5 NFL Coaches That Are Going to Kill Your Fantasy Season
There are a lot of factors that have to be taken into account in fantasy football. One of the more undervalued ones is how NFL coaches can affect your fantasy football team.
Perhaps the greatest example of all time when it comes to head coaches affecting fantasy is what Don Nelson did in his last few years in Golden State. He changed his rotations almost as much as he tied his shoes, causing many a headache for fantasy owners.
While there is not as extreme a case in the NFL today as there was with Don Nelson, there are a handful of coaches who are ruining fantasy lineups. Here are some that are serving to kill your fantasy season.
Bill Belichick, New England, Running Backs
About a month ago, it looked as if Stephan Ridley was going to take over the running back reigns for the New England Patriots for good. Fast forward a month and he doesn't even receive one carry.
After BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a strong performance in Week 5, Ridley has really disappeared in the fantasy community. He was looking like a player that could potentially help save your season due to all of the injuries, but that is long gone now.
Kevin Faulk led the Patriots in snaps among the New England backfield last week after returning from a long-term injury. The development is the latest in confusing moves by Bill Belichick with his running backs in 2011.
Most people didn't even think Faulk would even play this year as he was going to be more of a coach on the sidelines. There's no doubt he played more snaps since New England was losing last week, but we still can't be sure as to what Belichick will do next.
Mike Shanahan, Washington, Running Backs
Surprise, surprise. The mad running-back rotating scientist Mike Shanahan has been back at in 2011, tinkering with his backfield several times.
While injuries have certainly played a part in the running back situation for the Redskins this season, Shanahan has still been very unpredictable.
In Week 7, Ryan Torain was expected to start and be the team's lead back. Instead, Tim Hightower got the nod and was all over the field before suffering a season-ending injury. Torain had two carries for negative-five yards.
All of the uncertainty has led to a subpar rushing attack for Washington for much of the year, and who knows who Shanahan will try next. It's a situation that you are hopefully able to avoid in all leagues.
Leslie Frazier, Minnesota, Wide Receivers
While Donovan McNabb did not look very good during his time as the starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings this season, he wasn't given much of a chance for success. The most talented receivers on the team have not been receiving a majority of the playing time.
Fantasy owners are most affected by the fact that Percy Harvin hasn't been able to yield the results that were expected of him this season. He is easily the second most talented playmaker on the team after Adrian Peterson, but has had his snaps severely limited snaps.
We all get that Harvin has issues with migraines, but why not give him a chance to show what he can fully do? Alongside Peterson, Harvin should be able to be a solid WR2 for years to come in fantasy leagues if the Vikings utilize him properly.
Sean Payton, New Orleans, Wide Receivers
Even though Lance Moore played the fewest snaps in Week 8 among New Orleans Saints wide receivers, he had the most production. That result sums up a crazy up-and-down season for all of the Saints wideouts.
It would be best for fantasy owners if Payton just played Marques Colston and Moore the majority of snaps and worked in Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson sporadically in some kind of set rotation.
While Meachem and Henderson have a knack for big plays down the field, Colston and Moore are the more reliable pass catchers and better bets for consistent fantasy production. They just need to get on the field at a higher clip, especially Moore.
Mike Smith, Atlanta, Passing Game
All signs were pointing to the Atlanta Falcons going with a pass-dominated approach in 2011. An over-worked Michael Turner in years past combined with the drafting of Julio Jones was supposed to make this passing offense one of the more fantasy-friendly aerial attacks in the NFL.
Instead, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has actually been a little bit worse than in years past, and Turner is running as much as ever. Ryan has hovered around as low-end QB1 in fantasy throughout his career, but was supposed to take the next step this season.
Roddy White and Jones have been banged up, but Smith really needs to work on calling more passing plays if fantasy owners are going to get what they expected out of the offense in 2011.