The Gase Effect: A Cloudy Scenario
The Gase Effect: A Cloudy Scenario
This is an update of a previous article in my New Coaching Impact series to reflect roster moves and changes since it was first published on January 27th, 2019. Please enjoy.
What a long strange trip it has 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. Hired by Steve Mariucci (west coast offense) and the Detroit Lions in 2003, Gase worked his way up to quarterbacks coach in 2007. After a brief stint with the San Francisco 49ers in 2008 with Mike Martz, Gase spent the next six 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 (Lions) and Martz (Lions/49ers), and that was Josh McDaniels (Broncos). McDaniels runs a unique scheme in New England that uses short passing routes and formation schemes. His system also utilizes the running back in the passing game a ton.
Gase has also worked for three defensive minded coaches in Mike Nolan(49ers), Rod Marinelli (Lions), and John Fox (Bears).
He finally became the offensive coordinator in Denver in 2013, where he remained until 2015 when he followed John Fox to Chicago. In 2016 Gase 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, Gase 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 Gase may owe his head coaching career to Manning and Cutler. Cutler 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 head coach in South Beach.
As was mentioned above, 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? Cutler had his best year under Gase.
NFL owners do not look at fantasy ranks. However, Cutler had his lowest interception percentage and it was the only year his passer rating was over 90.
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 quarterback has finished QB27, QB26 and QB30 the last three years respectively.
With all the injuries in the Jets offense last year, it is 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.
Darnold 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 him as QB27. That is 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.
The addition of Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder should be a big help to Darnold. The Jets did pretty well upgrading their skill position players. Bell was the cream of the free agency crop and while Crowder isn’t nearly as flashy of a name, his veteran presence should be a welcome addition for Darnold in 2019.
Le’Veon Bell (RB1)
The controversial stud running back found a new home in the Big Apple. It is an interesting landing spot for fantasy purposes. With a young quarterback at the helm, Bell should continue to thrive as a pass catcher out of the backfield with check downs and dump offs from Darnold.
Bell’s talent is unquestioned. The question becomes how will Adam Gase use him in New York. When healthy and playing, you can see that Bell is one of the best at his craft. Even playing in just 13 games in 2013, Bell finished as the RB15.
With only Elijah McGuire competing for touches, there should be a significant amount touches available for Bell. It is a little concerning that offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains offenses have finished in the bottom half of rushing attempts in the NFL every year he has been a coordinator except in 2009 while he was in Tennessee.
Expect that to change in 2019 with Bell in town. Bell should also make up for a potential loss in rushing attempts with catches out of the backfield. He is still a bona fide RB1 in fantasy but I am
not certain we can expect the dominance we are used to from him during his time in Pittsburgh.
Robby Anderson (WR1)
Loggains is equally futile from a passing attempt standpoint in the offense he runs. A Loggains offense finished in the bottom half of the NFL all four years he has been an offensive coordinator. More concerning is he has never had a WR1 finish better than 2oth and the average finish for his WR1 is 42nd.
This does not mean there is not fantasy production to be had. The concern here is a balanced distribution of targets between Anderson, Enumwa and the newly acquired Crowder. Bell will eat up a good chunk of targets out of the backfield as well. Anderson is a WR1 for depth chart purposes but is not a fantasy WR1.
Using the splits tool from FFS, we see that Anderson is heavily impacted production-wise when Enumwa is on the field.
Quincy Enumwa (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. Enunwa 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. Enunwa is tough and he could be a real weapon if he is utilized enough and stayed healthy. Unfortunately, there are questions on if Gase will bring that type of system to the Jets. There is also concern about the long-term issues that come with neck injuries. The arrival of Crowder and Bell sting a little for his value as well. Target him with caution next year.
Jamison Crowder (WR3)
The good news is that Darnold targeted his wide receivers last year more than the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers did (62.03% to 60.31%). The bad news, as mentioned above, is that there are too many mouths to feed. Crowder should see his share of targets but he will be hard to trust out of the gate. This chart shows the Darnold distribution by position from 2018.
The receiver situation for the Jets will be something to monitor in training camp and throughout the preseason. It is hard to determine how the targets will be distributed. There should be value based on ADP for each of the three wide receivers, but be cautious not to overreach for them in redraft formats in 2019.
The Jets have only two tight ends signed on their roster. They are Chris Herndon and Jordan Leggett. Two other TEs are restricted free agents, Eric Tomlinson and Clive Walford. Herndon is a name you may recognize if you played DFS.
Herndon was touchdown dependent and only really saw his chances due to injuries at the position. The Jets may add a tight end in the draft with a deep class of potential game changers available at the position. Even if they do, the cloudy target distribution discussed above may not make whoever they draft worth a roster spot except in dynasty leagues.
Outside of Le’Veon Bell, the Jets are going to be a hard team to figure out for fantasy purposes in 2019. Bell is the only one I would go out of my way to target and even that gives me cause for trepidation with a Loggains run offense. Defenses will certainly scheme to remove Bell as a threat. While in Pittsburgh, Bell had Antonio Brown and JuJu to keep the defense occupied. He may not find the same level of success as the only threat on a team that probably will not threaten too many teams offensively. Proceed with caution here.