If you have been visiting the Fantasy Alarm NFL Living Draft Guide's Coaches Corner regularly, then the information below has already been digested. Some people just prefer to have all of the Coaching Systems in one place rather than skip around to the individual division articles. For those people, this is the article for you -- all 32 teams broken down, both offensively and defensively. Enjoy!

Types of Offenses:

West Coast Offense – Derived by Bill Walsh, this system puts more of an emphasis on passing than running and is focused on short, horizontal passing routes to stretch out the defense and ultimately open things up for longer run plays and longer passes.

Air Coryell (a.k.a. Vertical or Timing Offense) – A combination of both deep and mid-range passing in conjunction with power running. The system uses a lot of motion and the passing is based on timing and rhythm with the quarterback actually throwing to a spot rather than to a specific player which helps to maximize yards gained after the catch. 

Erhardt-Perkins Offense – The original formula, which dates back to the 1970’s Patriots, focused on a run-first offense with a simplified, quarterback-friendly passing game. However, when Charlie Weis joined New England, he used it as a building block to develop a more modern version which maintains the run but now enhances the multiple passing options and possibilities within a given play.

Spread Offense -- The Spread offense is designed to do exactly as it sounds. The scheme spreads out the offense with four or five receivers, which forces the defense to match. The personnel on the field rarely changes so the offense can wear the defense down, especially with no huddle sprinkled in.

Air Raid Offense – The system is notable for its heavy focus on passing and, if implemented in full, could result in 65-75% passing plays throughout the season. This is an up-tempo, no-huddle scheme where the quarterback has the freedom to audible to any play based on what the defense is showing at the line of scrimmage. One interesting aspect you will see here as well is that the offensive linemen are not bunched together like you see in a conventional offense. They are split about a half-yard apart which is supposed to cause defensive linemen to run further to get to the quarterback and allow for short, quick passing to neutralize blitzes. It is also used to open up wider passing lanes which should prevent passes from being knocked down or intercepted at the line of scrimmage.

Pistol Offense – An offensive scheme which became more popular in the NFL with the rise of more athletic, mobile quarterbacks. It’s less of a base offense and more of an adaptation as its formation is a hybrid of single-back formations and shotgun. The premise of the scheme places the quarterback and running back closer to the line of scrimmage (about four yards behind instead of the usual seven) which should give the quarterback an easier read and less time for the defense to react. Its success really depends on the quarterback’s ability to read the defense properly.

Types of Defenses:

3-4 – Focus on size and length across the defensive line, inside linebackers ball-hawk, outside linebackers make plays as edge defenders and there is a heavy use of defensive backs to cover in the open field which helps disguise the blitz better.

4-3 – With four lineman and only three linebackers, the defenders are each responsible for covering a gap during a run and will usually set up with a closed formation on the opposing tight end. Pre-game prep and opposing personnel will determine which side the line will close if facing a two-tight end set-up.

Cover-2 – a two-deep, five under zone defense used to take away vertical concepts while forcing the ball underneath to the flat or check-down option.

Cover-3 – a three-deep, four-under zone defense where both cornerbacks drop to the outside zones with the free-safety playing the deep middle.

With the introduction out of the way, let’s get started.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Head Coach Sean McDermott 3rd year
Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier 3rd year
Offensive System Erhardt-Perkins Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Sean McDermott -- HC         Brian Daboll -- OC      
Category 2016 (CAR) 2017 2018   Category 2016 (NE) 2017 2018
Points DC 22 30   Points TE COACH ALA OC 30
Pace DC 3 20   Pace TE COACH ALA OC 20
Pass Attempts DC 31 28   Pass Attempts TE COACH ALA OC 28
Passing Yards DC 31 31   Passing Yards TE COACH ALA OC 31
Rushing Attempts DC 4 6   Rushing Attempts TE COACH ALA OC 6
Rushing Yards DC 6 9   Rushing Yards TE COACH ALA OC 9

Offensive Breakdown: In his first season with the Bills, Daboll went back to his New England roots and implemented his interpretation of the Erhardt-Perkins system with the hope of simplifying things for Nathan Peterman  and, eventually, Josh Allen  . He was based primarily in the “11 personnel” look, utilizing three receivers, one running back and one tight end, but over the course of the season, he adjusted to some of his players’ strengths and began to infuse some of the more popular NFL trends like jet sweeps, play-action and bunch formations into his core offensive concepts. Over the last seven games of the season, the Bills averaged almost 25 points per game.

You can expect them to continue down the same path – an up-tempo scheme with more no-huddle that leads with the run. Plays should develop quickly and Allen should have an easier time deciding whether to thread the needle, throw it away or take off running. The team also gave him more weapons who thrive in the short-passing game, so that should help with the pace as well.   

Players Who Best Fit the System: LeSean McCoy  , Devin Singletary  , John Brown  , Cole Beasley

Defensive System: 4-3 with Zone Coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Leslie Frazier is heading into his third season as the Bills DC and expectations of back-to-back years as a top-five defense are already in place. Especially when you see how the Bills are returning the majority of their starters from last year, as defense that ranked No. 2 overall. Star Lotulelei  is strong up the middle and DE Jerry Hughes  gives you a guy who can rush the passer even without having to blitz all the time. The key for this unit is in the coverage as Frazier will roll out a few different zone looks. He used to rely heavily on the Cover-2, but as NFL offenses have evolved, so have Frazier’s coverage schemes.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Jerry Hughes  , Lorenzo Alexander  , Tre’Davious White

Miami Dolphins

Head Coach Brian Flores 1st year
Offensive Coordinator Chad O'Shea 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham 1st year
Offensive System Erhardt-Perkins Offense  
Blocking Scheme Flex  
Brian Flores -- HC         Chad O'Shea -- OC      
Category 2016 (NE) 2017 (NE) 2018 (NE)   Category 2016 (NE) 2017 (NE) 2018 (NE)
Points LB COACH LB COACH LB COACH   Points WR COACH WR COACH WR COACH
Pace LB COACH LB COACH LB COACH   Pace WR COACH WR COACH WR COACH
Pass Attempts LB COACH LB COACH LB COACH   Pass Attempts WR COACH WR COACH WR COACH
Passing Yards LB COACH LB COACH LB COACH   Passing Yards WR COACH WR COACH WR COACH
Rushing Attempts LB COACH LB COACH LB COACH   Rushing Attempts WR COACH WR COACH WR COACH
Rushing Yards LB COACH LB COACH LB COACH   Rushing Yards WR COACH WR COACH WR COACH

Offensive Breakdown: New head coach Brian Flores comes from the Bill Belichick coaching tree and spent the last 15 years working under him in New England. Like Belichick, Flores is a defensive-minded coach, so he simply brought in Chad O’Shea as his offensive coordinator. O’Shea spent the last decade as the WR coach for the Patriots, and has a very firm grasp on Josh McDaniels’ version of the Erhardt-Perkins system. Given the personnel differences between the Patriots and the Dolphins, you may not see as much of the spread offense-infusion McDaniels uses, but that’s not set in stone.

The bottom line is that we should see a simplified offense that relies strongly on the run and has multiple route combinations from which the quarterback can choose depending on what he is reading off the defense. The running backs will also be involved heavily in the passing game so look for swings, flats and corner routes as a primary read in some of those combinations. The vertical passing game will hopefully open up downfield, but you can expect a lot of action for the slot receivers as those quick, short passes move the chains.  

Players Who Best Fit the System: Kenyan Drake  , Albert Wilson  , Mike Gesicki

Defensive System: Multiple

Defensive Breakdown: Yes. Multiple. That is what both Flores and new DC Patrick Graham are calling the Dolphins new defensive scheme. Word is they are trying to create a defensive unit that runs multiple schemes based on who the opponent is and what the game flow is looking like. They could go 3-4 or 4-3 depending on the situation and that also means they’re likely to switch between different zone coverage and man-to-man. Their main focus is likely on the pass-rush so we should see Charles Harris  as both an edge-rusher and traditional defensive end.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Charles Harris  , Minkah Fitzpatrick

New England Patriots

Head Coach Bill Belichick 20th year
Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels 8th year
Defensive Coordinator none  
Offensive System Erhardt-Perkins Offense  
Blocking Scheme Flex  
Bill Belichick -- HC         Josh McDaniels -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 3 2 4   Points 3 2 4
Pace 15 5 6   Pace 15 5 6
Pass Attempts 23 7 11   Pass Attempts 23 7 11
Passing Yards 4 2 8   Passing Yards 4 2 8
Rushing Attempts 3 11 3   Rushing Attempts 3 11 3
Rushing Yards 7 10 5   Rushing Yards 7 10 5

Offensive Breakdown: The base is that of a spread offense in which three or more receivers run routes to separate areas of the field to stretch out the defense, but this scheme is continuously in flux based on week-to-week match-ups and play-to-play adjustments. As great as Bill Belichick is with his adjustments on defense, Josh McDaniels is equally strong with the offense. The offense is capable of lining up in a variety of different ways and predicting what they are going to do within each series has proven to be an exercise in futility.

Last season, we said we expected a heavier reliance on the running backs to take the pressure off an aging Tom Brady  and we got just that. However, at one point, Tom Brady  insisted a heavier use of James White  which tilts more towards the traditional use of pass-catching backs in this system. There is a good chance we see the Patriots back off from that a little bit more this season with the addition of bigger wideouts who can thrive in the vertical passing game, but McDaniels will work together with his quarterback to ensure A. the scheme is working and B. the star of the show remains happy.  

Players Who Best Fit the System: Tom Brady  , James White  , Julian Edelman

Defensive System: 4-3 hybrid with multi-front looks

Defensive Breakdown: As tough as it is to pinpoint the offense to one particular system, the defense, which is run by the mad genius himself, can be even more complex. While the base is 4-3, the Patriots offer up countless different looks and are able to disguise their coverage and blitzes pretty well. Belichick expects all of his players to be able to adjust to any type of scheme without missing a beat and, so far, he and his coaches have done a fantastic job teaching them. When Matt Patricia left for Detroit last year, Belichick took back the play-calling on defense and is slated to do the same this season.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Anyone who just says, “Yes, coach,” and does their job.

