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Coaching Matters: Offensive Outliers From Week 11

Tony Pollard - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

This is the eleventh week of this series where I dive into offensive areas that will improve or decline based on past coaching trends in order to glean insight as to fantasy football value.

In Week 11, we saw stat lines such as the Dallas Cowboys running back room combining for 271 scrimmage yards, the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver room seeing 15 targets, and the Kansas City Chiefs tight end room combining for 181 receiving yards.

After these types of performances, it is important to look at each of these teams' coaches and their playcalling tendencies to see if these performances are likely to continue, if they will change for the better, or if they will change for the worse.

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Fantasy Football Improvement Ahead?

This article will take a look at which of these areas are in line for improvement and which areas are in line for a decline in future weeks. Let's dive in! These are the areas and positions that will likely improve in the coming weeks, based on the team's play-caller tendencies in the past.


New Orleans Saints Running Backs

Pete Carmichael Jr.

RB Carries RB Rush Yds RB Rush TD RB Rec. RB Tgts RB Rec. Yds RB Rec. TD
2021 Saints 21.59 77.24 0.29 4.41 6.12 36.76 0.29
Pete Carmichael Jr. Prior (209 games) 22.71 101.84 0.81 7.33 9.28 57.71 0.31
Saints RBs vs. Los Angeles Rams 13 38 0 5 6 58 0

For the second straight week, the New Orleans Saints running back room lands on this list after they combined for 13 carries, 38 rushing yards, zero rushing touchdowns, five receptions, six targets, 58 receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns. On the season this group has totaled 201 carries (18.27 per game), 807 rushing yards (73.36 per game), three rushing touchdowns (0.27 per game), 59 receptions (5.36 per game), 75 targets (6.81 per game), 469 receiving yards (42.64 per game), and two receiving touchdowns (0.18 per game).

Similar to last week, these numbers are well below offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael's career averages, but eerily similar to the team's 2021 running back room averages. Because of this, it's likely that this group doesn't improve much from the current season averages down the stretch and that Alvin Kamara continues to be more of a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 than the RB1 he's been in the past.

Fantasy players this impacts: Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram


Minnesota Vikings Wide Receivers

Kevin O'Connell & Wes Phillips

WR Rec. WR Tgts WR Rec. Yds WR Rec. TD
2021 Vikings 14.12 21.47 187.12 1.71
Kevin O'Connell Prior (49 games) 14.65 22.12 179.33 1.18
Vikings WRs vs. Dallas Cowboys 9 15 104 0

After last week's performance against the Buffalo Bills where they put up 19 receptions on 34 targets for 277 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown, the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver room had nowhere to go but down. In this past Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, this group combined for nine receptions on 15 targets for 104 receiving yards and zero receiving touchdowns. On the season this group has now totaled 150 receptions (15 per game) on 229 targets (22.9 per game) for 1874 receiving yards (187.4 per game) and nine receiving touchdowns (0.9 per game). The Vikings probably won't have many games where their wide receiver room sees just 15 targets, and their current season averages seem to be pretty in line with head coach Kevin O'Connell's previous wide receiver usage. Continue to hold your Vikings wide receivers if you have them.

Fantasy players this impacts: Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn, Adam Thielen, Jalen Reagor


Decline Ahead?

As mentioned above, this article also looks at which teams and areas are in line for a decline in future weeks. These are the areas and positions that will likely decline in the coming weeks based on the team's play-caller tendencies in the past.


Detroit Lions Running Backs

Dan Campbell & Ben Johnson

RB Carries RB Rush Yds RB Rush TD RB Rec. RB Tgts RB Rec. Yds RB Rec. TD
2021 Lions 23.06 96.47 0.65 6.24 7.59 43.76 0.12
Dan Campbell Prior (29 games) 21.72 92.34 0.69 5.90 7.28 46 0.14
Lions RBs vs. New York Giants 31 150 4 4 4 23 0

The Detroit Lions running back room went off in the victory over the New York Giants, as they combined for 31 carries, 150 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns, four receptions, four targets, 23 receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns. After this game, this group has totaled 252 carries (25.2 per game), 1169 rushing yards (116.9 per game), 15 rushing touchdowns (1.5 per game), 43 receptions (4.3 per game), 56 targets (5.6 per game), 364 receiving yards (36.4 per game), and three receiving touchdowns (0.3 per game) on the season.

The current season averages are insanely high and would be difficult for any team to be able to maintain over the course of an entire season. You should be actively looking to sell high on Jamaal Williams at this point of the season as there's a very good chance his season averages drop a bit down the stretch.

Fantasy players this impacts: D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams


Dallas Cowboys Running Backs

Mike McCarthy & Kellen Moore

RB Carries RB Rush Yds RB Rush TD RB Rec. RB Tgts RB Rec. Yds RB Rec. TD
2021 Cowboys 23.82 111.41 0.82 5.41 6.94 38.41 0.18
Mike McCarthy Prior (332 games) 21.42 90.57 0.58 4.10 5.52 31.86 0.11
Kellen Moore Prior (49 games) 23.35 104.98 0.78 4.92 6.53 34.90 0.18
Cowboys RBs vs. Minnesota Vikings 37 135 2 9 10 136 2

The Dallas Cowboys running back room went off in the win over the Minnesota Vikings, combining for 37 carries, 135 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, nine receptions, 10 targets, 136 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns. After this game, this group has totaled 262 carries (26.2 per game), 1260 rushing yards (126 per game), 12 rushing touchdowns (1.2 per game), 32 receptions (3.2 per game), 45 targets (4.5 per game), 320 receiving yards (32 per game), and two receiving touchdowns (0.2 per game) on the year.

These numbers are well above the career averages we've seen from head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore's running back rooms in the past and suggest that the Cowboys running backs may be due for some regression in the coming weeks. Now may be a good time to look and see if you can sell high on Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard.

Fantasy players this impacts: Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, and Malik Davis


Kansas City Chiefs Tight Ends

Andy Reid & Eric Bieniemy

TE Rec. TE Tgts TE Rec. Yds
TE Rec. TD
2021 Chiefs 6.35 9.24 73.41 0.59
Andy Reid Prior (369 games) 4.83 7.45 56.06 0.41
Eric Bieniemy Prior (65 games) 6.91 10.03 86.29 0.6
Chiefs TEs vs. Los Angeles Chargers 10 15 181 3

The Kansas City Chiefs won in a thriller against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football this past week, 30-27. In this game, the Chiefs' tight end room went off as they combined for 10 receptions on 15 targets for 181 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. On the season this group has now totaled 91 receptions (9.1 per game) on 124 targets (12.4 per game) for 1089 receiving yards (108.9 per game) and 14 receiving touchdowns (1.4 per game).

While these current averages are higher than head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy's career tight end room averages, there's no way you should even consider selling Travis Kelce. He is arguably the most valuable fantasy football asset in the game due to position scarcity, so if you have him continue to hold and enjoy having a major advantage at the tight end position over your opponents.

Fantasy players this impacts: Travis Kelce, Noah Gray, and Jody Fortson


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