Fantasy football: How will coaching changes affect your draft strategy?

Gio Bernard
Gio Bernard is an exciting option, even with a new coordinator in place.
Credit: Getty Images

Black Monday in the NFL has nothing to do with shopping, the stock market or poker. Coaching heads have rolled and the dust is beginning to settle.

Unlike other sports, NFL coaches have a huge role on projected statistical production. Scheming and coaching philosophy mean nearly as much as natural ability. Think about what Josh McCown did under quarterback whisperer Marc Trestman this season, or how bad Darren McFadden has been since Hue Jackson left Oakland. It’s not a coincidence.

Some stocks have been altered greatly as a result of this year’s changes.

Go-go Gio

Gio Bernard was already going to be a sophomore breakout candidate in 2014 as he’s clearly the superior back to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. But now pass-happy offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is gone and running-back savant Jackson is in. He’s already talking up Bernard as a potential three-down plus goal-line back. Jackson previously made fantasy stars of McFadden and Stephen Davis (while with the Redskins from 2001-02).

Air Jordan

Jordan Cameron was a no-brainer fantasy sleeper in 2013 thanks to the arrival of tight end guru Rob Chudzinski as head coach. He responded with 80 catches, 917 yards and seven touchdowns – good for the No. 5 ranking among tight ends.

But Chud turned out to be a one-and-done head coach, leaving Cameron without the schemes that made him so productive and a defensive-oriented coach in Mike Pettine. He’s talented enough to sustain top-10 value, but the monster upside leaves with the coaching regime.

Planet Alf

Don’t make the mistake of thinking Alfred Morris is a fluke because he went to Florida Atlantic and was a sixth-round draft pick. But it would also be an error to brush off the Mike Shanahan zone-blocking run scheme as a major factor in his success over the last two years. From Terrell Davis to Olandis Gary to Mike Anderson, we know Shanny is committed to the run and knows how to create lanes. With Gruden now in as head coach and offensive guru, expect a scheme focused more on the pass.

NBA pickups …

1. Ramon Sessions, PG, Bobcats – Kemba Walker’s ankle injury clears the way for Sessions, an annual fantasy plug-and-play.

2. Patrick Beverley, PG, Rockets – One of our favorite preseason sleepers is back and starting ahead of Jeremy Lin again.

3. Taj Gibson, PF, Bulls – Carlos Boozer (calf) is nicked and the Bulls are in rebuild mode. That plan won’t include Booz.

There’s a big down arrow next to these guys:

1. C.J. Miles, Cavs – As expected, the arrival of Luol Deng has completely crippled Miles’ value.

2. Danilo Gallinari, Nuggets – Owners that were holding onto Gallo have been burned. He needs more surgery and is done for the year.

3. Jordan Crawford, Warriors – He goes from a featured scorer with the Celtics to a bit player with the Warriors.

Follow fantasy sports writer Adam Levitan on Twitter @adamlevitan.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.