New York Jets

Head Coach Adam Gase 1st year
Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams 1st year
Offensive System RPO-Infused West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Adam Gase -- HC         Dowell Loggains -- OC      
Category 2016 (MIA) 2017 (MIA) 2018 (MIA)   Category 2016 (CHI) 2017 (CHI) 2018 (MIA)
Points 17 28 26   Points 28 29 26
Pace 32 17 31   Pace 12 31 31
Pass Attempts 31 4 30   Pass Attempts 22 32 30
Passing Yards 26 18 30   Passing Yards 14 32 30
Rushing Attempts 18 32 25   Rushing Attempts 25 18 25
Rushing Yards 9 29 18   Rushing Yards 17 16 18

Offensive Breakdown: With the offensive difficulties we witnessed in Miami last year, head coach Adam Gase has a lot of work to do this season with the Jets. But with Le'Veon Bell  serving as the likely focal point, we can expect Gase’s play-calling to skew a lot more towards him than it did with Kenyan Drake  in Miami. New offensive line coach Frank Pollack is all about the zone-blocking so that, coupled with the RPO (run-pass options) infusion, will enable Sam Darnold  to lean on Bell which should ultimately help open things up for more play-action downfield. Gase is also notorious for leaning on the slot receivers in his system, so the short, quick passing we are used to seeing in a traditional West Coast offense will also be strongly in use.  

Players Who Best Fit the System: Le'Veon Bell  , Jamison Crowder  , Quincy Enunwa

Defensive System: 3-4 with multiple coverages

Defensive Breakdown: The biggest question mark that came with the hiring of Gregg Williams was his traditional use of a 4-3 scheme and Gase’s desire to maintain the 3-4 based on the personnel. Players like Henry Anderson  and Leonard Williams  thrived in the 3-4 and newly-acquired C.J. Mosley  came from a 3-4 system as well. Gase wants the defense to cater to the personnel he has and, as such, Williams has conceded. But while Gase has seemingly won out, you can probably expect Williams to mix in a number of different looks and coverage disguises. The base will remain 3-4, but we should see plenty of different looks.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Henry Anderson  , Leonard Williams  , C.J. Mosley  , Jamal Adams

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Head Coach John Harbaugh 12th year
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale 2nd year
Offensive System RPO-Infused West Coast/Pistol Hybrid  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
John Harbaugh -- HC         Greg Roman -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 (BUF OC) 2017 2018
Points 21 9 13   Points 10 TE COACH TE COACH
Pace 5 7 4   Pace 16 TE COACH TE COACH
Pass Attempts 1 11 16   Pass Attempts 32 TE COACH TE COACH
Passing Yards 12 29 22   Passing Yards 30 TE COACH TE COACH
Rushing Attempts 30 7 1   Rushing Attempts 2 TE COACH TE COACH
Rushing Yards 28 11 2   Rushing Yards 1 TE COACH TE COACH

Offensive Breakdown: If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Greg Roman’s style over the years, it is all about a strong establishment of the ground game. He did it in San Francisco with Colin Kaepernick  , he did it in Buffalo with TyRod Taylor  and he’s going to do it again here in Baltimore with Lamar Jackson  . Just look at what happened with the Ravens last season when they made the switch from Joe Flacco  to Jackson and become one of the most run-dominant teams in the league. By using the Pistol, both Jackson and his running backs will be closer to the line of scrimmage, giving him a better look at the defense and allowing him to make quicker decisions.

While you can expect the run to be dominant, using RPOs in the play-calling should give the offense enough flexibility to keep defenses off-balance. John Harbaugh brought in David Culley, an Andy Reid disciple, to help with the passing game and he should help Jackson make the necessary in-game adjustments from the short-quick passing to bigger chunk-plays downfield when the opponents drop their safeties or the linebackers get aggressive and bite on play-action.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Lamar Jackson  , Mark Ingram  , Mark Andrews

Defensive System: 3-4 with both man and zone-coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Martindale’s defense is predicated on pass rush and pressuring the quarterback. He likes to get aggressive with his blitzes but may be forced to back off a little bit given the changes in personnel. His defensive line is built on run-stoppers and he lost his primary pass-rushers in Terrell Suggs  and C.J. Mosley  , so he is going to be very reliant on unproven talents like Shane Ray  and Pernell McPhee  . Given the level of uncertainty for right now, you can probably expect him to get creative with some blitzes from the secondary.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Patrick Onwuasor  , Shane Ray  , Pernell McPhee

Cincinnati Bengals

Head Coach Zac Taylor 1st year
Offensive Coordinator Brian Callahan 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Lou Anarumo 1st year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Zac Taylor -- HC         Brian Callahan -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 (LAR) 2018 (LAR)   Category 2016 (DET) 2017 (DET) 2018 (OAK)
Points Univ of Cin OC WR COACH QB COACH   Points QB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Pace Univ of Cin OC WR COACH QB COACH   Pace QB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Pass Attempts Univ of Cin OC WR COACH QB COACH   Pass Attempts QB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Passing Yards Univ of Cin OC WR COACH QB COACH   Passing Yards QB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Attempts Univ of Cin OC WR COACH QB COACH   Rushing Attempts QB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Yards Univ of Cin OC WR COACH QB COACH   Rushing Yards QB COACH QB COACH QB COACH

Offensive Breakdown: While you won’t see a direct copy, you can simply look at the Rams offense under Sean McVay and expect to see some sort of incantation as the Bengals base offense. Taylor has spent the last two seasons working under McVay and new OC Brian Callahan comes from that same coaching tree that dates back to Paul Brown. Last season, Callahan worked under Jon Gruden who comes from that school as well. Taylor will be the play-caller.

The offense will focus on the short-passing game with some possible spread offense infusion but they would very much like to establish an effective run game which utilizes a zone-blocking scheme with pulling guards and tackles having more room to block downfield. Unfortunately, they have some big obstacles to overcome with first-round OL Jonah Williams  out for the year and Clint Boling  opting for early retirement. They’re going to have to shuffle things up with personnel and really build this line back up from scratch. The scheme itself caters to the weapons at Andy Dalton  ’s disposal, but if the line fails, so does this offense.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Andy Dalton  , Joe Mixon  , Tyler Boyd

Defensive System: 4-3 with man-coverage

Defensive Breakdown: First-year DC Lou Anarumo spent the last six years as the defensive backs coach for the Dolphins and Giants and will maintain a versatile 4-3 alignment with an infusion of aggressive, double-A gap blitzing. He’s got plenty of weapons at his disposal and with so much talent both up front and in the secondary so while the base defense may be pretty simple, he’s going to be able to get very creative with personnel at times.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Carlos Dunlap  , Geno Atkins  , Dre Kirkpatrick  , Darqueze Dennard

Cleveland Browns

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens 1st year
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks 1st year
Offensive System Air Coryell/Air Raid Hybrid  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Freddie Kitchens -- HC         Todd Monken -- OC      
Category 2016 (ARI) 2017 (ARI) 2018*   Category 2016 (TB OC) 2017 (TB OC) 2018 (TB OC)
Points QB COACH RB COACH 20   Points 18 18 12
Pace QB COACH RB COACH 5   Pace 10 6 7
Pass Attempts QB COACH RB COACH 11   Pass Attempts 16 3 4
Passing Yards QB COACH RB COACH 14   Passing Yards 16 4 1
Rushing Attempts QB COACH RB COACH 15   Rushing Attempts 7 26 22
Rushing Yards QB COACH RB COACH 14   Rushing Yards 24 27 29

Offensive Breakdown: While HC Freddie Kitchens is expected to remain the play-caller, this offensive system is expected to blend his Air Coryell system with OC Todd Monken’s Air Raid Offense which he had on full-display when he took over the play-calling for Dirk Koetter in Tampa last year. The power-run game will be firmly established and as far as the passing, both schemes are based on an emphasis of spreading horizontally to go vertical and rely on timing between the quarterback and his weapons. You’ll see both the vertical chunk plays downfield that Kitchens loves along with the short, quick underneath routes the Air Raid offense favors. Baker Mayfield  thrived under Kitchens’ scheme last year as well as under the Air Raid scheme back in Oklahoma, so he’s not learning a new system as much as just meshing the two in which he’s performed best.  

Players Who Best Fit the System: Baker Mayfield  , Nick Chubb  , Jarvis Landry  , Odell Beckham

Defensive System: 4-3 base with multiple coverage packages

Defensive Breakdown: After being dismissed by the Cardinals after one year as the head coach, Steve Wilks returns to his defensive roots and will take over as the new DC for the Browns. He’s always been a fundamentals guy with a strong lean towards developing safeties and corners, so you should see some additional growth for guys like Denzel Ward  , Terrance Mitchell  and rookie corner Greedy Williams. He likes to be aggressive with his blitzes from the secondary, but may back off a bit with strong pass-rushers like Olivier Vernon  and Myles Garrett  locked in.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Denzel Ward  , Morgan Burnett  e, Myles Garrett  , Olivier Vernon

Pittsburgh Steelers

Head Coach Mike Tomlin 11th year
Offensive Coordinator Randy Fichtner 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler 5th year
Offensive System Erhardt-Perkins/Spread Hybrid  
Blocking Scheme Flex  
Mike Tomlin -- HC         Randy Fichtner -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 10 8 6   Points WR COACH WR COACH 6
Pace 7 22 15   Pace WR COACH WR COACH 15
Pass Attempts 9 6 1   Pass Attempts WR COACH WR COACH 1
Passing Yards 5 3 2   Passing Yards WR COACH WR COACH 2
Rushing Attempts 16 15 31   Rushing Attempts WR COACH WR COACH 31
Rushing Yards 14 20 31   Rushing Yards WR COACH WR COACH 31

Offensive Breakdown: The base-offense for the Steelers is much more difficult to pin down as OC Randy Fichtner’s scheme is more about the personnel groups and formations. His favorite, likely the base formation, is 11-Personnel which puts one running, one tight end and three receivers on the field. Other groups they used last year included 22 (two backs, two tight ends), 12 (one back, two tight ends), 13 (one back, three tight ends) and 21 (two backs, one tight end), but weren’t used nearly as much as the 11.

