What to expect from new 2023 NFC Offensive Play-callers

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Dallas Cowboys: HC Mike McCarthy

Recent rankings: 2022: 4th in points, 11th in yards, 2021: 1st in points, 1st in yards

What to expect:

Mike McCarthy’s comments about running the football and not worrying about points went viral creating some concern for fantasy purposes. McCarthy’s comments may be more in reference to 2021 vs 2022, as he also highlighted liking the run/pass ratio in 2022. McCarthy has a strong history of favoring passing going back to his Green Bay days, so thoughts that Dallas’ offense will turn the clock back to the 1960’s, are probably overblown. McCarthy will look to put his own imprint on this team, but changes will likely mainly come in trying to improve efficiency. Dallas added to their pass catchers this offseason with the trade for WR Brandin Cooks. So it’s possible this passing offense could even be better in 2023.

How to react:

Right now people seem to be split on how to judge the Dallas offense, and this could be a chance to buy a little low on them. QB Dak Prescott finished 9th in fantasy scoring per game last season, despite dealing with a thumb injury that kept him out 5 weeks. The Cowboys’ offense dealt with a multitude of injuries to their skill positions and offensive line. If you believe that the Cowboys can get a little luckier in the health department, and the concerns of McCarthy’s play-calling are overblown you could get some nice value by jumping on them early.

Philadelphia Eagles: OC Brian Johnson

Recent rankings: 2022: 3rd in points, 3rd in yards, 2021: 12th in points, 14th in yards

What to expect:

With Shane Steichen moving on to coach the Colts, Nick Sirianni kept the play-calling in-house by promoting QB coach Brian Johnson to the role. Johnson has never held an OC role in the NFL, but has at multiple college stops. The early expectation is there won’t be any wholesale changes in the Eagles’ offense, and it’s likely that Sirianni will play a significant role in game-planning, even if he’s no longer involved in the actual play calls. Johnson’s close relationship with Jalen Hurts, has been credited with the growth of the young QB in 2022. The biggest question will be if the Eagles’ increase their pass rate in 2023.

How to react:

There shouldn’t be a big difference in how the Eagles’ offense functions this season. It’s possible they will continue to expand their passing rate, which could add some upside value to A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert, but they are already pretty high picks, to begin with. The Eagles have a great chance to once again be a top 5 offense, and at worst should be top 10.

Washington Commanders: OC Eric Bieniemy

Recent rankings: 2022: 24th in points, 20th in yards, 2021: 23rd in points, 21st in yards

What to expect:

Though Beieniemy wasn’t the full play-caller in Kansas City these last 5 years, he was heavily involved in building the offense and gameplan. The Chiefs behind Patrick Mahomes were far more pass centric than what we’ve seen in Washington, so something is likely to change. I’d expect the Commanders to be more balanced in their run/pass rate this coming season, but a lot will depend on how much Sam Howell can develop. Not only are is it likely that the base rates for passing will increase, but this should be even more noticeable in PROE (pass rate over expectation). The Chiefs were 1st in the league last season, while Washington was near the bottom. Patrick Mahomes plays a big role in that, but a lot of it is scheme based as well.

How to react:

This is definitely a positive for late round shots at Sam Howell in Best Ball drafts. Even if Howell is just average, volume can help make him a fantasy asset, particularly with his solid mobility. The real beneficiaries could be Washington’s trio of receivers, Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel. This is a talented group that was simply underused last season. McLaurin is a top 10-15 WR talent in this league, but he doesn’t have the volume to put up the monster stats. That could begin to change a bit this season under Bieniemy.

Carolina Panthers: HC Frank Reich

Recent rankings: 2022: 20th in points, 29th in yards, 2021: 29th in points, 30th in yards

What to expect:

In Reich’s 5 years in Indianapolis, the Colts finished top 10 in points 3 times, and top 10 in yards twice. Last season though the offense collapsed and Reich was fired mid-season. He gets a fresh start in Carolina, but this is a team that has traded away their top 3 playmakers within the last year. Reich has built a strong offensive staff and signed a number of key veteran skill players as he looks to turn Bryce Young into the Panthers’ next Franchise QB. There will likely be plenty of growing pains with a young QB, but this offense should improve from last season’s disaster.

How to react:

Expect Miles Sanders to get fed early and often in this offense as they look to ease Young’s transition into the NFL. I wouldn’t want to be overly exposed to this offense in fantasy, but you can find usable later round options at WR and TE as well.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OC Dave Canales

Recent rankings: 2022: 25th in points, 15th in yards, 2021: 2nd in points, 2nd in yards

What to expect:

It was a rough fall for the Buccaneers last season, as they were one of the top 0ffenses in 2020 and 2021. This season Canales inherits a team that is losing a HOF QB with Brady’s retirement and replaces him with either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask. Mayfield can still perhaps be a solid starter in this league, but he won’t have a chance if the OL plays like it did a year ago. Canales comes from the Seahawks where he’s been an offensive coach (but never a coordinator) since 2010. It’s unclear what to expect from this team in terms of their offensive production. They are currently built with strong passing weapons led by Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Given how much they relied on Brady to carry this offense the last 3 years, it’s likely that naturally their rushing rates will go up, as they get more balanced.

How to react:

This is a real tough situation as we don’t have a clear track record for Canales, and the Buccaneers passing game was so much the focal point under Brady. They will try to run more, but I don’t know if I’d expect a breakout from Rachaad White. They were very inefficient running the past couple years, and have now lost the QB threat and multiple OL. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin feel discounted given their talent level and are solid targets.

Arizona Cardinals: OC Drew Petzing

Recent rankings: 2022: 21st in points, 22nd in yards, 2021: 11th in points, 8th in yards

What to expect:

There is so much unknown when it comes to the Cardinals offense this season. Petzing is a very young offensive coordinator with only 4 seasons as a primary position coach, including spending the last 3 with the Browns. So we don’t have a lot of data to support what this scheme will look like. The other unknown is who will exactly be playing at the key fantasy positions during the season. Kyler Murray is coming off a major late-season knee injury and he might not be ready for the start of the season. Tight end Zach Ertz also suffered a major knee injury last year, and he also could not be ready. Though he wasn’t traded during the draft, it’s still possible that star WR DeAndre Hopkins could get traded at some point this summer or during the year. With so many unknowns with some positions

How to react:

This feels like a wait-and-see approach when it comes to Cardinals players not named James Conner. The outlook for guys like Hopkins, Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, Zach Ertz, and Trey McBride is so dependent on who is there, and who is throwing them the football. As for Kyler Murray, his ADP is low right now which is nice if he only misses less than 4 weeks, but if he ends up being out 6 weeks+ it gets dicey. Also, Murray might not use his legs as much this season as he comes off this injury. If that is the case his value is clearly going to take a hit. Right now I’ll let him slide some before taking many shots on him.


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