When Bob Babich announced that he was retiring from coaching on January 19th, 2022, the Bills made the decision to move his son, Bobby Babich, from safeties coach to linebackers coach. Bobby served as the team's safeties coach from 2018 to 2021 and has also served as an assistant defensive backs coach for the Carolina Panthers (2012), Cleveland Browns (2013-2015), and Buffalo Bills (2017).

DB Coach: John Butler - John Butler has been the defensive backs coach of the Bills since 2018. Before that, he was the Houston Texans' secondary coach from 2014 to 2017.

Safeties Coach: Jim Salgado - With the Buffalo Bills moving Bobby Babich to linebackers coach, they will be moving Jim Salgado to safeties coach. Salgado has previously worked with the Bills as a defensive assistant coach (2017-2019) and nickels coach (2020-2021).


Enjoy this series? Be sure to check out all of the other 'Coaching Matters' team previews!

AFC North: Cleveland BrownsPittsburgh SteelersBaltimore RavensCincinnati Bengals

AFC South: Houston TexansJacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee TitansIndianapolis Colts

AFC West: Kansas City ChiefsDenver BroncosLos Angeles ChargersLas Vegas Raiders

AFC East: Miami Dolphins


Follow Eli Grabanski on Twitter: @3li_handles

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