With the 11-Personnel, the Steelers can spread the field with three wide receivers while maintaining six blockers up front in the run game. By stretching defenses from sideline to sideline and still maintaining a six-man blocking surface, 11 puts maximum pressure on defenses to police the entire field. It also allows a team put its run strength to one side of the field (TE) and its passing strength to the other (slot) which prevents defenses from loading up against one or the other.

Fichtner is also looking to increase the use of the power run which may mean we see more 22-Personnel formations this year. It was their second-most used formation last season and with Roosevelt Nix  leading the charge in front of James Conner  , we should see a repeat of the success the Steelers saw with their red zone power-running.

Again, we should see the 11-Personnel formation most often, but the scheme is definitely going to be adjusted on a weekly basis, depending on their opponents.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Ben Roethlisberger  , James Conner  , JuJu Smith-Schuster  , Vance McDonald

Defensive System: 3-4 base with both zone and man-coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Keith Butler has the title of defensive coordinator, but will also serve as the linebackers coach, the position he held with the Steelers for 11 seasons prior to his promotion in 2015. The team also brought in former Lions and Bengals DC Teryl Austin to serve as a senior defensive assistant and defensive backs coach, so you may see some joint-coordinating here. Butler likes to mix up the defensive line set-ups and can be extremely aggressive with the blitz packages. Austin likes to leave the blitzing to the front seven so you can expect the two to get along on how the personnel is assigned.

Players Who Best Fit the System: T.J. Watt  , Devin Bush, Cameron Heyward Steven Nelson

AFC South

Houston Texans

Head Coach Bill O'Brien 6th year
Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel 2nd year
Offensive System Spread Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Bill O'Brien -- HC         Tim Kelly -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 28 17 11   Points Asst. OL COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Pace 13 11 9   Pace Asst. OL COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Pass Attempts 14 23 27   Pass Attempts Asst. OL COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Passing Yards 29 21 17   Passing Yards Asst. OL COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Rushing Attempts 6 11 4   Rushing Attempts Asst. OL COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Rushing Yards 8 14 8   Rushing Yards Asst. OL COACH TE COACH TE COACH

Offensive Breakdown: While Bill O’Brien finally “hired” an offensive coordinator, this is still very much his system. The only real question is who has the play-calling responsibilities. It sounds like O’Brien might be willing to relinquish the play-calling, but that probably has more to do with the fact that Tim Kelly has been a part of O’Brien’s staff for the last six years and the coach knows his system will be followed.

O’Brien likes to run a spread offense where they’ll usually line up three or four-wide using a variety of sets and send them out to different parts of the field to stretch the defense as much as possible which is supposed to help open up for bigger runs. He was adamant about making changes to his offense last season, but given the nightmares the Texans had with their offensive line, it really wasn’t about revamping the scheme as much as it was using a variety of formations. He used the 11-Personnel formation most often, but the protection issues caused for a greater need for two tight ends. While he used a lot of pre-snap motion, both seemed to be held back for blocking. That should change this season and with Kelly, former TE Coach with the team, now at the helm, we could see more differing formations than we got last year.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Deshaun Watson  , Lamar Miller  , DeAndre Hopkins  , Jordan Thomas

Defensive System: 3-4 with a Cover-1 base

Defensive Breakdown: While Romeo Crennel is listed as just a second-year DC with the Texans, he’s actually been running this defense for some time. He was sitting as more of a supervisor originally back when Mike Vrabel was the DC, but after Vrabel left, Crennel came back to the sidelines. The base is 3-4, but keep in mind they do have the ability to switch between that and a 4-3 with J.J. Watt  and Jadeveon Clowney  on the field. Moving back and forth should keep offenses guessing and forcing them into some bad reads. As for the coverage, Crennel usually likes the Cover-1 where the corners are man-on-man but the safety roams. Tashaun Gipson  might be a little too aggressive at times which could cause Crennel to change things up, but this should still be one of the top defenses in fantasy.

Players Who Best Fit the System: J.J. Watt  , Jadeveon Clowney

Indianapolis Colts

Head Coach Frank Reich 2nd year
Offensive Coordinator Nick Sirianni 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus 2nd year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Franck Reich -- HC         Nick Siranni -- OC      
Category 2016 (PHI OC) 2017 (PHI OC) 2018   Category 2016 (SD) 2017 (LAC) 2018
Points 16 3 5   Points WR COACH WR COACH 5
Pace 19 24 1   Pace WR COACH WR COACH 1
Pass Attempts 15 13 2   Pass Attempts WR COACH WR COACH 2
Passing Yards 13 13 6   Passing Yards WR COACH WR COACH 6
Rushing Attempts 10 6 17   Rushing Attempts WR COACH WR COACH 17
Rushing Yards 15 22 20   Rushing Yards WR COACH WR COACH 20

Offensive Breakdown: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Now in their second season with the Colts, head coach Frank Reich and new OC Nick Sirianni, both of whom worked together back when the Chargers were in San Diego, have very similar coaching philosophies and we saw them blend very well together in 2018. We’re looking at the version of the West Coast offense we saw back when they were with the Chargers and while Reich wanted to sprinkle in some RPO last year, he pulled back, given the personnel he has to work with, primarily, Andrew Luck  .  They’re expected to run the ball about 40-percent of the time with Marlon Mack  leading the charge. Look for Nyheim Hines  to stay in his third-down role.

On the passing front, the mid-range passing game will be the primary type of passing play we can expect to see. This would involve routes such as hitches, ins and outs, and slants and T.Y. Hilton  will be the primary target. They brought in Devin Funchess  to help with the vertical game, and, of course, Chester Rodgers and Parris Campbell  will serve in complementary roles. Meanwhile, expect a return to the heavy 2-TE sets now that Jack Doyle  is back at full health and Eric Ebron  established himself as a primary red zone threat.

UPDATE 8/25: The news of Luck retiring is a huge blow to the Colts, but one they can adapt from given the two weeks prior to the season starting. They can adjust the scheme to include more RPOs to help new starter Jacoby Brissett and we should see some fine-tuning from everything they dealt with back in 2017. The good news is that the adjustments can be made on a permanent basis. In 2017 there was still belief each week Luck would play. It doesn't sound like that is the case this time around.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Andrew Luck  , Marlon Mack  , T.Y. Hilton

Defensive System: 4-3 with zone coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Reich did a nice job of swiping Matt Eberflus away from Dallas and the first-time DC did a fantastic job with the Colts. Eberflus actually preferred the 4-3 over the 3-4 they used in Dallas and he did outstanding work with edge-rusher Jabaal Shead. Now he’s got former Chiefs DE Justin Houston  on the other side, so this pass rush can be downright nasty.

As for the secondary, they will continue to use a combination of the Cover-3 and Tampa2 zone. Pierre Desir  took a nice step forward in this system last season and now they’re hoping the same can be done for rookie corner Rock Ya-Sin.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Jabaal Sheard  , Justin Houston  , Pierre Desir

Jacksonville Jaguars

Head Coach Doug Marrone 3rd year
Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash 4th year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Power  
Doug Marrone -- HC         John DeFilippo -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 (PHI) 2017 (PHI) 2018 (MIN OC)
Points 25 5 31   Points QB COACH QB COACH 19
Pace 2 18 19   Pace QB COACH QB COACH 11
Pass Attempts 4 21 19   Pass Attempts QB COACH QB COACH 6
Passing Yards 20 17 26   Passing Yards QB COACH QB COACH 13
Rushing Attempts 24 1 12   Rushing Attempts QB COACH QB COACH 27
Rushing Yards 22 1 19   Rushing Yards QB COACH QB COACH 30

Offensive Breakdown: Despite a disappointing season last year, GM Tom Coughlin retained Doug Marrone as his head coach, however, the two of them agreed it was necessary to change up the OC and the personnel they felt wasn’t ready to take a step forward. Goodbye, Nathaniel Hackett and Blake Bortles  . Hello John DeFilippo and Nick Foles  , who, funny enough, filled these same roles back when the Eagles won the Super Bowl. The Jags will continue to be a run-first team, but the passing game is going to be altered to utilize more high-percentage short-passing which will, in turn, set up bigger outside runs and longer plays downfield. They’ll likely work out of the 11-Personnel formation the most, use plenty of pre-snap motion and Foles is going to have a ton of discretion at the line. If the run doesn’t get abandoned, this offense could be an incredibly balanced and successful unit.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Nick Foles  , Leonard Fournette  , Dede Westbrook

Defensive System: 4-3 with a Cover-3 Zone

Defensive Breakdown: Todd Wash is expected to continue down the same path he has over the last three years and this defense is going to remain one of the top units in the league. The front four are fantastic run stopped in the middle and strong pass-rushers on the outside. The linebackers have great speed and the team should fare extremely well against the tougher run offenses. Some of the youngsters struggled a bit in zone coverage, so you may see a little more man-to-man in the secondary, but overall, the base defense will stay the same as last season.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Calais Campbell  , Marcell Dareus  , Jalen Ramsey  , A.J. Bouye

Tennessee Titans

Head Coach Mike Vrabel 2nd year
Offensive Coordinator Arthur Smith 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees 2nd year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Mike Vrabel -- HC         Arthur Smith -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 (HOU) 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points LB COACH DC 27   Points TE COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Pace LB COACH DC 28   Pace TE COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Pass Attempts LB COACH DC 31   Pass Attempts TE COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Passing Yards LB COACH DC 29   Passing Yards TE COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Rushing Attempts LB COACH DC 9   Rushing Attempts TE COACH TE COACH TE COACH
Rushing Yards LB COACH DC 7   Rushing Yards TE COACH TE COACH TE COACH

Offensive Breakdown: With Mike Vrabel being a defensive-minded coach, he brought in Matt LaFleur as his OC and watched as he installed a run-heavy West Coast offense with some RPOs mixed in. Marcus Mariota  ’s nerve issue in his arm had them back off the RPOs and left the Titans in a pretty standard passing scheme, though they did stick with the run-first mentality. Well, LaFleur is gone, but Vrabel simply promoted TE Coach Arthur Smith and will have him run the offense. Smith is extremely inexperienced, so they are simply going to maintain the exact same scheme as last year. Expect a heavy lean on the run with short, quick passing to move the ball downfield and, hopefully, set up for some bigger plays. We’ll see the return of the RPO infusion which could help give the offense some different looks but, overall, don’t expect any dramatic differences from last season.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Marcus Mariota  , Derrick Henry  , Adam Humphries

Defensive System: 3-4 with a mix of man and zone coverage

Defensive Breakdown: DC Dean Pees will maintain the 3-4 base he started with last season, but again, will likely mix things up in the front with some 4-3 looks as he does like to move around his linebackers. He’s also got a reputation for creative schemes that free up his pass-rushers, so we can probably expect some strong blitzing from Cameron Wake  and Harold Landry  .

