Zac Taylor And The Fantasy Woes

View From The Cincinnati Bengals Sideline. Photo Credit: Paul | Flickr - Under Creative Commons License
View From The Cincinnati Bengals Sideline. Photo Credit: Paul | Flickr - Under Creative Commons License

Among the several head coach positions being filled this offseason, Zac Taylor is one of the men filling the seat of once head coach Marvin Lewis. If you’re not a Cincy fan, then you’re probably thinking, “So what?” But let me tell you something guys, do you think A.J. Green is still a top 15, top 20 draft choice if suddenly the head coach is replaced? What about young Joe Mixon, will he still be an early-mid draft choice? Or will he boost up? Or fall down? Things are still shaking in Cincinnati but luckily for you, you get to sit at home or on the John and read about:

Zac Taylor And The Fantasy Woes

Who is Zac Taylor exactly? Taylor began his coaching career in 2012 as the Miami Dolphins assistant QB coach. There he coached until 2015 until he became the University of Cincinnati’s OC and QB coach in 2016. After the lone year in the NCAA, he came back to the NFL, this time for the Los Angeles Rams, in the 2017-2018 season as a WR coach until being promoted to QBs the following year.

To begin, Taylor only really held the helm of OC for a total of 17 games: five NFL games with Miami and 12 games at the University of Cincinnati. In Miami he finished with a 2-3 record but here are the stats:

Week 13:

Total Pass Yards – 82

Total Rush Yards – 137

Week 14:

Total Pass Yards – 235

Total Rush Yards – 128

Week 15:

Total Pass Yards – 187

Total Rush Yards – 44

Week 16:

Total Pass Yards – 279

Total Rush Yards – 82

Week 17:

Total Pass Yards – 342

Total Rush Yards – 96

In total, he averaged roughly 225 passing yards and 97.4 rushing yards a game in the 2015-2016 NFL season. Additionally, his main guy, Ryan Tannehill, didn’t look too shabby either averaging 18.3 points a game (PPR).

When crunching the numbers, however, Tannehill actually averaged more in the first 12 games of the season, withholding week 5 where he did not compete, than he did with Taylor. He concluded the first dozen games with 19.6, take out week 5, and that number jumps up to 21.4, makes a little bit of a difference.

The other Miami players that were highlighted in the five games are Lamar Miller, DeVante Parker, and Jarvis Landry. Miller obviously being the main running back in 2015, along with Parker and Landry being the one and two receivers. All players averaged double digits with Taylor calling the shots: Miller averaged 12.5, Parker 13.3 and Landry 13.7. What does this mean? Well in his short NFL calling career, he still managed to feed our fantasy players the ball and spread the love along the Miami offense.

In his one year at the University of Cincinnati, the team went 4-8, finishing 1-7 in the conference for the American division. His offense, however, was a little more becoming: total passing yards 3,071 with 19 TDs and 15 picks and a total of 1,425 rushing yards. That would average to 256.2 passing 118.8 rushing yards per game.

The only catch on Taylor’s offensive scheme from 2016 would be some favoritism towards the QB. I am not saying that Zac Taylor literally came out and said the QB is the only position of value but with the numbers, Taylor’s QBs scored 19 TDs, while the running backs hauled in eight. A little more than a 2-1 ratio on QB to RB TD count.

Is this an area of concern? In my opinionated answer, not so much. In college, there is a clear difference from the men to the boys, so maybe he didn’t have the RB to punch it in on the goal line or fight for the last few yards before the score. What I am looking at are those stats when he was ruling the offense. He has stayed consistent in the passing game while also improving in the run game. Being able to go from professionals that get paid to know a game, to then a college to teach a new coaching scheme and still improve your numbers has to count for something.

If Taylor is able to continue this trend, then Bengals players, in terms of fantasy relevance, should actually see a bit of an uptick in production. It doesn’t hurt that Taylor comes over from an LA team that saw some elite fantasy output.