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Fantasy Football Implications of Coaching Changes: Trading Jason Garrett for Mike McCarthy in Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys have a new head coach in Mike McCarthy. Given his historical approach, this roster is tailor-made for the Green Bay Packers‘ former skipper. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who is the perfect fit to protect McCarthy from some of his blind spots, is also returning. While every player from this offense won’t see an increase in fantasy value, the potential for the Cowboys to lead all teams in startable fantasy assets is high.

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It is hard to believe that nine seasons have passed since McCarthy hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, in the then-brand-new, state-of-the-art Cowboys Stadium. At the time, McCarthy’s offense was also considered by many to be state-of-the-art.

That season (2010), the Packers passed on nearly 62% of their plays — around three percentage points higher than the NFL average. While that may not sound like much, where McCarthy chose to deploy his passing game is very telling:

    • Short yardage: 50.3% (+11.9%)
    • Red zone: 38.4% (+8.6%)

As McCarthy continued to push the boundaries of his passing game over the following years, his offenses became a friendly shore for fantasy owners. From 2008 until 2018, the Packers’ wide receiving corps was one of the most prolific.

Green Bay Positional PPR Totals; 2008-18
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
RB 290 338 294 261 231 360 363 321 250 318 349
TE 146 262 154 213 191 182 142 194 150 131 197
WR 626 579 670 830 725 664 734 567 816 590 673

Over those 11 years, the offense supported two top-36 fantasy wide receivers eight different times. The Packers' wide receivers benefited massively from McCarthy’s scheme by ranking seventh, eighth, 11th, fifth, 14th, eighth, third, 13th, fifth, ninth and 16th, respectively in those years, in yardage gained with a linebacker or safety in primary coverage.

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