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Coaching Matters: Offensive Outliers From Week 12

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This is the twelfth 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 12, we saw stat lines such as the New Orleans Saints running back room combining for 23 rushing yards, the Jacksonville Jaguars' wide receiver room totaling 250 receiving yards, and the Las Vegas Raiders running back room combining for 386 scrimmage 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. San Francisco 49ers 11 23 0 6 8 37 0

For the third straight week, the New Orleans Saints running back room lands on this list after they combined for just 11 carries, 23 rushing yards, zero rushing touchdowns, six receptions, eight targets, 37 receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns. On the season this group has totaled 212 carries (17.67 per game), 830 rushing yards (69.17 per game), three rushing touchdowns (0.25 per game), 65 receptions (5.42 per game), 83 targets (6.92 per game), 506 receiving yards (42.17 per game), and two receiving touchdowns (0.17 per game).

As we've said in the last two weeks of this series, these numbers are well below offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael's career averages, but eerily similar to the team's 2021 running back room averages. At this point of the year, it seems clear that this is the new normal for the Saints backfield and Alvin Kamara is likely going to finish in the RB2 range this year rather than the RB1 he's been in the past.

Fantasy players this impacts: Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram


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.


Washington Commanders Running Backs

Scott Turner

RB Carries RB Rush Yds RB Rush TD RB Rec. RB Tgts RB Rec. Yds RB Rec. TD
2021 Washington 23.29 95.24 0.71 6.06 7.47 47.88 0.29
Scott Turner Prior 21.73 88.65 0.84 7.19 9.11 55.73 0.19
Commanders RBs vs. Atlanta Falcons 31 159 0 5 6 42 1

The Washington Commanders running back room combined for 31 carries, 159 rushing yards, zero rushing touchdowns, five receptions, six targets, 42 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown. After this game, this group has totaled 288 carries (24 per game), 1114 rushing yards (92.83 per game), five rushing touchdowns (0.42 per game), 73 receptions (6.08 per game), 94 targets (7.83 per game), 506 receiving yards (42.17 per game), and three receiving touchdowns (0.25 per game).

These season averages are in the same ballpark as offensive coordinator Scott Turner's career running back room averages. There isn't really much of a buy-low or sell-high opportunity here with Washington's backfield and if you roster Brian Robinson or Antonio Gibson you should continue to hold strong.

Fantasy players this impacts: Brian Robinson, Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Jonathan 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. New York Giants 34 152 1 3 3 4 0

For the second consecutive week, the Dallas Cowboys running back room lands on this list after their strong performance against the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day. In this game, the Cowboys backfield combined for 34 carries, 152 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, three receptions, three targets, four receiving yards, and zero receiving touchdowns. After this game, this group has totaled 296 carries (26.91 per game), 1412 rushing yards (128.36 per game), 13 rushing touchdowns (1.18 per game), 35 receptions (3.18 per game), 48 targets (4.36 per game), 324 receiving yards (29.45 per game), and two receiving touchdowns (0.18 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. As great as the Dallas Cowboys running backs have performed this season, they 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


Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receivers

Doug Pederson & Press Taylor

WR Rec. WR Tgts WR Rec. Yds WR Rec. TD
2021 Jaguars 13.41 22.41 147.47 0.53
Doug Pederson Prior (128 games) 10.5 17.59 124.31 0.70
Jaguars WRs vs. Baltimore Ravens 23 31 250 2

The Jacksonville Jaguars pulled off the upset against the Baltimore Ravens with a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the final minute of the game. In this game, the Jaguars' wide receiver room balled out to the tune of 23 receptions on 31 targets for 250 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. On the season, this group has now totaled 162 receptions (14.73 per game) on 246 targets (22.36 per game) for 1801 receiving yards (163.73 per game) and 13 receiving touchdowns (1.18 per game). These current season averages are quite a bit better than Doug Pederson's typical wide receiver room and suggest that there is a good chance of regression in the coming weeks. In particular, you should be looking to sell high on Zay Jones after his 11 receptions on 14 targets for 145 receiving yards performance.

Fantasy players this impacts: Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Marvin Jones, Tim Jones, Jamal Agnew


Las Vegas Raiders Running Backs

Josh McDaniels & Mick Lombardi

RB Carries RB Rush Yds RB Rush TD RB Rec. RB Tgts RB Rec. Yds RB Rec. TD
2021 Raiders 20.29 81.59 0.76 6.35 7.82 46.12 0.06
Josh McDaniels Prior (253 games) 24.30 104.22 0.89 5.16 7.04 45.04 0.27
Raiders RBs vs. Seattle Seahawks 38 273 2 9 10 113 1

Josh Jacobs and the Las Vegas Raiders running back room went off in the victory over the Seattle Seahawks as they combined for 38 carries, 273 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, nine receptions, 10 targets, 113 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown. So far this season, this group has combined for 237 carries (21.55 per game), 1256 rushing yards (114.18 per game), nine rushing touchdowns (0.82 per game), 67 receptions (6.09 per game), 80 targets (7.27 per game), 525 receiving yards (47.73 per game), and two receiving touchdowns (0.18 per game).

While Sunday's elite performance is not something you can expect from any running back room on a regular basis, the Raiders backfield should be able to maintain their current season averages based on head coach Josh McDaniels's strong track record with running backs. Clearly, Josh Jacobs is a strong candidate to finish as the RB1 overall in 2022 and you should be handcuffing him with Zamir White at this point of the year.

Fantasy players this impacts: Josh Jacobs, Ameer Abdullah, Zamir White, Brandon Bolden


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. New England Patriots 20 24 233 2

The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver room bounced back on Thanksgiving Day against the New England Patriots as they combined for 20 receptions on 24 targets for 233 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. On the season, this group has now totaled 170 receptions (15.45 per game) on 253 targets (23 per game) for 2107 receiving yards (191.55 per game) and 11 receiving touchdowns (one per game).

Even with Thursday's strong performance, the current season averages seem to be pretty in line with head coach Kevin O'Connell's previous wide receiver room usage. In this offense, Justin Jefferson has a great opportunity to finish as the WR1 in 2022 and Adam Thielen remains a solid FLEX option.

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


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