Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hue Jackson's Impact on the Bengal's Offense

 By Jack Grotkowski
Twitter Handle: FFBosses
Website: Fantasyfootballbosses.com


Dan Snyder has done it again. Let me just give it to you straight, Jay Gruden was an uninformed, ill-fated hire. Let’s go over the weapons he had at his disposal while spitting out the 14th best offense, adjusted for strength of schedule, per numberfire.com. They include Giovani Bernard, BJGE, A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert, and a promising young QB in Andy Dalton. I can hear the screams already, but they had “the 4th best offense according to nfl.com!!” Using total stats without looking at the defenses they faced is only paying attention to half of the information. Go ahead and break down the numbers yourself and you will see they absolutely beat up on the teams they should have, while completely underwhelming, against any defense with a bit of talent and a decent game plan. Now that I got that out of my system lets move on. Hue Jackson, the new Offensive Coordinator of the Bengals, bounced around as a positional coach in college starting in 1988 and landed his first NFL gig with the Redskins in 1996. He really made a name for himself in Oakland in 2010, first as the Offensive Coordinator, then as the Head Coach in 2011. With Jason Campbell at the helm, he had a top 10 offense both years with Oakland, including the second ranked rushing attack in 2011, as well as doubling the scoring output in 2010 from the previous year. Considering the gap in talent between those Raiders teams and the Bengals, I have high hopes he can make this offense elite in no time at all. He has had success coaching quarterbacks as well, with Baltimore in 2008 and 2009, helping Joe Flacco win more playoff games in his first two years than other quarterback in history. Dalton clearly needs a bit of help and hopefully this is just the guy to give it to him. I believe all of his experience and outstanding track record should increase the value of every fantasy relevant player for this offense. Now, your drafting A.J green high no matter who the Offensive Coordinator is, and you’re still taking Dalton in the latest rounds as the QB position will be very deep next year, but there is a big question mark about exactly when you should be drafting Giovani Bernard. He finished the year as the sixteenth best RB in standard non-PPR leagues. He was, however, very inconsistent due to the time share with BenJarvis Green-Ellis. His value will solely be determined by the amount of carries he receives, as I think his pass blocking is just fine, as he didn’t allow a sack all year per profootballfocus.com. Let’s take a look at his numbers this year compared to the man known as “lawfirm.” Lawfirm: 220 rushes for 756 yards, 3.4 average with 7 Touchdowns, 4 Receptions for 22 yards. Gio: 170 rushes for 695 yards, 4.1 average with 5 Touchdowns, 56 Receptions for 514 yards, 9.2 average per Reception, with 3 Receiving Touchdowns. Bernard ended up with 44% of the touches, but was however the much more effective player. He is a dual threat back, whereas BJGE is very one dimensional. I expect Bernard to increase his carries and production quite a bit while having top ten upside. Hue Jackson has also been quoted as saying Gio can “do it all” so hopefully his percentage of carries increases somewhere north of 60%. The preseason should be a huge indicator of how much work he will get, so remember to watch your tape. Also remember the golden rule for judging fantasy players, Talent times opportunity equals fantasy production; don’t forget that opportunity is usually more important than talent for our beloved fake football. With all that being said, this Offensive Coordinator change will positively impact every fantasy relevant Bengal's player, so consider moving them up a few spots in your mock drafts this offseason.

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