As for the coverage, you can expect a mix of both zone and man-coverage, depending on the speed of the receivers the team is facing. Adoree Jackson is solid in either scheme, but Malcolm Butler  lacks the speed to stay with some of the faster wideouts. Strong Safety Kenny Vaccaro  will do a lot of patrolling on Butler’s side.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Harold Landry  , Adoree Jackson, Logan Ryan

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Head Coach Vic Fangio 1st year
Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell 1st year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Vic Fangio -- HC         Rich Scangarello -- OC      
Category 2016 (CHI) 2017 (CHI) 2018 (CHI)   Category 2016 2017 (SF) 2018 (SF)
Points DC DC DC   Points Wagner OC QB COACH QB COACH
Pace DC DC DC   Pace Wagner OC QB COACH QB COACH
Pass Attempts DC DC DC   Pass Attempts Wagner OC QB COACH QB COACH
Passing Yards DC DC DC   Passing Yards Wagner OC QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Attempts DC DC DC   Rushing Attempts Wagner OC QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Yards DC DC DC   Rushing Yards Wagner OC QB COACH QB COACH

Offensive Breakdown: Always a bridesmaid but never a bride, long-time DC Vic Fangio finally gets his first crack at a head coaching position. He immediately passed his first test by accepting the fact that he will not be running the offense. He will have obvious say in the system being run, but his focus remains on the defensive side of the ball. He first brought in Mike Munchak to be the Broncos’ offensive line coach, a position he held for the five years prior in Pittsburgh. As a former DC, Fangio knows he needs to dominate the line of scrimmage and Munchak helped the Steelers to a top-10 o-line ranking each year during his tenure. From there, he brought in former Niners QB Coach Rich Scarangello who is expected to install a West Coast offense similar to what Kyle Shanahan does in San Francisco.

The focus will still be on establishing the ground game early and Munchak will utilize a zone-blocking scheme which should benefit Royce Freeman  . But, through the air, Scarangello wants to lean on the short-passing game, keep his running backs involved with screens and allow that to open up bigger plays downfield. Don’t be surprised to see some of the more popular trends like RPO and jet-sweeps sprinkled in as, again, that what everyone does.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Joe Flacco  , Royce Freeman  , Phillip Lindsay  , Emmanuel Sanders

Defensive System: 3-4 base with multi-front looks and zone coverage

Defensive Breakdown: If you’ve watched Vic Fangio’s defense over the years, you know exactly what you are getting….sort of. While the base defense is 3-4, Fangio likes to mix it up with his edge-rushers and you’ll end up seeing a lot of different looks up front. He had Khalil Mack  moving from the line to linebacker often and confused offenses with a variety of looks. You didn’t know if he was coming at you with an all-out blitz or if he was dropping seven into coverage. He’ll have that same luxury and more this time with Bradley Chubb  and Von Miller  .

Coverage-wise, he’ll float between different schemes with the Cover-2 likely being the one we should see most often. He brought slot corner Bryce Callahan  over from Chicago with him, so with Chris Harris  now on the outside, don’t be surprised if we do see a little more press-coverage in man-to-man. The bottom line is Fangio isn’t one of the most successful defensive coaches in the NFL for nothing. Expect the unexpected.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Bradley Chubb  , Von Miller  , Bryce Callahan

Kansas City Chiefs

Head Coach Andy Reid 7th year
Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo 1st year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Andy Reid -- HC         Eric Bieniemy -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 13 6 1   Points RB COACH RB COACH 1
Pace 29 30 14   Pace RB COACH RB COACH 14
Pass Attempts 25 17 9   Pass Attempts RB COACH RB COACH 9
Passing Yards 19 7 3   Passing Yards RB COACH RB COACH 3
Rushing Attempts 14 23 23   Rushing Attempts RB COACH RB COACH 23
Rushing Yards 15 9 16   Rushing Yards RB COACH RB COACH 16

Offensive Breakdown: The base of Andy Reid’s offense is actually quite simple. He likes a high-volume ground game with your typical West Coast-style passing (short, quick routes) that set up play-action and larger plays downfield. Where it gets confusing for the opposition is in all the pre-snap motion they like to throw in there to keep the defense on its heels and looking in multiple directions.

From a fantasy perspective, this is exactly the type of offense you want to buy into. Reid likes to go with one primary running back who he also keeps heavily involved in the passing game. Over the years, we’ve watched him develop some amazing fantasy players from Jamaal Charles  and Priest Holmes to Kareem Hunt  and Damien Williams  . Even Spencer Ware  flashed some talent inside this system. Reid’s offensive line is versatile and can open up plenty of running lanes as well as pull to the outside and block downfield.

With defensive fronts struggling to contain the run, the short, quick passes end up yielding bigger gains as guys like Tyreek Hill  and Travis Kelce  gain separation and pick up extra yardage after the catch. There’s so much to monitor for a defensive unit, the bigger plays downfield are tougher to defend and you see greater success for the Chiefs offense.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Patrick Mahomes  , Damien Williams  , Carlos Hyde  , Travis Kelce  , Tyreek Hill

Defensive System: 4-3 with zone coverage

Defensive Breakdown: The Chiefs made a big move in the offseason by changing defensive coordinators for the first time in Reid’s tenure as head coach. Bob Sutton is out and the well-traveled Steve Spagnuolo is in. Spags found tremendous success as the two-time DC of the New York Giants and is often credited with being the guy behind that huge Super Bowl upset of the Patriots that cost Bill Belichick and Tom Brady  their perfect season.

The Chiefs will move to a four-man front with a Cover-4 base this year and you can expect a ton of pressure on the quarterback. Spags likes to blitz often in an effort to rattle the play-caller, but you’ll see it coming from a variety of directions, including plenty of corner-blitzes. It’s an aggressive style, but one that has proven effective against some of the strongest passers in the game.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Frank Clark  , Reggie Ragland  , Tyrann Mathieu  , Kendall Fuller

Los Angeles Chargers

Head Coach Anthony Lynn 3rd year
Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt 4th year
Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley 3rd year
Offensive System Erhardt-Perkins Offense  
Blocking Scheme Power  
Anthony Lynn -- HC         Ken Whisenhunt -- OC      
Category 2016 (BUF) 2017 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 10 13 6   Points 9 13 6
Pace 16 15 32   Pace 21 15 32
Pass Attempts 32 8 24   Pass Attempts 15 8 24
Passing Yards 30 1 10   Passing Yards 8 1 10
Rushing Attempts 2 19 19   Rushing Attempts 22 19 19
Rushing Yards 1 24 15   Rushing Yards 26 24 15

Offensive Breakdown: Overall, the offensive scheme hasn’t changed here in Anthony Lynn’s tenure as head coach, and actually, it hasn’t really changed under OC Ken Whisenhunt’s tenure which is one year longer than Lynn’s as he was the only hold-over from the previous regime. It’s always easier when the head coach shares an offensive philosophy with his OC but also understands his own limitations and lets that OC run the show which is what we get here in Los Angeles.

With a base in the Erhardt-Perkins scheme, the Chargers are a run-first team that uses play-action to set up the bigger plays downfield. Melvin Gordon  , if he ever decides to show up in camp, will lead the charge while Philip Rivers  spreads the ball around to his wideouts and tight end, however, one of the changes we did see last year was an increased use of shorter routes, even on the play-action. The offensive line had some issues in pass-protection and in an effort to keep Rivers upright, they needed plays to develop quicker. We will likely see that again this season as they didn’t do much to improve it over the offseason.  

Players Who Best Fit the System: Melvin Gordon  , Keenan Allen  , Hunter Henry

Defensive System: 4-3 with a Cover-3 zone

Defensive Breakdown: Gus Bradley returns for a third season and will continue to run the same defensive scheme he always does. Adding run-stopper Jerry Tillery  to the middle of the defensive line will help free up Joey Bosa  and Melvin Ingram  on the outside while this veteran secondary (and yes, I’ll treat second-year safety Derwin James  as a veteran with the way he played last season) continues to work in a traditional Cover-3 zone. They’ve been a top defensive unit for a few seasons now so this falls under the “if it ain’t broke…” philosophy.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Joey Bosa  , Melvin Ingram  , Casey Hayward  , Derwin James

Oakland Raiders

Head Coach Jon Gruden 2nd year
Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther 2nd year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Flex  
Jon Gruden -- HC         Greg Olson -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 (JAC) 2017 (LAR) 2018
Points N/A N/A 28   Points 25 QB COACH 28
Pace N/A N/A 25   Pace 2 QB COACH 25
Pass Attempts N/A N/A 16   Pass Attempts 4 QB COACH 16
Passing Yards N/A N/A 18   Passing Yards 20 QB COACH 18
Rushing Attempts N/A N/A 23   Rushing Attempts 24 QB COACH 23
Rushing Yards N/A N/A 25   Rushing Yards 22 QB COACH 25

Offensive Breakdown: There were a lot of question marks that surrounded the return of Jon Gruden to Oakland and they began with his OG offensive philosophy. The West Coast offense he implemented was steeped in the more traditional, short high-percentage passes with zone runs to set up the deeper plays on the outside and, believe it or not, it worked on many levels. The offensive line was a mess, so adjustments needed to be made, but overall, with defenses looking more for modern-day, creative offensive schemes, the traditional run-heavy look was creating difficulties. It wasn’t perfect, but with some improvements on the o-line, a younger, stronger running back to lean on and a better possession receiver than Jordy Nelson  in-house, things could work.

Gruden spent the offseason making just those improvements as the offensive line added Trent Brown  and Richie Incognito  , Josh Jacobs  is now the lead running back and is there a better possession receiver capable of also being a deep threat than Antonio Brown  ? The game plan stays the same, but the improved personnel should make it work.  

