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Worst Coaches & Coordinators For Tight Ends (2021 Fantasy Football)

Aug 25, 2021


 
In the fantasy football world, one of the most underrated aspects to look at is each team’s coaching tendencies. After looking at the best coaches and worst coaches for running backs last month, as well as the best coaches and worst coaches for wide receivers earlier this month, this article will look at the worst coaches for tight ends. To start, we will look at which coaches provide the fewest overall opportunities (targets) to the position. Then, after looking at the coaches that provide the fewest opportunities overall, we will dive more specifically into the worst coaches for tight ends depending on your league’s scoring settings (standard, 0.5 PPR, PPR). Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Writer’s Note: These lists only include the 42 active offensive-minded head coaches and offensive coordinators who have previous NFL experience as either an offensive coordinator or NFL head coach.

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Opportunities

When you plan to create your own personal rankings for your fantasy football draft, it’s always good to know which coaches have historically given their tight ends the fewest opportunities (targets) since it can impact a player’s value. To help you with this, here are the bottom ten active coaches (with previous NFL experience) in providing opportunities to their tight ends.

*Projected to be team’s primary offensive play-caller going into the 2021 NFL season

Five teams have their primary play-caller land on this list: the Cincinnati Bengals (Zac Taylor), the Las Vegas Raiders (Jon Gruden), the Los Angeles Chargers (Joe Lombardi), the Arizona Cardinals (Kliff Kingsbury), and the Carolina Panthers (Joe Brady).

Both Zac Taylor and Brian Callahan landing on the bottom ten list shows that you shouldn't be investing in the Bengals' tight ends this season. There simply is not enough usage for the team's tight ends to escape streaming territory.

With Jon Gruden's historical usage of the tight end position, you shouldn't be too concerned with Darren Waller's usage because offensive coordinator Greg Olson is historically above-average in feeding his tight ends and it seems to have rubbed off on Gruden after Gruden's 10-year hiatus from coaching. Waller should still be valued as a top-three fantasy tight end going into 2021.

Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi's inclusion on this list shows that Jared Cook doesn't have enough upside to justify drafting him in your fantasy drafts.

Seeing Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll land in the bottom ten of tight end usage shows that Dawson Knox doesn't have a lot of upside in this system and will be inconsistent week-to-week.

The last of the five primary play-callers to land on this list is Joe Brady. The Panthers barely utilized their tight ends in the passing game last year and prefer to utilize wide receiver heavy sets. There will be better uses of your late-round lottery tickets than using them on Dan Arnold or Giovanni Ricci.

As for the two teams who have a coach that lands in the bottom ten of tight end usage (Lions & Dolphins) but those coaches aren't the primary play-callers of their teams (Dan Campbell & Eric Studesville), you shouldn't be overly concerned with rostering one of their tight ends at this point. T.J. Hockenson and Mike Gesicki should still be solid TE options as long as Anthony Lynn (Lions offensive coordinator) and George Godsey (Dolphins co-offensive coordinator) are calling the plays.

Fantasy Players This Could Possibly Impact: C.J. Uzomah (TE - CIN), Drew Sample (TE - CIN), Thaddeus Moss (TE - CIN), Darren Waller (TE - LV), Foster Moreau (TE - LV), Derek Carrier (TE - LV), T.J. Hockenson (TE - DET), Darren Fells (TE - DET), Jared Cook (TE - LAC), Donald Parham Jr. (TE - LAC), Dawson Knox (TE - BUF), Jacob Hollister (TE - BUF), Maxx Williams (TE - ARI), Mike Gesicki (TE - MIA), Adam Shaheen (TE - MIA), Dan Arnold (TE - CAR), and Giovanni Ricci (TE - CAR)

Fantasy Points Per Game

While seeing the number of opportunities a coach provides to their TE room is great, it’s perhaps more important to look at which coaches have historically gotten the least fantasy production out of the position. Below are the bottom 10 offensive-minded coaches/coordinators in standard, 0.5 PPR, and PPR scoring formats.

Standard Scoring

*Projected to be team’s primary offensive play-caller going into the 2021 NFL season

0.5 PPR Scoring


*Projected to be team’s primary offensive play-caller going into the 2021 NFL season

PPR Scoring

*Projected to be team’s primary offensive play-caller going into the 2021 NFL season

Looking at the bottom ten coaches in terms of career TE fantasy points per game we see a lot of the same names between standard, 0.5 PPR, and PPR formats: Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, Cincinnati Bengals coaches Zac Taylor (head coach) & Brian Callahan (offensive coordinator), Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, Carolina Panthers coaches Matt Rhule (head coach) and Joe Brady (offensive coordinator), and Miami Dolphins co-offensive coordinator Eric Studesville.

Of these ten coaches, five are their team's primary play-caller: Zac Taylor (Bengals), Brian Daboll (Bills), Joe Lombardi (Chargers), Kliff Kingsbury (Cardinals), and Joe Brady (Panthers). From a fantasy perspective, you should avoid drafting tight ends on each of these teams since their upside will be more limited.

Fantasy Players This Could Possibly Impact: Dalton Schultz (TE - DAL), Blake Jarwin (TE - DAL), C.J. Uzomah (TE - CIN), Drew Sample (TE - CIN), Thaddeus Moss (TE - CIN), T.J. Hockenson (TE - DET), Darren Fells (TE - DET), Jared Cook (TE - LAC), Donald Parham Jr. (TE - LAC), Dawson Knox (TE - BUF), Jacob Hollister (TE - BUF), Maxx Williams (TE - ARI), Mike Gesicki (TE - MIA), Adam Shaheen (TE - MIA), Dan Arnold (TE - CAR), and Giovanni Ricci (TE - CAR)

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Eli Grabanski is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Eli, check out his archive and follow him @3li_handles.

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