14 Coaching Changes With Fantasy Football and Betting Consequences (NFL 2021)


We already outlined the 10 Best NFL Players On New Teams, but how about coaches? After all, new coordinators or coaches usually bring a different philosophy to their new gig. That can impact things from the fantasy football and betting perspective. 

Everyone knows about Urban Meyer taking over in Jacksonville, but what will Seattle’s offense look like under a new offensive coordinator? Does Robert Salah have a chance to turn things around in New York? Will the Lions feed off of Dan Campbell’s “true alpha” persona? 

Let’s answer those questions while looking at 14 coaching changes with fantasy and betting consequences: 

1. Urban Meyer: Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars

Urban Meyer is a college football legend. The $7.6 million (annual) question is whether that success will translate to the NFL. Let’s not forget Nick Saban running the Miami Dolphins to a 15-17 record in his two seasons as HC.

Meyer was famous for getting the most out of his talent at Florida and Ohio State. He also loved utilizing dynamic wide receivers all over the field. Think Percy Harvin of the Gators and Parris Campbell of the Buckeyes. 

That’s great news for a playmaker like Laviska Shenault Jr., who had a shaky rookie campaign due to poor quarterback play and an underwhelming scheme. You’d have to think better offensive numbers are coming at WR.

2. Brandon Staley: Head Coach of the Los Angeles Chargers

Brandon Staley looks like Philip Rivers. Context definitely helps, as Staley now dons a Chargers’ hat while repeatedly speaking into a microphone. Here’s a crazy fact: Rivers is actually older than Staley, who is only 38. 

The Chargers’ new Head Coach comes from a defensive background, previously serving as a Defensive Coordinator for the Rams. 

Their new Offensive Coordinator, Joe Lombardi, is the grandson of legendary coach Vince Lombardi. I wonder if he says “my trophy” or “my granddad’s trophy” when referring to the Lombardi Trophy? 

3. Nick Sirianni: Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles

Sirianni served as the Colts’ Offensive Coordinator for the past three seasons. He’ll team up with Shane Steichen while trying to turn around a Philadelphia offense that ranked 28th in yards per play last season. 

Steichen, Philadelphia’s new Offensive Coordinator, was hired for his ability to nurture young quarterbacks. He helped Justin Herbert emerge as an elite NFL QB last season, so perhaps he can help Philly QB Jalen Hurts make the leap as a full-time starter. 

If that doesn’t work out, then I’m sure Philadelphia fans will be very understanding, patient, and supportive. Molotov cocktails usually don’t come out until Week 3. Spitting and cursing one’s family lineage sooner.

4. Robert Salah: Head Coach of the New York Jets

Salah served as San Francisco’s Defensive Coordinator from 2017 to 2020. The 49ers ranked top five in total defense under his tenure in the last two seasons. He’ll try to bring some of that pedigree to his first head coaching gig. 

Mike LaFleur will become the new offensive coordinator for the Jets. If you think that name sounds familiar, then perhaps you are thinking of his older brother – Matt LaFleur, who serves as the Packers’ Head Coach. 

While big brother leans on a Hall-of-Fame QB, Mike will try to rebuild a hodgepodge offense with rookie signal-caller Zach Wilson. 

5. Arthur Smith: Head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons

Arthur Smith previously served as the Titans’ Offensive Coordinator for the last two seasons, where he built an efficient running game with lethal play-action passing. 

It doesn’t hurt that he had Hulk (aka Derrick Henry) at running back. Smith might have trouble establishing the run in Atlanta, as the Falcons hold a bottom-ten offensive line according to Pro Football Focus

Smith’s father is the Founder and CEO of his own shipping company. It’s called FedEx – maybe you’ve heard of it? FedEx’s slogan that brought it to fame and fortune was, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” For the Falcons, it may be, when you absolutely, positively want to try and have a .500 record this year to show fans you’re improving.

Expect a more efficient offense. Not much else.

6. Dan Campbell: Head Coach of the Detroit Lions

Campbell is an old-school football dude. He wants to play physically, run the football, and bully the opponent into submission. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the personnel to make that happen right now. This will be a full rebuild in every sense of the term. 

Campbell is a self-proclaimed “true alpha” who drinks straight gasoline for breakfast. Not really, but his Starbucks order is pretty intense: two venti coffees with two espresso shots in each. If you’ve ever wondered what a last-place team with an overcaffeinated bulldog of a coach sounds like, keep tabs on the Lions this year. There’s absolutely nowhere to go but up for this franchise.