Players Who Best Fit the System: Derek Carr  , Josh Jacobs  , Antonio Brown  , Darren Waller

Defensive System: 4-3 with zone coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Gruden’s man to head-up the defense, Paul Guenther, returns and we should see the same scheme he implemented last year. He likes to bring the pressure and will have a variety of different blitz packages, though he does love his double-A-gap blitz which helps put his edge rushers into more one-on-one situations. The big difference for Guenther this year is the personnel. He lost Khalil Mack  almost instantaneously last year when Gruden traded him out of Oakland and he had to patch things up with what he had. This time, he’s got some young, athletic pass-rushers in Clelin Ferrel and Arden Key  to help keep the pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Two things to monitor here – No. 1: Can Vontaze Burfict  stay out of trouble?   We’ll lean towards no, so look for Nicholas Morrow  and Koa Farmer to try and elevate their games. And No. 2, is there enough speed and wherewithal between the linebackers and safeties to not be vulnerable to the passes in between them? That was a huge hole last season and a major reason why Travis Kelce  burned them for 230 yards and two touchdowns on 17 catches last season. They may need a stronger fix for this.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Clelin FerrellArden Key  , Vontaze Burfict  , Johnathan Abram

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Head Coach Jason Garrett 9th year
Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli 6th year
Offensive System Air Coryell  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Jason Garrett -- HC         Kellen Moore -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 5 14 22   Points N/A N/A QB COACH
Pace 31 19 24   Pace N/A N/A QB COACH
Pass Attempts 30 29 21   Pass Attempts N/A N/A QB COACH
Passing Yards 23 26 23   Passing Yards N/A N/A QB COACH
Rushing Attempts 1 5 10   Rushing Attempts N/A N/A QB COACH
Rushing Yards 2 2 10   Rushing Yards N/A N/A QB COACH

Offensive Breakdown: After another season of offensive predictability, Jason Garrett knew he needed to change things up and get more current with his scheme. He fired Scott Linehan, had offensive line coach Marc Colombo go back to a zone-blocking scheme and promoted Kellen Moore from QB Coach to offensive coordinator. Due to Moore’s inexperience, Garrett will go back to calling the plays, but together they are hoping to modernize their version of the Air Coryell system.

The system starts with the power-run which surprises no one, but the return to a zone-blocking scheme (with this o-line finally healthy) should help open up better running lanes with more trap and counter runs for Zeke. While that is expected to open up more play-action downfield, Moore will also help add some spread formations and RPO into the offense to keep defenses guessing more. Last year, defenses had little trouble discerning run plays from pass plays and were able to stack the box when necessary. With different looks, a full year of Amari Cooper  and some receiving changes, this offense should be more explosive this season.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Dak Prescott  , Ezekiel Elliott  , Amari Cooper  , Jason Witten

Defensive Scheme: 4-3 with a Cover-2

Defensive Breakdown: Rod Marinelli likes to stuff the run and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, so he’s all about depth on the line and will rotate in guys regularly to keep everyone fresh and well-rested. Now in his sixth season with the Cowboys, you can expect everything to stay relatively the same. The difference between this year and say, the previous two, though, is the defense will not live or die by the health of Sean Lee  . The Cowboys have focused on defense in the draft in recent seasons and Marinelli is cultivating this talent to a point where the overall product in Dallas is much more well-balanced

Players Who Best Fit the System: Demarcus Lawrence  , Leighton Vander Esch  e, Jaylon Smith  , Chidobe Awuzie

New York Giants

Head Coach Pat Shurmur 2nd year
Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher 2nd year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Flex  
Pat Shurmur -- HC         Mike Shula -- OC      
Category 2016 (MIN) 2017 (MIN OC) 2018   Category 2016 (CAR) 2017 (CAR) 2018
Points TE COACH 10 16   Points 15 12 16
Pace TE COACH 25 10   Pace 32 32 10
Pass Attempts TE COACH 21 9   Pass Attempts 20 27 9
Passing Yards TE COACH 11 11   Passing Yards 21 28 11
Rushing Attempts TE COACH 2 29   Rushing Attempts 7 3 29
Rushing Yards TE COACH 7 24   Rushing Yards 10 4 24

Offensive Breakdown: Head coach Pat Shurmur and OC Mike Shula know exactly what they have in Saquon Barkley  and are going to continue building this offense around him. They are going to continue using the up-tempo, no-huddle pace they started using more and more during the season last year and the West Coast offense elements of short, quick passes to wideouts and tight ends, along with designed screens to Barkley, are going to be prevalent.

This is, more or less, exactly what we saw from the Giants midway through the season, but the one element they no longer have, or just really need to establish, is the deep threat. The Giants will dink-and-dunk downfield at a fast pace, but if they don’t learn to stretch the field, defenses are going to have an easier time shortening up the field on them. Unfortunately for them, they don’t really have a stand-out deep threat, so look for them to seek out someone in camp.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Saquon Barkley  , Sterling Shepard  , Golden Tate  , Evan Engram

Defensive Scheme: 3-4 with Cover-1 and Press-Man

Defensive Breakdown: Last year, DC James Bettcher flipped between a 3-4 and 4-3 scheme as he tried to play to his team’s strengths on defense. That didn’t exactly work, but rather than change the scheme, they changed the personnel and have a group now that better fits the scheme. Rookie Dexter Lawrence was a big add for them. Bettcher likes to be aggressive and loves to rush the passer, so expect to see some heavy blitz packages from a variety of directions.

In the secondary, he likes to have his safeties play in a zone, but leave his corners in man-coverage. Given the aggressiveness of the front seven, it leaves the defense exposed to bigger plays, so the hope is the press-man coverage slows down the wideouts while the safeties patrol the middle of the field. Deandre Baker was a good add for this system, so continue to view the defense as a work-in-progress but certainly heading in the right direction.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Dexter LawrenceAlec Ogletree  , Deandre BakerJulian Love

Philadelphia Eagles

Head Coach Doug Pederson 4th year
Offensive Coordinator Mike Groh 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz 4th year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Flex  
Doug Pederson -- HC         Mike Groh -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 16 3 18   Points WR COACH WR COACH 18
Pace 19 24 27   Pace WR COACH WR COACH 27
Pass Attempts 15 13 7   Pass Attempts WR COACH WR COACH 7
Passing Yards 13 13 7   Passing Yards WR COACH WR COACH 7
Rushing Attempts 10 6 20   Rushing Attempts WR COACH WR COACH 20
Rushing Yards 15 3 28   Rushing Yards WR COACH WR COACH 28

Offensive Breakdown: While the overall scheme is not going to change, you’re going to notice a lot of differences from last season and a lot more similarities to the 2017 version that won the Super Bowl. Pederson’s West Coast offense works primarily out of shotgun and uses a lot of RPO plays to freeze the defense in the middle of the field. He loves the pre-snap motion with a heavy rotation of running backs and lets the quick-short passes set up the big plays downfield. That was great in 2017, but not so much last year as Carson Wentz  struggled in his recovery from a torn ACL which hindered the use of RPOs. He also didn’t have the deep threat to stretch the defense downfield. That changes this year with a supposedly healthy Wentz and the return of DeSean Jackson  . Fantasy owners will want to stay away from the running backs, but with such a pass-heavy scheme, it looks like the vast number of mouths to feed this year won’t go hungry.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Carson Wentz  , Zach Ertz  , Alshon Jeffery  , DeSean Jackson  , Nelson Agholor

Defensive Scheme: 4-3 with Cover-2 an man coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Jim Schwartz found success when he changed the Eagles defense to a 4-3 base with multi-front tendencies and rotated in his incredible line depth to continuously attack the opposing quarterback. He also dropped an extra linebacker into coverage so not to over-pursue in the pass-rush and stopped using the Cover-2 zone in the secondary as often as he did. The tilt towards more man-coverage helped prevent the big plays that had continuously plagued them in previous seasons. Schwartz also likes to focus on the turnovers and has his team trying to strip the ball at each and every turn. They’ve been plenty aggressive since changing the scheme and it’s proven to be highly successful.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Fletcher Cox  , Zach Brown  , Ronald Darby

Washington Redskins

Head Coach Jay Gruden 6th year
Offensive Coordinator Kevin O'Connell 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky 3rd year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Power  
Jay Gruden -- HC         Kevin O'Connell -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 (SF) 2017 2018
Points 12 16 29   Points Offensive Asst. QB COACH QB COACH
Pace 17 23 21   Pace Offensive Asst. QB COACH QB COACH
Pass Attempts 7 18 26   Pass Attempts Offensive Asst. QB COACH QB COACH
Passing Yards 2 12 28   Passing Yards Offensive Asst. QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Attempts 27 24 14   Rushing Attempts Offensive Asst. QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Yards 21 28 17   Rushing Yards Offensive Asst. QB COACH QB COACH

Offensive Breakdown: Obviously missing the creativity of Sean McVay, Jay Gruden finally pulled the plug on former OC Matt Cavanaugh and moved him into more of an assistant role with the offense as his old-school, plodding methods just weren’t cutting it in today’s NFL. Gruden promoted QB Coach Kevin O’Connell who also served as a passing game coordinator last season, but this is Gruden’s offense and he will call the plays. Hard to say how that will inspire creativity, but perhaps Gruden will keep an open mind as the team looks to transition this offense towards its youth in Dwayne Haskins and Derrius Guice  .

Gruden’s West Coast offense relies on a power-run and quick, short passes over the middle which will hopefully set up bigger outside runs and longer passes downfield on the outside. He loves using pre-snap motion with his tight ends (lots of 2-TE formations) which usually allows him to handle the defensive coverage better while adding another pass-catcher to come off the line where necessary. It’s a complex scheme with a lot of extra routes that requires the quarterback to make a lot of reads, so to start the season with Case Keenum  and allow Haskins more time to learn the system on the job is likely the plan and probably what is best for everyone.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Dwayne HaskinsDerrius Guice  , Jordan Reed

Defensive Scheme: 3-4 with Cover-3

Defensive Breakdown: The base is that of a 3-4 defense but you can expect some multi-front looks from time to time as DC Greg Manusky will have to get creative in order to disguise where exactly the pressure is coming from. He likes to keep his defensive unit aggressive and has, in the past, sold-out the run at times to attack and pressure the quarterback. That might not be such a bad move this year as the personnel over the last few seasons has gotten a lot stronger and linemen such as Jonathan Allen  and Daron Payne can find ways to apply pressure while also keeping an eye on the running back. The speed on the outside with Montez Sweat  and Ryan Kerrigan  should also help in both aspects.

