The Gase Effect
What a long strange trip it’s been for Adam Gase. The wide-eyed social media meme sensation has made it from a Nick Saban recruiting assistant to a two-time NFL head coach. Gase worked with Saban at LSU from 2000-2002 before taking the NFL leap. He was hired by Steve Mariucci (west coast offense) and the Detroit Lions in 2003, working his way up to QB coach in 2007. After a brief stint with the 49ers in 2008 with Mike Martz (Air Coryell) , Gase spent the next 6 years in Denver working for offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
Adam Gase has worked with a wide array of NFL coaches in his career. There was only one other offensive-minded head coach he worked for besides Mariucci (DET) and Martz (DET/SF), was Josh McDaniels (Denver). McDaniels runs a unique scheme in New England that uses short passing routes and formation schemes. His system also utilizes the RB in the passing game a ton.
Gase has also worked for three defensive minded coaches in Mike Nolan(SF), Rod Marinelli (DET), and John Fox (Chicago).
He finally became the offensive coordinator in Denver in 2013, where he remained until 2015 when he followed John Fox to Chicago. In 2016 he became the head coach in Miami. His three-year tenure in Miami ended with just one player at any position ending in the top 10 in fantasy (Landry WR4 in 2017).
Compare that to his time in Denver with Peyton Manning. In 2013 and 2014, he had a whopping 10 players at different positions finish in the top 10. Manning was QB1, QB4. At running back, Knowshon Moreno was RB4. Wide receivers Demaryius Thomas (WR1/WR4) and Eric Decker (WR8/WR7) were absolute studs and Julius Thomas was (TE3/TE7). Talk about the good old days.
Gase Owes Someone a Beer
I get the feeling that Adam Gase may owe his head coaching career to Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler. Yes, I said it. “Smokin’ Jay” helped Gase get a head coaching gig. That is how it appears looking at the data. The first chart shows the QB fantasy ranks under Gase in Denver and Chicago, as well as his last stint as HC in South Beach.
As we mentioned above, Peyton Manning was QB1 and QB4 in all of fantasy in 2013 and 2014. Jay was QB21. How did that help Gase get a head gig? Well, as a Bears fan, I can tell you that Cutler had his best year under Gase.
NFL owners don’t look at fantasy ranks. However, Jay Cutler had his lowest interception percentage and it was the only year his passer rating was over 90. That’s saying something when you are talking interceptions and low with Jay. Those words were not often uttered together when talking about him.
Sam Darnold (QB1)
We have no idea what is in store for Sam Darnold under Gase. Looking back at the chart of recent QB1 finishes, it doesn’t look promising. The Miami QB has finished QB27, QB26 and QB30 the last three years respectively. Yikes!
With all the injuries in the Jets offense last year, it’s hard to extrapolate too much from it. There were injuries at all the major skill positions for the Jets in 2018. Darnold was heralded as the savior of the franchise after Week 1. That changed rather quickly after three straight sub-par performances against Miami, Cleveland, and Jacksonville.
He finished with an awful 47.9 QB Rating. Good for 30th of the 33 qualifiers. From a fantasy perspective, he had 172.38 FPTS. That put Sam Darnold as QB27. That’s right in Gases’ wheelhouse for the past three years in Miami. Here is a breakdown of the Passer Rating by Receiver courtesy of the data analysis tool at FFS.
Bilal Powell/Isaiah Crowell/Elijah McGuire (RBs)
The RB spot in the Meadowlands is murky at best. Bilal Powell is a free agent. Crowell could be cut. The lone bright spot is the 25-year-old McGuire. He showed flashes at times last year after Powell and Crowell went down for the year. Even at that, he is not someone I would be targeting until very late in drafts unless we get a clearer picture here.
Trenton Cannon and De’Angelo Henderson (restricted FA) are the only other backs on the rosters. There are rumblings that the Jets could make a push for Le’Veon Bell. If this happens then we obviously have an immediate interest in this backfield. If not, stay far, far away.
Another odd thing about Gase is that he seems to hold back his most talented RB. Or he trades them. See Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake, Damien Williams. It appears he would rather run Frank Gore up the middle for the sure 3 or 4 yards every time instead of putting the pigskin in the hands of his home run hitters. Ajayi did go for 1,200+ yards and 8 TD in 2016, but Gase promptly traded him out of Miami in 2017 after seven games. Ajayi went on to average 5.8 yards-per-carry and 9.1 yards per catch in Philly.
Robby Anderson (WR1)
Here is a potential target monster for Darnold and a potential target for fantasy owners. He is a restricted free agent, however. If the Jets don’t “Jets” and bring him back, he looks like the best bet for market share. If we look at the Darnold chart above, we see he threw to RA 81 times. That’s 22 more than the next skill player targeted on the Jets.
Quincy Enunwa (covered next) missed a lot of time with injuries and got a fair target share while he was in, could hurt Anderson a little, but I think it was clear that Darnold trusted Anderson a lot last year. Anderson played on 68.1% of the offensive snaps last year, most on the team also.
Quincy Enunwa (WR2)
Health is the biggest issue here. Enunwa is basically a Tight End playing receiver. Listed at 6’2” and 225 pounds, he has the size to go over the middle. This has been the cause of some of his injuries, unfortunately. He gets his share of targets. In 2016 he was targeted at 6.6 times per game. He sat out 2017 with a neck injury. Returning to 11 games in 2018, he saw a modest 6.2 targets per game. I have always been a fan of his toughness and feel that he could be a real weapon if utilized enough and stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I don’t have the confidence that Gase will bring that system to the Jets. I am also concerned about the long-term issues that come with neck injuries. Target him with caution next year.
There isn’t a lot of talent on this roster. The remaining WR for the Jets are Charone Peake, Deontay Burnett, J.J. Jones, Stacey Coley, DeAngelo Yancey, and Tim White. Many of these are just future/reserve signings. They did take a flyer on Rishard Matthews late last year, but he is an impending free agent. The chart below does show Darnold ’s pass distribution by position. This tool can be found at FFS by going under QB History and then QB Targets by Position. The Jets need to draft for this position or make a solid splash in free agency. Possibly a disgruntled Cole Beasley would be a fit.
The Jets have only two tight ends signed on their roster. They are Chris Herndon and Jordan Leggett. Two other TE are restricted free agents and they are Eric Tomlinson and Clive Walford. Herndon is a name you may recognize if you played DFS, but he is not on the radar in redraft leagues. Herndon was TD dependent and only really saw his chances due to injuries at the position. This ranks as another position of need on the depleted Jets roster.
There is not a lot to see here. The Jets have a lot of work to do to become fantasy relevant. I don’t really see myself targeting in drafts next year unless Bell happens to sign there. Word is that this is not likely to happen since he wants to grow his rap career in South Beach and is a heavy favorite to land in Miami. Add to this the fact that Gase just brought Dowell Loggains with him to the Big Apple and things look even less interesting. I am not a fan of the Gase hire in NYC. He hasn’t proven that he can be an effective coach when he doesn’t have #18 spearheading his offense.