Fantasy Football 2021: How every head coaching change affects key player value in draft preparation

Fantasy expert Jody Smith breaks down each offseason coaching change and which players will benefit or lose value
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Nothing stays stagnant in football, and that is especially true for Fantasy fanatics. Every offseason there are myriad changes to rosters and coaching staffs that can have major ramifications.

Not all of these transactions involve players, as the hiring of a new head coach or offensive play-caller can dramatically change a team's expectations. Being able to adapt to these moves is integral towards assembling a championship-contending Fantasy roster. 

Here is a recap of the 2021 NFL head coaching changes and how they might impact the 2021 Fantasy Football season.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles appear ready to embrace an aggressive, analytics-driven attack led by new head coach Nick Sirianni and play-caller Shane Steichen. Sirianni was the architect of a 2020 Indianapolis offense that finished ninth overall, while Steichen was the offensive coordinator for a Chargers attack that developed rookie QB Justin Herbert a year ago. 

Look for Sirianni and Steichen to increase the tempo. The Eagles were the fourth-worst offense in terms of pace of play a year ago. A lot of those issues were based on an injury-ravaged offensive line and mismatched personnel. 

Expect Sirianni and Steichen to deploy a ton of three-wide "11" personnel and to put 2021 first-round WR Devonta Smith in prime position to star immediately. Sophomore WR Jalen Reagor undoubtedly could benefit from a fresh start after a disappointing rookie campaign. Reagor should start opposite Smith with Greg Ward, who is largely going undrafted, the favorite to retain slot duties. 

RB Miles Sanders was one of the premier big-play threats but had a negative impact in the passing game. Until Sanders cleans up the drops and protection issues, he's unlikely to earn a three-down role. 

The biggest question mark for the 20201 Eagles is under center. Sirianni has been slow to embrace QB Jalen Hurts, a run-pass option player who does not fit the mold of an accurate field general who has thrived under Sirianni's tutelage. Hurts has major fantasy upside due to his elite rushing ability but only completed 52% of his throws a year ago. 

That makes Hurts a very risky proposition at his current top-10 fantasy price tag. 

SportsLine Fantasy expert Jody Smith, who has finished atop Fantasy Pros' seasonal accuracy rankings and contributed to many fantasy publications in his career, pegged Antonio Gibson as an upside play when breaking down 2020's top committees and labeled Jonathan Taylor a star in the making. A year later, Taylor is being selected in the first round of most Fantasy drafts following a huge rookie year while Gibson is coming off an 11-touchdown season and a popular early-round target.

Which coaching changes will have a big impact on the Fantasy landscape in 2021? And which receiver has "real sleeper appeal" with his new coaching staff? ... Join SportsLine right now to see Jody Smith's breakdown of this offseason's coaching changes, plus get the entire 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Bible, all from the longtime expert named one of the nation's most accurate Fantasy analysts!


Jody Smith