The coverage scheme will likely stay exactly as it’s been with the corners patrolling their side of the field and the safeties coming over the top to help out. They’ve had safety issues in the past which has allowed bigger plays downfield in the past, but the addition of Landon Collins  should help significantly this season.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Jonathan Allen  , Daron Payne, Landon Collins  , Josh Norman

NFC North

Chicago Bears

Head Coach Matt Nagy 2nd year
Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano 1st year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Matt Nagy -- HC         Mark Helfrich -- OC      
Category 2016 (KC OC) 2017 (KC OC) 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 13 6 9   Points OREGON HC N/A 9
Pace 29 30 30   Pace OREGON HC N/A 30
Pass Attempts 25 17 24   Pass Attempts OREGON HC N/A 24
Passing Yards 19 7 21   Passing Yards OREGON HC N/A 21
Rushing Attempts 14 23 6   Rushing Attempts OREGON HC N/A 6
Rushing Yards 15 9 11   Rushing Yards OREGON HC N/A 11

Offensive Breakdown: Last season, we expected Matt Nagy to pull pages and ideas right out of Andy Reid’s playbook and, for the most part, that is exactly what we got. It was a West Coast offense that leaned heavily on short, quick passes to the wide receivers, allowing them to make plays in space after the catch, while also incorporating a number of slants and drag routes. We also expected Nagy to do a lot more with his running backs and while we definitely saw plenty from Tarik Cohen  , the work for Jordan Howard  was much sparser due to his limitations as a pass-catcher. He was still used, but just not as often or as effectively.

This season we should see more of the same with Cohen and Mike Davis  , though we expect David Montgomery  to slide in and steal a lot of the work from both as he is the perfect hybrid of the two. The offense is designed to have a lot of pre-snap motion and use plenty of misdirection, though if the defense repeats its 2018 performance, the up-tempo may not be necessary. They pulled back on it last year and will do the same this season, if able. Nagy will continue to call the plays, though OC Mark Helfrich is supposed to get some opportunities as well.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Mitch Trubisky, Tarik Cohen  , David Montgomery  , Allen Robinson  , Taylor Gabriel

Defensive Scheme: Multi-Front with a Cover-2 base

Defensive Breakdown: Vic Fangio built this defense on the versatility of its players and, given its level of success, you can expect new DC Chuck Pagano to maintain the majority of its elements. He will keep the 3-4 base but likely throw in some different looks give the fact that he has so many who can line up on the defensive line as well as in the linebacker corps. Where Pagano will really make his mark is in the secondary as that has always been his specialty. He’ll maintain the Cover-2 base as Fangio did, but you will probably see a lot more man-to-man coverage if his corners can stay with the receivers. Adding Ha Ha Clinton-Dix  should help in the middle of the field, though new slot corner Buster Skrine  may have some difficulty. If the corners do hold man-coverage well, you should probably expect even more blitzing than you saw last year.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Khalil Mack  , Akiem Hicks  , Roquan Smith  , Eddie Jackson  , Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Detroit Lions

Head Coach Matt Patricia 2nd year
Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Paul Pasqualoni 2nd year
Offensive System West Coast  
Blocking Scheme Power  
Matt Patricia -- HC         Darrell Bevell -- OC      
Category 2016 (NE) 2017 (NE) 2018   Category 2016 (SEA OC) 2017 (SEA OC) 2018
Points DC DC 25   Points 18 11 N/A
Pace DC DC 23   Pace 14 9 N/A
Pass Attempts DC DC 11   Pass Attempts 18 16 N/A
Passing Yards DC DC 20   Passing Yards 10 14 N/A
Rushing Attempts DC DC 18   Rushing Attempts 20 20 N/A
Rushing Yards DC DC 23   Rushing Yards 25 23 N/A

Offensive Breakdown: We knew the Lions were going to be in trouble last year when Matt Patricia came in as a first-year head coach and retained Jim Bob Cooter as his OC, despite the difference in styles and opinions as to how this offense should run. Guess who won out? Not only will Patricia see an offense more to his liking this year, but he brought in a strong, like-minded coordinator in Darrell Bevel to rebuild this team’s scheme.

While the offense will be based in a West Coast scheme that relies on short-quick passes to help set up the bigger plays downfield, this scheme will be run-first and run-heavy. That was always Patricia’s desire, that is exactly what he’ll get and Bevell is perfect for this as he ran a very similar scheme when he was the OC in Seattle. He doesn’t have a mobile QB in Matthew Stafford  , but he’s got an array of running backs with varying styles at his disposal which should help set things up for the passing attack as well. Golden Tate  would have been an ideal fit for this scheme, so it should be interesting to see how the Lions receivers adjust, at least when Danny Amendola  gets hurt.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Kerryon Johnson  , C.J. Anderson  , Danny Amendola

Defensive Scheme: Multi-Front with man-coverage

Defensive Breakdown: With the tandem of Matt Patricia and Paul Pasqualoni continuing to build the defense, we can probably expect more of the same from last season. They used both three and four-man fronts, strong blitz packages and the mid-season addition of Damon Harrison  certainly helped them improve against the run. Bringing in Trey Flowers  from the Patriots gives them even more flexibility in how they line up and should keep offensive coordinators on their toes. As for the secondary, we should see the continuation of man-coverage as both Darius Slay  and Justin Coleman are more than capable.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Trey Flowers  , Jarrad Davis  , Darius Slay

Green Bay Packers

Head Coach Matt LaFleur 1st year
Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine 2nd year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Matt LaFleur -- HC         Nathaniel Hackett -- OC      
Category 2016 (ATL) 2017 (LAR OC) 2018 (TEN OC)   Category 2016 (JAC OC) 2017 (JAC OC) 2018 (JAC OC)
Points QB COACH 1 27   Points 25 5 31
Pace QB COACH 14 28   Pace 2 18 19
Pass Attempts QB COACH 24 31   Pass Attempts 4 21 19
Passing Yards QB COACH 10 29   Passing Yards 20 17 26
Rushing Attempts QB COACH 9 9   Rushing Attempts 24 1 12
Rushing Yards QB COACH 8 7   Rushing Yards 22 1 19

Offensive Breakdown: Identifying the scheme first-year head coach Matt LaFleur wants to employ in Green Bay is easy. He wants to use a West Coast-base that utilizes more running than what we’ve seen in previous Packers seasons and utilize the short, quick passes to set up the bigger pass-plays downfield. He also wants to infuse more RPO into the offense. While his new OC Nathaniel Hackett is more of a run-first guy, LaFleur is the one calling the plays and will run this offense. See? Nice and easy. Now the question we have to deal with is whether or not Aaron Rodgers  is on-board. We’ve heard conflicting reports during the offseason where LaFleur says he will be in Rodgers’ ear calling all the plays while Rodgers is saying he will be running the offense and calling plays at the line whenever he feels he should. That kind of conflict will only hurt the team in the long run and could put LaFleur on an immediate hot-seat. If LaFleur gets his way, though – and the implementation of RPO could actually give Rodgers more of a control illusion – this offense could be explosive and put up a ton of points both on the ground and through the air.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Aaron Jones  , Davante Adams  , Geronimo Allison

Defensive Scheme: 3-4 base with man-coverage

Defensive Breakdown: DC Mike Pettine was retained by the new regime and will try to continue implementing his defensive philosophies here. Pettine likes the 3-4 base scheme, but will use a four-man front if he feels he’s up against a run. He wants his front-seven to be versatile and able to adjust on the fly, so recognition of the offense is going to be key. He likes to use man-coverage, usually press, on the outside which not only allows the front-seven to be more aggressive  in the pass-rush, but also the safeties who won’t need to drift as much if the coverage is tight.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Blake Martinez  , Preston Smith  , Adrian Amos

Minnesota Vikings

Head Coach Mike Zimmer 6th year
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski 1st year
Defensive Coordinator George Edwards 6th year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Mike Zimmer -- HC         Kevin Stefanski -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 23 10 19   Points RB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Pace 24 25 11   Pace RB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Pass Attempts 12 21 6   Pass Attempts RB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Passing Yards 18 11 13   Passing Yards RB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Attempts 25 2 27   Rushing Attempts RB COACH QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Yards 32 7 30   Rushing Yards RB COACH QB COACH QB COACH

Offensive Breakdown: Despite the fact that Kevin Stefanski took over as the interim OC last year and is now the acting OC of the Vikings, we’re going to see a bit of an overhaul this season as Mike Zimmer brought in Gary Kubiak to serve as an assistant head coach and offensive advisor. Does that mean Stefanski is a figurehead? Yeah, for the most part. Kubiak and Stefanski worked on the playbook and scheme together, but this looks like it’s 90% Kubiak heading into training camp.

