Dynasty Coaching Confidential – Oakland Raiders

The Curious Case of Jon Gruden and Greg Olson

As more information becomes available to dynasty owners across the country, it becomes more difficult to gain an edge. It is, however, possible to gain an easy edge by keeping up to date on an area that makes a huge impact on fantasy performance, coaching. An often-overlooked category when game planning for upcoming seasons, coaching, can provide a much clearer picture as you are looking for a breakout or undervalued player. You can also make a much more accurate assessment of expected results, as throughout an entire season a coach rarely changes philosophies.

In the first part of this series, we look at the coaching impact of Jon Gruden and offensive coordinator Greg Olson.

Coaching history and philosophy:

Jon Gruden was an offensive coach for the 49ers, Packers, and Eagles before being selected as head coach of the Raiders in the 1998 season. From 1998 – 2001 he coached the Raiders before moving east to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There, he quickly won the Super Bowl, more than likely over-inflating his future career prospects. After the 2008 season, Jon Gruden was let go from the Buccaneers. Gruden then served as a broadcaster before returning to the Raiders on a 10-year contract last season.

Since the 2005 season, Greg Olson has been an offensive coordinator for Detroit, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Jacksonville. He was added to Gruden’s coaching staff last year and will be back for the 2019 season as the offensive coordinator. None of his team’s fantasy or results overall have been particularly impressive. Since becoming an offensive coordinator, he has never coached a team to better than a top 15, point differential. Since 2007 he has not coached a top 15 running back. Typically, his top wide receiver finishes between 13th and 50th in the NFL.

For both Gruden and Olson, previous fantasy performance would not be indicative of a positive outlook moving forward.

Fantasy results:

Here are how players under Gruden and Olson’s players have ranked amongst their NFL counterparts based on standard fantasy scoring.

Gruden:
YearName TeamQBRBWRTE
2018Jon GrudenHCOAK1829405
2008Jon GrudenHCTB2333825
2007Jon GrudenHCTB19112120
2006Jon GrudenHCTB30391525
2005Jon GrudenHCTB2819520
2004Jon GrudenHCTB23161319
2003Jon GrudenHCTB9231047
2002Jon GrudenHCTB18322122
2001Jon GrudenHCOAK617920
2000Jon GrudenHCOAK4201012
Average18241522
Olson:
YearCoach TeamQBRBWRTE
2018Greg OlsonOCOak1829405
2016Greg OlsonOCJac13353721
2015Greg OlsonOCJac627618
2014Greg OlsonOCOak20394517
2013Greg OlsonOCOak36243325
2011Greg OlsonOCTB13322615
2010Greg OlsonOCTB82417
2009Greg OlsonOCTB2727508
2007Greg OlsonOCSTL21151318
2006Greg OlsonOCSTL63539
2005Greg OlsonOCDET31292011
Average18262517
Running Back Woes

Gruden’s top running backs have shockingly poor results. With an average finish as a running back 3 unless there are major changes to scheme or talent this offseason, running back will be a spot to avoid for the Raiders. Unfortunately, the position does not fare much better under offensive coordinator Greg Olson.

None of this is more evident than in the fact that in only 3/10 seasons of Gruden’s season as a head coach have his running backs been even slightly higher than the mean when it comes to receptions. When his running backs to catch the ball, their situation is not an advantageous one. For example, last season Jalen Richard caught 68 passes, but 0 touchdown catches. 68 receptions put Richard as a top 6 running back for receptions. Unfortunately, this did not translate to fantasy success when comparing to the other top receiving backs in the NFL.

NameTargetsReceptionsYardsReception TD
Christian McCaffrey1241078676
Saquon Barkley121917214
James White123877517
Alvin Kamara105817094
Ezekiel Elliott95775673
Jalen Richard81686070
Nyheim Hines81634252
Todd Gurley81595804
Dion Lewis67594001
James Conner71554971
Wide Reciever Woes

The wide receiver position is even bleaker going into the 2019 season. These are the current options under contract for the Raiders in the 2019 season. (Accompanied by stats for the 2018 season.)

PlayerAgeTargetReceptionsYardsYards/ReceptionTD
Jordy Nelson33886373911.73
Seth Roberts276445494112

Other wide receivers under contract for 2019 are Keon Hatcher, Rashard Davis, and Saeed Blacknall. To state that the current outlook looks bleak is an understatement.

Future Fantasy Outlook:

Derek Carr will continue to be a hit or miss option at QB. In 2018 he finished as QB 18. The running back situation is not much better as Jalen Richard finished as the RB 29. There was not a top 40 WR on the team. This was the result of not scheming players open, a lack of talent overall, and poor QB play. There was however one shining star on the team as 31-year-old Jared Cook ended 2018 as the TE 5. As it stands now the team will look different as the offseason progresses. It will be important to see if Cook is re-signed, it will also need to be seen if any other skill position players are drafted or added. Doug Martin finished the season with back to back games over 100 yards, which was promising, but based on the history of running backs under these coaches, I would stay away.

I would expect positive regression next year if Richard is utilized in ant different way. The only players I would target based on coaching for this team would be Richard and whomever the tight end is.

 

References

Pro-football-reference.com

Ffstatistics.com/data-analysis

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/oakland-raiders/contracts/

By | 2019-03-29T15:39:46-06:00 February 15th, 2019|
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