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Worst Coaches & Coordinators For Wide Receivers (2021 Fantasy Football)

Aug 20, 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 for wide receivers this month, this article will look at the worst coaches for wide receivers. 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 wide receivers 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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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 wide receivers 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 wide receivers.

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

Nine teams have their primary offensive play-caller landing at the bottom of WR room targets per game: the Detroit Lions (Anthony Lynn), the Kansas City Chiefs (Andy Reid), the Green Bay Packers (Matt LaFleur), the Philadelphia Eagles (Nick Sirianni), the Jacksonville Jaguars (Darrell Bevell), the Las Vegas Raiders (Jon Gruden), the Atlanta Falcons (Arthur Smith), the Baltimore Ravens (Greg Roman), and the Cleveland Browns (Kevin Stefanski).

Looking at this list, it's clear that even if a coach lands near the bottom of WR room targets they can still produce a high-end fantasy WR - some examples include Andy Reid with Tyreek Hill (WR - KC) and Matt LaFleur with Davante Adams (WR - GB). But what this information does tell us though is that each of these teams will have a harder time producing multiple fantasy-relevant wide receivers and investing in the #2 or #3 receivers on these teams is probably not the best use of your draft capita. So you should probably go a different route than guys like Mecole Hardman (WR - KC), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR - GB), and Russell Gage (WR - ATL) in the later rounds of your fantasy drafts.

Fantasy Players This Could Possibly Impact: Tyrell Williams (WR - DET), Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR - DET), Breshad Perriman (WR - DET), Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle (WR - KC), Demarcus Robinson (WR - KC), Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard (WR - GB), Randall Cobb (WR - GB), DeVonta Smith (WR - PHI), Jalen Reagor (WR - PHI), Travis Fulgham (WR - PHI), D.J. Chark Jr. (WR - JAC), Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR - JAC), Marvin Jones Jr. (WR - JAC), Henry Ruggs III (WR - LVR), John Brown (WR - LVR), Bryan Edwards (WR - LVR), Calvin Ridley (WR - ATL), Russell Gage, Olamide Zaccheaus (WR - ATL), Odell Beckham Jr. (WR - CLE), Jarvis Landry (WR - CLE), Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR - CLE), Rashard Higgins (WR - CLE), Rashod Bateman (WR - BAL), Sammy Watkins (WR - BAL), and Marquise Brown (WR - BAL).

Fantasy Points Per Game

While seeing the number of opportunities a coach provides to their WR room is nice, 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.

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

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

*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 WR fantasy points per game we see a lot of the same names between standard, 0.5 PPR, and PPR formats: Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Las Vegas Raiders coaches Jon Gruden (head coach) and Greg Olson (offensive coordinator), Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Washington Football Team offensive coordinator Scott Turner, Cleveland Browns coaches Kevin Stefanski (head coach) and Alex Van Pelt (offensive coordinator), Miami Dolphins co-offensive coordinator Eric Studesville, and Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

It's important to note that in some cases the career averages are vastly different from the averages we saw in 2020. For example, the 2020 Buffalo Bills wide receivers averaged 19.5 receptions, 243.56 receiving yards, and 1.75 receiving touchdowns per game last year under Brian Daboll despite his average WR ranking in the bottom 10 in standard, 0.5 PPR, and PPR formats over the course of his career. There will be outlier seasons and changes in philosophy from time to time, but we're trying to help you make the best decisions possible based on the data. Ultimately a coach ranking near the bottom shouldn't cause you to fade the number one wide receivers on each of these teams (Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs (WR - BUF), Terry McLaurin (WR - WAS), etc.), but cause you to think a little more carefully about whether or not your want to roster the number two or three wide receiver options on each of these teams.

Fantasy Players This Could Possibly Impact: DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, D.J. Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., Marvin Jones Jr., Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, John Brown, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle, Demarcus Robinson, Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders (WR - BUF), Gabriel Davis (WR - BUF), Marquez Stevenson (WR - BUF), Cole Beasley (WR - BUF), Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel (WR - WAS), Adam Humphries (WR - WAS), Cam Sims (WR - WAS), Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Rashard Higgins, Jaylen Waddle (WR - MIA), Will Fuller V (WR - MIA), DeVante Parker (WR - MIA), Rashod Bateman, Sammy Watkins, and Marquise Brown.

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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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