Dynasty-Fantasy Notes 12/31/2019: Coaching Rumors, Thoughts, Etc.
So many football things happening in the postseason and all of it relates back to fantasy…for Dynasty moves this offseason, for Best Ball drafts starting in a few months, to the redrafts in the summer – it all matters and is connected.
We have the playoffs that will impact people’s minds/emotions on players as well as trade/free agency/the NFL Draft. The biggest impact item happening the week leading into the 1st-round of the playoffs is – the coaching rumors and carousel.
As soon as all the new coaches are locked in, I will publish a full research report and impact study for fantasy on each move teams make. For now, this week (and next), we’ll have fun chasing the rumors. Here are some thoughts on things that have happened and some predictions on what might happen with job openings…as well as rumors I’m hearing and other football notes of interest.
In no particular order…
-- We know one coaching change already…Ron Rivera to the Redskins. That’s a solid hire, considering the lack of options available to teams like the Redskins (perennial disappointments and heavily mocked).
The team that should’ve hired Rivera was the Cleveland Browns, but of course they wouldn’t pull this off. Anyone with options is NOT going to the Browns, which I’ve said for weeks. The 2019 season cursed this franchise to another decade of issues. Until there is an ownership change, Cleveland will never be able to hire or keep a legit NFL head coach. And even then…
What is the impact of Rivera to Washington? We’ll break that down in a special report on Rivera this month. Bruce Allen being gone from Washington is another piece of the puzzle that needs to be settled before we try to figure out the big picture here.
-- Who will the Browns hire? I have no idea, but I know it’s going to be a train wreck 2.0 event.
There are so many moving parts to this Browns’ job/situation…
1) No one with any coaching options will go to Cleveland. They will take an interview to drive their negotiations up for other places, but they will not take the job – there’s no way Josh McDaniel, Matt Ruhle, Lincoln Riley, Kevin Stefanski, Eric Bieniemy, Urban Meyer types will go there to fail when they can make money and have a shot elsewhere…even if they just wait another year.
2) John Dorsey is still the GM…which means no one of any self-respect is going to work there after the 2019 debacle. Dorsey, if he has any say, will want to hire someone he can control…so, another Kitchens event.
3) It’s possible that John Dorsey will be fired this week, once the owner realizes no ‘big name’ wants to work with Dorsey. Additionally, I believe the owner is going to push former Moneyball guy/current Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta to either takeover for Dorsey or just be in charge of Dorsey…some configuration that will be a personnel/operation nightmare. No head coach candidate wants to go into this sure-to-fail situation.
4) Last year, the Bengals tried to hire all the big names and were turned down by all and ended up with Zac Taylor and then couldn’t find a defensive coordinator for several weeks after. They were so late in the process chasing names and not realizing no one wanted to be there – that everyone of note was gone/committed elsewhere and the Bengals were left scrambling.
5) The profile of the Browns next head coach is a former, long-time NFL head coach no one wants to hire today but who really wants to coach for the sake of their own jollies and a big paycheck, and they’ll take any job to be back in the game/to be alive and a boss again (see: Bruce Arians 2019). It will be a former head coach because the Browns just died with an inexperienced ‘reach’ head coach. They’ll go stability/maturity to correct their error.
I think a guy like Herm Edwards is possible, if he wants back in the NFL. Jeff Fisher or Marvin Lewis or John Fox are the names who will be the types headed here now…the ‘one more paycheck’/’I have nothing else better to do’ types. I’d say Herm Edwards should be their top choice, because he’s respected and talks a good game and then John Fox would be #2 guess if Edwards is not on the radar. Won’t be Marvin Lewis because of the Hue Jackson connection, which may also hurt any dalliance with Edwards.
Mike McCarthy would make the most sense, being known as an ‘offensive-minded’ head coach, but he’s a disaster and the Browns would just have an experienced version of Freddie Kitchens chaos. McCarthy is looking for one more payday, and he also probably thinks he’s a genius who could turn everything around (and no one else wants him). Look how much better the Packers got as soon as they ditched McCarthy…
6) When this disaster of a head coach is hired…that’s when Baker Mayfield trade rumors will begin – he’ll want out, and/or the old school coach won’t want to battle with him. It’s going to get really ugly with Baker the next 1-2 years until he’s dealt.
