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Top-8 NFL Coaching Moves That Affect 2024 Fantasy Football

With the 2024 fantasy football season already in mind, the NFL off-season is going to start moving very quickly. There is going to be a massive wave of change amongst each team in regards to free agency, trades, and the NFL Draft. Prior to all of that, NFL coaching changes are behind us and crucial to analyze. For fantasy football, certain NFL coaching moves can have a massive impact on the players we plan to target in pursuit of our league titles.

There are dozens of coaching changes to look at, but some involve teams that have too many question marks to do anything but speculate as of now. Let’s look at the NFL coaching moves that have a bit more concrete impact worth discussing as we wait for the new league year to begin.

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NFL Coaching Moves Biggest Impacts on 2024 Fantasy Football

Dave Canales as the New Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers

I don’t foresee the Carolina Panthers as a team many managers will be targeting for fantasy football purposes. After compiling a stellar NFL coaching staff last off-season, then drafting Bryce Young, and ultimately cleaning house of the coaching staff, it’s hard to have faith in the franchise’s decision-making. However, Canales is a strong head coach hire, especially for the development of Bryce Young.

Canales’ last two seasons include working as the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterbacks coach and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator. Geno Smith won Comeback Player of the Year and we saw Baker Mayfield nominated for the award this season, both working under Canales. Granted, Smith was throwing to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett while Baker had Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and others, as well. The Carolina Panthers need to bring in a stronger veteran option than Adam Thielen for Young to lock in on in the passing game. Jonathan Mingo is still a player I’m holding in dynasty formats in the event Canales can get Bryce Young on the right track.

Brian Callahan as the New Head Coach of the Tennessee Titans

One of the more surprising NFL coaching changes is the Titans’ decision to move on from head coach Mike Vrabel and replace him with Brian Callahan, the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator from 2019 to 2023. The Titans ranked inside the top 10 in rush attempts per game in each of Vrabel’s first four seasons as head coach. That includes leading the league in 2021, thanks to Derrick Henry, on their way to earning the top seed in the AFC.

Meanwhile, in Callahan’s Cincinnati offense, the Bengals have finished inside the top seven in total pass attempts in three of the last five seasons. That includes each of the last two seasons. While Joe Burrow did not finish the 2023 season, he’s averaged 37.3 pass attempts per game in his last 26 starts over the aforementioned last two seasons. That is way above the average of his peers.

In addition to this NFL coaching change, the Titans have plenty more change on the horizon. Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, and maybe even DeAndre Hopkins are all but gone. That leaves Will Levis as the starting quarterback for the 2024 season. To compare him to Joe Burrow isn’t something I’m interested in doing. However, with Brian Callahan at the helm, Levis could be a low-cost, high-volume streaming option next fantasy football season.

Let’s wait and see what sort of pass catchers they surround him with. It’s worth noting, too, that Callahan’s offensive coordinator has a pass-heavy background. That’s Nick Holz, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2023 passing game coordinator. They had more total pass attempts than the Bengals. As of now, ironically, I’m most interested in running back Tyjae Spears. As a rookie, he is one of 10 running backs to log 70 or more targets last season. He is a solid target at the position in points per reception leagues especially.

Arthur Smith Joining the Steelers as Offensive Coordinator

The name alone is enough to make some fantasy football managers angry. The Steelers hiring Arthur Smith as their offensive coordinator is one of the more surprising NFL coaching changes given how frustrating the usage of Atlanta Falcons playmakers was this past season when he was their head coach. For instance, after drafting Bijan Robinson with the eighth overall pick last year, the Falcons still managed to score just 18.9 points per game, down from 21.5 in 2022 under Smith.

Smith’s presence alone in Pittsburgh is likely enough for many fantasy football managers to downgrade Steelers players in their rankings. Perhaps he is better suited as an offensive coordinator than a head coach, though. As the Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator in 2019 and 2020, Derrick Henry led the league in rushing, logging over 300 carries in each season. I’m certainly not giving Smith all of the credit for Henry’s success, but maybe we see a similar approach to the Steelers’ 2024 offense with Najee Harris. He is entering his fourth season, which could be his last with Pittsburgh if they don’t exercise his fifth-year option, something they will have to decide before May.

As for the passing game, it’s hard to speak on without knowing who the starting quarterback will be. I do wonder if Ryan Tannehill, who has a history with Smith and is a free agent, could make his way to Pittsburgh this season. He is a significant upgrade over Kenny Pickett, Mitchell Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph, all of whom have started at least three games over the last two seasons. Either way, I do think Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, and Pat Freiermuth could present value assuming fantasy managers are apprehensive to draft Steelers based on this NFL coaching change.

Kellen Moore Joining the Eagles as Offensive Coordinator

Rejoice, Eagles fans! The days of watching Julio Jones and Quez Watkins bubble screens are over! Not only because Jones and Watkins are unlikely to return to the team in 2024, but primarily because of the NFL coaching change of Kellen Moore replacing Brian Johnson as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator.

It’s no secret that the Eagles’ roster has talent. However, after ending the season with a 1-6 record, including a playoff loss, after starting 10-1, the vibes are extremely low. Kellen Moore comes in with a recent history as the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive coordinator in which they scored the sixth, first, and fourth-most points, in 2019, 2021, and 2022 respectively, with a healthy Dak Prescott. Last season, as the Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive coordinator, was a bit of a wash given the injuries to Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and especially Justin Herbert. However, with their full personnel, in the first three weeks, they averaged 28.6 points per game.