The passing scheme is based on the West Coast offense and we’ll see plenty of short, quick passes to move the ball downfield. We’ll also see plenty of 2-TE sets to help with both blocking and pass0-catching, but this offense also looks like it will be run-first and run-heavy. Kubiak….er…I mean…Zimmer brought in run-guru Rick Dennison to overhaul the offensive line blocking scheme and will emulate the zone-blocking schemes we’ve see him use in both Denver and Houston where both ground games were just downright explosive. The run-heavy scheme will them open up a lot more play-action which definitely caters to the type of QB we expect Kirk Cousins  to be. Zimmer wants him to be turnover-free while fantasy owners want him to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns each week. We should get something in the middle, depending on just how effective the ground game turns out.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Kirk Cousins  , Dalvin Cook  , Stefon Diggs  , Kyle Rudolph

Defensive Scheme: 4-3 base with man-coverage

Defensive Breakdown: While George Edwards is the defensive coordinator, he remains more in charge of developing the linebackers and young talent while Zimmer, a defensive-minded coach, handles the play-calling. They actually do a great job of complementing each other and Zimmer definitely takes a lot of his cues from what Edwards is seeing on the field. They expect their lineman and linebackers to be versatile as they actually like to switch up to a 3-4 at times and they expect their defensive backs to be able to play on either side of the field as they like to use a lot of man-coverage, both off and press.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Xavier Rhodes  , Harrison Smith  , Anthony Barr  , Everson Griffen

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Head Coach Dan Quinn 5th year
Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter 1st year
Defensive Coordinator none  
Offensive System Air Coryell  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Dan Quinn -- HC         Dirk Koetter -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 (TB HC) 2017 (TB HC) 2018 (TB HC)
Points 1 15 10   Points 18 18 12
Pace 23 20 13   Pace 10 6 7
Pass Attempts 26 20 5   Pass Attempts 16 3 4
Passing Yards 3 8 4   Passing Yards 16 4 1
Rushing Attempts 12 16 30   Rushing Attempts 7 26 22
Rushing Yards 5 13 27   Rushing Yards 24 27 29

Offensive Breakdown: At this point you’ve probably read the Coaches on the Hot Seat piece, so you know Dan Quinn is likely fighting for his job this year after the Falcons missed the playoffs last season. As a result, he has taken control of the defense and will serve as his own defensive coordinator, which means he needed some serious experience to run the offense. He turns to Dirk Koetter who was the Falcons OC between 2012 and 2014 and has a strong familiarity with Matt Ryan  . That means Ryan isn’t learning a new system which, after witnessing him trying to adapt and struggling in Steve Sarkisian’s scheme, is reassuring for fantasy owners.

Koetter uses a base in the Air Coryell system and uses the run to set up the pass. He’ll mix in some spread formations as well, but he’ll run hard with Devonta Freeman  and look to set up bigger plays downfield through the air. Staying with the zone-blocking is also going to help Freeman tremendously and you should look for plenty of two tight-end sets to get that extra blocker in space when they run outside. Koetter loves the big play, so if this o-line does its job and they have little issue establishing the run, we could see a very strong amount of production from this team again. 

Players Who Best Fit the System: Matt Ryan  , Devonta Freeman  , Julio Jones  , Austin Hooper

Defensive Scheme: 4-3 with a Cover-3

Defensive Breakdown: Quinn hasn’t really said much about his defensive plans, so this is more going with what we’ve seen from him back when he was with Seattle and what his tendencies were. He did add former Chiefs DC Bob Sutton who has almost always used a 4-3 base, so perhaps we see different set-ups with Quinn’s 4-3 as the base. The biggest difference you’re likely to see is in the secondary. Quinn was one of the architects of the original Legion of Boom and Sutton’s secondaries have been very strong in zone coverage.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Vic Beasley  , Keanu Neal  , Ricardo Allen

Carolina Panthers

Head Coach Ron Rivera 9th year
Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Eric Washington 2nd year
Offensive System Air Coryell  
Blocking Scheme Flex  
Ron Rivera -- HC         Norv Turner -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 (MIN OC) 2017 2018
Points 15 12 14   Points 23 N/A 14
Pace 32 32 22   Pace 24 N/A 22
Pass Attempts 20 27 15   Pass Attempts 12 N/A 15
Passing Yards 21 28 16   Passing Yards 18 N/A 16
Rushing Attempts 7 3 12   Rushing Attempts 25 N/A 12
Rushing Yards 10 4 4   Rushing Yards 32 N/A 4

Offensive Breakdown: Ever see the movie Diggstown? In an early scene Oliver Platt tells this group of country bumpkins that they don’t want him to sit at their poker table because he’s just going to take all their money. When he does, they get upset and he says, “I told you I was going to do this. I said so and you wanted me to sit and play anyway.” I feel like this was Norv Turner last year. He said right from the start, he was going to give Christian McCaffrey  a gazillion touches and he did just that. And it worked. For the most part. Not bad for a first year which is why we expect Turner to stay the course with his offense this year.

Turner’s offense is very well-balance and he does a great job of using the run to help set up bigger plays downfield. Coming out of 11-Personnel allows Turner to unleash a number of solid options to move the ball as it spreads the defense out. He can run with McCaffrey, use RPO to attack the middle of the field or, if the coverage is soft, hit one of the receivers downfield for a bigger play. Turner has done a great job of modernizing his offense for today’s NFL and gets the most out of his players.  

Players Who Best Fit the System: Cam Newton  , Christian McCaffrey  , Curtis Samuel  , D.J. Moore

Defensive Scheme: 4-3 with multiple zone coverages

Defensive Breakdown: Rivera is the defensive specialist here and while he’s got Eric Washington as his DC, Rivera is going to be the one to call the plays. He relinquished those duties for a short time last season, but was often at odds with Washington on certain defensive decisions and eventually took back the reins. Look for the two to work in more harmony this year as they’ve changed up the personnel plenty to mesh the two philosophies.

Rivera has always run a 4-3 base, but you can expect them to mix up different looks and use a 3-4 system at times. The additions of Gerald McCoy  and Bruce Irvin  via free agency along with the drafting of Brian Burns gives them the flexibility to line up both ways and maintain a strong pass-rush. Rivera loves to blitz fairly heavily, so having the guys on the edge while still maintaining a strong presence up the middle is going to be key. As for the secondary, Rivera usually rolls with a variety of zone coverage packages. Washington likes to use man-coverage at times, depending on the opposition, so again, expect some hybrid looks.  

Players Who Best Fit the System: Gerald McCoy  , Brian BurnsBruce Irvin  , Luke Keuchly

New Orleans Saints

Head Coach Sean Payton 14th year
Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael 11th year
Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen 6th year
Offensive System Air Coryell  
Blocking Scheme Power  
Sean Payton -- HC         Pete Carmichael -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 2017 2018
Points 2 4 3   Points 2 4 3
Pace 1 29 29   Pace 1 29 29
Pass Attempts 2 19 23   Pass Attempts 2 19 23
Passing Yards 1 5 12   Passing Yards 1 5 12
Rushing Attempts 19 13 5   Rushing Attempts 19 13 5
Rushing Yards 16 5 6   Rushing Yards 16 5 6

Offensive Breakdown: We witnessed a major change in the Saints offensive scheme in 2017 when they went from being one of the most pass-heavy teams to one that leaned heavily on the run thanks to the tandem of Alvin Kamara  and Mark Ingram  . They became a true Air Coryell system that used the power-run to set up the downfield passing attack and should continue to feature that this season. Latavius Murray  replaces Ingram this year which won’t have much of an effect on the game plan.

The passing attack is all about timing in this offense and the relationship between Drew Brees  and his receivers is going to need to be tight for them to be as effective as they’ve been in the past. You will see a lot of pre-snap motion whether they are lineup up in traditional formation or shotgun in order to give Brees a better look at what the defense is doing and he’ll have the autonomy to change things up depending on what he sees. So long as this Michael Thomas  contract situation is resolved, you can count on the Saints offense to put up plenty of points.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Drew Brees  , Alvin Kamara  , Michael Thomas

Defensive Scheme: 4-3 with Cover-3 zone

Defensive Breakdown: Dennis Allen continues to teach and develop his defense and has taken a once-atrocious unit and turned it into something a whole lot more respectable. He uses a 4-3 base, but has definitely been known to mix it up often depending on the opposition. He also likes to use a lot of Cover-3 packages, but he also started mixing in some Cover-2 looks and, on a rare occasion – which we may see more this year – he’ll use more man-to-man with Marshon Lattimore  and Eli Apple  on the outside. Lattimore is definitely the better cover guy so Apple’s side is likely where you’ll see the safeties come over the top.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Cameron Jordan  , A.J. Klein  , Marshon Lattimore

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Head Coach Bruce Arians 1st year
Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles 1st year
Offensive System Air Coryell  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Bruce Arians -- HC         Byron Leftwich -- OC      
Category 2016 (AZ HC) 2017 (AZ HC) 2018   Category 2016 2017 (AZ) 2017 (AZ)
Points 6 25 N/A   Points N/A QB COACH QB COACH
Pace 7 8 N/A   Pace N/A QB COACH QB COACH
Pass Attempts 3 5 N/A   Pass Attempts N/A QB COACH QB COACH
Passing Yards 9 15 N/A   Passing Yards N/A QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Attempts 21 20 N/A   Rushing Attempts N/A QB COACH QB COACH
Rushing Yards 18 30 N/A   Rushing Yards N/A QB COACH QB COACH

Offensive Breakdown: Welcome back to the NFL, Bruce Arians. After a brief one-season hiatus, Arians is back in charge, this time with a Bucs team that has some strong offensive prowess but could just use a little more direction and leadership. Dirk Koetter helped lead the Bucs to having one of the more prolific passing attacks, but it was definitely more reactionary than anything. There was little to no ground game of which to speak and the defense was terrible which forced the Buc into a much more pass-heavy scheme. This season, things should remain prolific, but in a more balanced fashion.

Arians, with the help of his OC and protégé Byron Leftwich, need to get the running backs in proper form for this offense. They need to pass-block, catch passes, run in space and power-run between the tackles. Basically, they need to do it all and understand that Arians won’t just abandon the run. Once they have that aspect, the passing game will unfold with a lot more ease. Arians gives a lot of control to his quarterback and Winston will be able to deliver the ball within the route tree where he sees fit. Timing is going to need precision and the receivers are going to need to learn every route in the tree. If everyone is on the same page, this offense could be explosive. Of course, there are a lot of ifs – Peyton Barber  vs Ronald Jones  , Chris Godwin  needing to take his game to the next level and, of course, Jameis Winston  ’s penchant for the turnover.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Jameis Winston  , Mike Evans  , Chris Godwin  , O.J. Howard

Defensive Scheme: 4-3 with man-coverage on the outside

Defensive Breakdown: Well you didn’t think they were going to put the band back together and leave out Todd Bowles, did you? He and Arians led quite the team in Arizona and Bowles, who was fired by the Jets after last season, returns to his roots as the Bucs defensive coordinator. He’ll lean on the 4-3 formation, though you may see some more multi-front looks given some of the changes in personnel. They brought in Ndamukong Suh  to clog the middle and have Vita Vea there as well. But we could see the two line up side by side on the line if Noah Spence  and Carl Nassib  can improve their pass-rushing.