Baker Mayfield to the Patriots this offseason, or the next, would not shock me at all.
-- Freddie Kitchens will join the Tampa Bay staff before long as Bruce Arians helps rehab Kitchens off the Cleveland disaster. It’s a nice gesture. Ex-Browns coaches get like a badge of honor for surviving that prison sentence. No one will blink when Arians does it. Kitchens will be like a special advisor, etc.
-- Will Doug Marrone get fired? No.
The fact that Marrone and GM David Caldwell are coming back means the Jags are ‘Cleveland South’ for 2020+…moments of promise, but failure in the end. Occasional blip season, but ultimately will mismanage their way to mediocrity or worse.
-- The ‘Cleveland Browns East’ label goes to the New York Giants (they share it with the Jets). Mismanaged for years and every time they make a change it never improves anything…it only gets more confusing.
The Giants firing Pat Shurmur is fine but keeping Dave Gettleman as GM ensures a problem similar to the Browns…no one with options wants to coach the Giants. There is no more ‘Giants Mystique’ or respect. It’s considered a laughingstock franchise. Thus, they will not get a Josh McDaniel or Matt Rhule to seriously consider them.
If Ron Rivera, who worked with Gettleman for years, didn’t go to NYG…and rather took the flawed Washington job – you know there is a Gettleman problem. The Giants will flirt with all the hot name coaching candidates, but like they had to a couple years ago…they will settle on Pat Shurmur types to work with Gettleman.
The Giants aren’t as fully embarrassing as the Browns, organizationally, so they might can get an O-C who might never get another chance to be a head coach – Bills O-C Brian Daboll, Ravens O-C Greg Roman, and Ravens D-C Don Martindale have to strike while the iron is hot. They’d all take the Giants job over the Browns’ job…the loser of the Giants coordinator-hires might be willing to pinch their nose and go to the Browns.
My prediction for the Giants will be one of the Ravens’ coordinators because the Ravens will go far in the playoffs, you’d think, and that would feel better for Giants’ fans as their next head coach…feel better than it would hiring the Bills O-C who was (potentially) one-and-done in the playoffs for a defense-dominated team.
2020 College Football Metrics Season Coming Soon in January
It’s almost time…
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
More details and specific launch date as we get past the end of the 2019 regular season.
-- The Dallas Cowboys situation is a wildcard in all this. You have to deal with Jerry, which is differently as bad as dealing with the empty Browns’ owner. Situations where the owner undermines everything in their own unique ways.
No one with respect wants to work with Jerry, except the Cowboys’ job is high-profile with a loaded roster and Jerry will come bearing a big check to sign. Since most NFL franchises are a mess…at least Dallas’s situation comes with an owner who cares and a big/willing checkbook. Urban Meyer will have the first shot…will he make a massive deal with the devil? I kinda feel/think he will…as my guess.
If Urban turns down Jerry…then Jerry is a huge trouble for a topflight candidate. He may make Josh McDaniel an offer he cannot refuse.
-- The primo head coach opening in 2019 is the Carolina Panthers, and it isn’t even close. An owner, David Tepper, who has more money than most owners and is a guy not looking to be in the limelight, he just wants to build a real winner…and is willing to spend to do it. Tepper is a smart businessman, so his organization is not likely to wind up in chaos like the other bottom feeder franchises.
I have thought for weeks that Baylor coach Matt Rhule would be the Panthers’ choice to build with for the long-term, not a knee-jerk hiring. I expect him to take the Panthers’ job within the next few days. Josh McDaniel could be a serious candidate here, but he’d be a 2nd-3rd choice after Rhule. I think the Panthers go all-in on Rhule.
-- One juicy coaching rumor to end on…
I’ve heard from more than one source that the Vikings might force Mike Zimmer out with a playoff loss this weekend (or that Zimmer might ‘retire’) and the team would then elevate O-C Kevin Stefanski to the head job/keep Stefanski from going elsewhere.
-- One football on-field note…the Eagles enter the playoffs this weekend with OG Brandon Brooks (maybe the best guard in football) out and probably missing Zach Ertz. The Eagles have one-arm tied behind their backs, like they have all season, going into their game this weekend with Seattle with a load of missing starters.
I love the Seahawks -2.0 this week.
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