7. David Culley: Head Coach of the Houston Texans

I feel bad for David Cully. He has been thrown into a disastrous situation as the new Texans’ Head Coach. The cupboard is bare in Houston, and their star QB (Deshaun Watson) has one foot and 22-alleged masseuse victims out the door already.

Cully is 65 years old, which makes him the oldest first-time Head Coach in NFL history. 

It seems disingenuous to say, but Cully will probably serve as a placeholder until the Texans can find an exciting young coach to rebuild around. Again.

8. Marcus Brady: Offensive Coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts

Brady was probably super excited to get this promotion, but now he has to deal with an absolute mess. The Colts are without a QB after Carson Wentz suffered an injury, so expect them to lean heavily on Jonathan Taylor and the running game early in the year. 

Pen Brady in for OC of the Year if he can this offense even halfway rolling in 2021.

9. Eric Studesville & George Godsy: Offensive Coordinators for the Miami Dolphins

Two minds are better than one, right? That’s what the Dolphins are banking on, as they named Studesville and Godsy Co-Offensive Coordinators this offseason. 

As a brilliant ESPN8 commentator once said, “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.”

Miami’s former Offensive Coordinator, Chan Gailey, was ousted because he played QB Ryan Fitzpatrick over top draft choice Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins have seemingly pinned all of their short-term hopes and dreams on the Tua project. Tua obviously has the raw talent. “So did I,” screamed every single other amazing QB talent that never made it in the NFL.

The Dolphins do look poised for a breakout. But we all know, as QB goes, so goes the trophy chances.

10. Klint Kubiak: Offensive Coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings

With one of the greatest hand-me-down gifts of all time, Gary Kubiak handed over the Vikings’ Offensive Coordinator role to his son, Klint Kubiak. Try that nepotism at your work. But this is the NFL. They will do anything not to find new blood.

Minnesota’s offense shouldn’t change at all under Klint. Dalvin Cook will still get an absurd amount of carries, Justin Jefferson will see a feast of play-action targets, and Kirk Cousins will still be the dog you yell at when grandma farts so she doesn’t have to feel ashamed.  

11. Matt Canada: Offensive Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Honestly, Ben Roethlisberger is the Steelers’ Offensive Coordinator at this point in his career. Matt Canada will serve as a quality control moniker more than anything. “Here’s the play, guys… I mean, Ben, if you think we should run it.”

Either way, the Steelers want to run the ball more effectively in 2021. Drafting stud RB Najee Harris helps, but Pittsburgh will need to overcome an offensive line that ranks 31st (according to PFF) heading into the season. For comparison, Harris’ former team, the Crimson Tide, had an offensive line ranked 9th out of 127. Welcome to the NFL, Najee.

12. Mike McDaniel: Offensive Coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers 

McDaniel is an Offensive Coordinator mostly in name. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan will probably keep full control of the offense, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since NFL pundits are obliged to call Shan an “offensive genius”.

Shanahan loves to execute balanced playcalling spearheaded by a relentless rushing attack. There’s only one problem for fantasy football purposes: the 49ers utilize too many running backs, even when people are healthy.

Raheem Mostert and Trey Sermon will be the main guys, but Wayne Gallman and Jeff Wilson (health permitting) will rotate into the mix as well. The wide-outs also get handoffs. As does the FB and occasionally Kittle. Don’t be surprised to see Trey Lance lined up in the backfield this year on trick plays as well. It’s like communism back there.

13. Shane Waldron: Offensive Coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks

I’m not expecting Waldron to change things in Seattle. Pete Carroll isn’t exactly a “no idea is a bad idea” meetings kind of guy. More like a Bond villain dropping his minions into the shark tank.

Everyone will want Russell Wilson to throw the ball more, but the Seahawks will insist on plunging their RB committee into the line of scrimmage 40+ times per game. They don’t really have an option. Not if they want Russell Wilson to live.

14. Todd Downing: Offensive Coordinator for the Tennessee Titans

Downing will take over for the aforementioned likes of Arthur Smith, who took Atlanta’s Head Coach spot. 

He doesn’t have to change too much, as all the pieces are in place for Tennesee’s offense to remain one of the most efficient in the league. Derrick Henry makes Beast Mode look like a kitten, Ryan Tannehill is excellent on play-action, and Julio Jones will join A.J. Brown in the receiving corps. Expect a high-functioning, no-nonsense offense. The defense is definitely where they lag.

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