What you can expect with this NFL coaching change is more deep passes and overall creativity. As lackluster as the Eagles’ offense looked last season, we should see their playmakers get in space more under Kellen Moore. I really like DeVonta Smith, who will go after A.J. Brown in drafts, as a player who can rack up major points with a few big catches downfield.

A Shocking, New Regime for the Los Angeles Chargers

Jim Harbaugh is the biggest name of this NFL coaching cycle. He is fresh off of a college football championship with his sights set back on claiming a Super Bowl title. Believe it or not, the more interesting coaching hire is Greg Roman as Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator. However, he was Jim’s brother, John’s, offensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens from 2019 to 2022.

Roman’s play-calling yielded an offense with the most rush attempts per game across the league in 2019 and 2020. In the two years after, they never fell below 30 rush attempts per game or outside the top six in attempts per game. Justin Herbert is a mobile quarterback, but certainly not the likes of two-time MVP Lamar Jackson. Roman could take a run-heavy approach with this offense in 2024, but I don’t expect Herbert to all-of-the-sudden triple his 3.6 rush attempts per game to Lamar levels.

That leaves a ton of opportunity for the backfield. However, with Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley both set to be free agents, that leaves 87.4% of last year’s team running back carries available. The running back job in Los Angeles is up for grabs in a historically successful run-first Roman offense. The bigger the next name to the lead the backfield, the better.

As for the wide receivers, I foresee either Keenan Allen or Mike Williams hitting the market after being waived. The Chargers need the cap space and cutting either would save the team over $20 million in 2024 cap space. That leaves Quentin Johnston, Joshua Palmer, and perhaps a rookie to warrant the majority of Justin Hebert’s targets. What this team does with the fifth-overall pick will be extremely telling. I would like to see them add tight end, Brock Bowers or beef up the offensive line to protect Herbert and establish a stronger running game in 2024.

Bobby Slowik Returning as the Texans’ Offensive Coordinator

If you weren’t in on C.J. Stroud and the Texans’ offense for 2024 yet, this NFL coaching decision should be enough to sway you. Continuity is key, especially for a young quarterback. C.J. Stroud is only 22 years old and now ranks third in all-time passing yards as a rookie with 4,108. His 273.9 passing yards per game is just third behind Joe Flacco (323.2) and Kirk Cousins (291.4) who played in just five and eight games respectively. Stroud will also look to build upon his 23:5 touchdown to interception ratio.

Bobby Slowik is returning to a Houston Texans team that currently has the fifth-most cap space. Luckily for Slowik and Stroud, the top pass-catching weapons, Nico Collins and Tank Dell, are still on rookie contracts. Collins is set to be a free agent in 2025, so paying him this off-season is an option. His 80/1,297/8 receiving line numbers are all more than double what each were in his first two injury-riddled seasons combined. Either way, I do expect Houston to add a significant weapon to Stroud’s arsenal whether it be at the wide receiver position or behind him in the backfield. Stacking Stroud with any one of the Texans’ playmakers will be a popular strategy for 2024 fantasy football teams, especially in dynasty start-ups.

Ben Johnson Returning as the Lions’ Offensive Coordinator

For fantasy football purposes, Johnson is responsible for running the fifth-highest-scoring offense in 2023. In fact, the Lions have been inside the top five, scoring 26.0 or more points per game, each of the last two seasons with Johnson as the offensive coordinator. Change is sometimes a good thing, but not in the case of this NFL coaching decision.

The offensive personnel will all look very similar next season, as well. David Montgomery will enter the second year of his three-year contract. Meanwhile, Jahmyr Gibbs will enter his second NFL season. Gibbs’ 2024 fantasy draft capital will justifiably be much higher than Montgomery’s, but both will likely be in starting fantasy lineups each week, especially running behind one of the best offensive lines.

As far as the passing game goes, Jared Goff is unlikely to maintain weekly QB1 value with the Lions’ running game being as successful as it is, especially in the red zone. He will remain a strong weekly streamer. It’s unclear if the Lions will add a significant name to the receiving corps. Regardless, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta can be confidently trusted as top options at their position. Given Jameson Williams’ late-season flashes, he is a late-round sleeper I’m jotting down especially with Ben Johnson returning as the offensive coordinator.

A Complete NFL Coaching Overhaul in Atlanta

The Atlanta Falcons have their last three top-eight picks on their offense. Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson should be higher in everyone’s rankings. However, given the brutal quarterback play and coaching, they all have yet to reach their full potential. That changes with new head coach Raheem Morris. Well, kind of new. Morris is the team’s former interim head coach from the 2020 season.

Morris is highly respected and deserves a ton of credit for keeping the Los Angeles Rams’ defense afloat last season. Seriously, can you name many defensive starters in L.A. beyond Aaron Donald? Coming along with Morris is Zac Robinson who will run the offense after spending the last few years as the Rams’ quarterbacks coach.

The Rams’ offense has finished inside the top nine in scoring in two of the last three seasons. Last season specifically, we got a fantasy RB2 season from running back Kyren Williams in addition to a massive rookie breakout from wide receiver Puka Nacua. Especially with consideration of Cooper Kupp’s success in seasons prior, it’s safe to say new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson has seen and worked with an offense that knows how to get its best players the ball.

We still don’t know who will be starting at quarterback for the Falcons in 2024. Anyone is an upgrade over Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke, though. The fantasy production in Atlanta is going to be much more plentiful in 2024 with a veteran expected under center.

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