The secondary is going to be the toughest as they were burned badly last season…and in seasons prior. The went heavy on the corners in the draft with Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean and also added safety Mike Edwards out of Kentucky. That tells me this training camp is going to be quite the battle. Bowles likes to be aggressive with his secondary and he likes to mix man-coverage on the outside with zone in the middle. If SMB and Dean prove to be stronger candidates on the outside, Vernon Hargreaves  and Carlton Davis  could see their snaps significantly reduced. The secondary has been an Achilles heel for the Bucs in recent seasons so expect Bowles to make that a major focus.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Ndamukong Suh  , Sean Murphy-BuntingJamel DeanDevin White

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury 1st year
Passing Game Coordinator Tom Clements 1st year
Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph 1st year
Offensive System Air Raid Offense  
Blocking Scheme Flex  
Kliff Kingsbury -- HC         Tom Clements  -- Pass Coordinator      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 (GB) 2017 20198
Points TX TECH HC TX TECH HC TX TECH HC   Points Asst. HC N/A N/A
Pace TX TECH HC TX TECH HC TX TECH HC   Pace Asst. HC N/A N/A
Pass Attempts TX TECH HC TX TECH HC TX TECH HC   Pass Attempts Asst. HC N/A N/A
Passing Yards TX TECH HC TX TECH HC TX TECH HC   Passing Yards Asst. HC N/A N/A
Rushing Attempts TX TECH HC TX TECH HC TX TECH HC   Rushing Attempts Asst. HC N/A N/A
Rushing Yards TX TECH HC TX TECH HC TX TECH HC   Rushing Yards Asst. HC N/A N/A

Offensive Breakdown: There is a lot of unknown here with the Cardinals so evaluating what will work and who will work is going to be tough. Kliff Kingsbury comes from the college ranks, he wasn’t all that successful but people seem to dig him because he is credited with the development of Patrick Mahomes  . Right or wrong, yes, he did coach him. He is implementing his version of the Air-Raid system and before you go bonkers trying to figure out what that exactly means, allow me to repeat the description posted in the first article of the series.

The system is notable for its heavy focus on passing and, if implemented in full, could result in 65-75% passing plays throughout the season. This is an up-tempo, no-huddle scheme where the quarterback has the freedom to audible to any play based on what the defense is showing at the line of scrimmage. One interesting aspect you will see here as well is that the offensive linemen are not bunched together like you see in a conventional offense. They are split about a half-yard apart which is supposed to cause defensive linemen to run further to get to the quarterback and allow for short, quick passing to neutralize blitzes. It is also used to open up wider passing lanes which should prevent passes from being knocked down or intercepted at the line of scrimmage.

The system has actually been run in the NFL, but never really as a base; more of an add-on. So we know what we are likely to see. The question is will it work? Can Kyler Murray  be successful? Will this team score points? What does this do for David Johnson  ’s value? The answers are: we don’t know, we definitely don’t know, we’re not exactly sure and probably not much. Not what you want to hear, but it’s really all anyone has. Some are very bullish while others are not. We sit in the middle with a lean towards the not.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Kyler Murray  , Andy Isabella  , Christian Kirk

Defensive Scheme: 3-4 with man-coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Coming off an unsuccessful stint as a head coach in Denver, Vance Joseph returns to the defensive side of the game and has some rally nice talent to work with. He’ll use the 3-4 base nd likely unleash Terrell Suggs and Chandler Jones  on the edge. Joseph likes an aggressive secondary, so press-man coverage from the corners should be expected while he mixes in some zone coverage in the middle of the field. Once Joseph gets Patrick Peterson  back from his six-game PEDs suspension, things are going to look even stronger.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Terrell Suggs  , Chandler Jones  , Patrick Peterson  , Robert Alford

Los Angeles Rams

Head Coach Sean McVay 3rd year
Run Game Coordinator Aaron Kromer 2nd year
Passing Game Coordinator Shane Waldron 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips 3rd year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Power  
Sean McVay -- HC/OC      
Category 2016 (WAS OC) 2017 2018
Points 12 1 2
Pace 17 14 3
Pass Attempts 7 24 14
Passing Yards 2 10 5
Rushing Attempts 27 9 8
Rushing Yards 21 8 3

Offensive Breakdown: Sean McVay has really established himself, first as a top offensive coordinator, but now also as a head coach. This season he continues to do both. Yes, he has a running and a passing game coordinator like last season, but this is still very much his offense. He favors the 11-Personnel formation because of the way it spreads out the defense and improves the running lanes in a power-blocking scheme. We’ll see plenty of what we’ve gotten use to over the years – a heavy lean on the running back both on the ground and through the air, short, quick routes to move the ball downfield and have all of that set up play-action for the bigger shots downfield. McVay has the weaponry to continuously pull this off and this should continue to be one of the more prolific offenses for fantasy owners.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Jared Goff  , Todd Gurley  , Brandin Cooks  , Robert Woods  , Cooper Kupp

Defensive Scheme: 3-4 with man-coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Wade Phillips returns for a third season and, let’s face it, he’s one of the absolute best in the business. He uses one-gap assignments for his linemen which then allows his linebackers to come in, fill the other gaps and either rush the passer or stay in short coverage. The loss of Ndamukong Suh  is going to hurt with regard to double-teams on Aaron Donald  and stuffing the run, but the team seems confident in Tanzel Smart to help get the job done. They’ll unleash Dante Fowler  regularly and with the man-coverage on the outside, we should see a fair amount of blitzing. Just know that the safety has to come over the top to help Marcus Peters  against some of the top wideouts as he struggles at times, as we saw last year when Aqib Talib  was hurt and they needed to float coverage towards his side as well.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Aaron Donald  , Dante Fowler  , Aqib Talib

San Francisco 49ers

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan 3rd year
Offensive Coordinator none  
Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh 3rd year
Offensive System West Coast Offense  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Kyle Shanahan -- HC/OC      
Category 2016 (ATL) 2017 2018
Points 1 20 21
Pace 23 1 16
Pass Attempts 26 2 20
Passing Yards 3 9 15
Rushing Attempts 12 22 11
Rushing Yards 5 21 13

Offensive Breakdown: Kyle Shanahan’s version of the West Coast offense has been incredibly successful….so long as his personnel stays healthy. He lost Jerick McKinnon  for the year before the season opened and Jimmy Garoppolo  just a few short weeks into the season. Picking up the pieces was tough at times. But when it’s firing on all cylinders, the sky’s the limit.

Shanahan’s zone-block scheme is fantastic for running backs and his heavy usage of them in the passing game as well makes it great for fantasy too. While it’s a shame they invested so much in McKinnon, they still brought in Tevin Coleman who thrived as a complementary back in Atlanta and should end up taking the lead here. Through the air, it’s short, quick passes to move the ball downfield which, along with a strong rushing attack, will open up more for play-action downfield. Shanahan will also incorporate more RPO this season with Jimmy Grapes back at full health. The strong run, the quick passes and the RPO should help keep defenses guessing and give the Niners time to adjust and exploit on the fly.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Jimmy Garoppolo  , Tevin Coleman  , Dante Pettis

Defensive Scheme: 4-3 with Cover-3 base

Defensive Breakdown: We’re still looking at Robert Saleh’s 4-3 base and hoping it can generate some sort of a pass-rush. They’ve had some serious misses in developing defensive linemen, but hopefully with Nick Bosa  and Dee Ford  on the outside, they can prove to be capable pass rushers while Solomon Thomas  and DeForest Buckner  stay in the middle and try to apply head-on pressure and stuff the run. Kwon Alexander  in the middle, if he’s healthy, should give them some nice leadership.

In the secondary, it’s all going to come down to the health of Richard Sherman  and Jason Verrett  . Both are more than capable in this zone coverage and could also be used in some man-to-man situations, but given the question marks that surround their safeties, staying in zone should make them better off.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Nick Bosa  , Dee Ford  , Richard Sherman  , Jason Verrett

Seattle Seahawks

Head Coach Pete Carroll 10th year
Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer 2nd year
Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.  2nd year
Offensive System Air Coryell  
Blocking Scheme Zone  
Pete Carroll -- HC         Brian Schottenheimer -- OC      
Category 2016 2017 2018   Category 2016 (IND) 2017 (IND) 2018
Points 18 11 6   Points QB COACH QBCOACH 6
Pace 14 9 26   Pace QB COACH QBCOACH 26
Pass Attempts 18 16 32   Pass Attempts QB COACH QBCOACH 32
Passing Yards 10 14 27   Passing Yards QB COACH QBCOACH 27
Rushing Attempts 20 20 2   Rushing Attempts QB COACH QBCOACH 2
Rushing Yards 25 23 1   Rushing Yards QB COACH QBCOACH 1

Offensive Breakdown: About three games into the season last year, a light bulb went on over Pete Carrol’s head and he remembered how successful this offense was when it was all about the run. So what did they do? They switched things up, stopped trying to make Russell Wilson  throw for 5,000 yards and became the most prolific run offense in the league, much to the liking of all Chris Carson  owners. Will they continue that trend this year?? Absolutely.

In traditional Air Coryell fashion, the Seahawks will use a heavy power-running attack mixed in with plenty of RPO in order to keep defenses honest. Wilson may not be able to take off running like he used to, but he is still quite effective and is always dangerous throwing on the run. OC Brian Schottenheimer employed a bigger vertical passing attack which pulled them off such a heavy reliance on the now-retired Doug Baldwin  . They brought in bigger wideouts like D.K. Metcalf and Gary Jennings who should be able to lure coverage and free up Tyler Lockett  into more one-on-one coverage and bigger pass-plays downfield.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Russell Wilson  , Chris Carson  , Rashaad Penny  , Tyler Lockett  , D.K. Metcalf

Defensive Scheme: 4-3 with a Cover-3

Defensive Breakdown: This is basically the same system Carroll implemented when he arrived in Seattle a decade ago and DC Ken Norton Jr. simply manages the personnel. They stick with four lineman up front with the linebackers filling the gaps against the run. Ziggy Ansah should help increase the pass-rush and Bobby Wagner  remains the field general up the middle. The secondary remains the same as always and the corners do a great job in their zones. Obviously it helps that the safeties tend to stay back rather than pinch to stop the run as that helps prevent the big plays.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Ziggy Ansah, Bobby Wagner  , Shaquill Griffin

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