Fantasy Football: How Ron Rivera and Scott Turner team figure to run the offense in Washington
Combining the history of Ron Rivera and Norv Turner's son and new OC Scott Turner gives some hints how things might shake out for Fantasy in Washington.
In his tenure with the Panthers, coach Ron Rivera had little to do with the offensive playcalling but still seemed to live by a golden rule: use his talent to the best of their abilities. The Panthers' defensive scheme changed its looks several times under Rivera, and the franchise didn't hesitate to use Newton's skill-set -- except that one time when they tried to keep him from running and he wound up ignoring them and running a bunch anyway.
So when Rivera hired Scott Turner, son of long-time NFL playcaller Norv Turner, to be his offensive coordinator, the belief immediately went to Washington utilizing its best talent to their respective strengths while implementing the Air Coryell system Turner's old man has used for decades.
This is his first chance to begin a season as a playcaller. In 2019 he handled the play calling for the last four weeks of the season when his father gave up his duties while changing roles with the Panthers. I almost don't want to emphasize the data from those four games since the Panthers were blown out in three of them and lost them all with second- and third-string quarterbacks.
Run-Pass ratio: 68-32 in favor of pass
RB rushes per game: 14.8
Reception Distribution: 40% RBs, 45% WRs, 15% TEs
Alright, so maybe this will be an expected breakdown in games the Redskins get blown out in next season. It's not right to assume these numbers will be even close in 2020, especially since Christian McCaffrey won't be cloned onto Washington's roster.
But I did crunch the numbers for Turner's dad over his entire career, so if there's any possible correlation we could look forward to in 2020, this might be it.
Run-Pass ratio: 58-42 in favor of pass
RB rushes per game: 22.8
Reception Distribution: 30.4% RBs, 48% WRs, 21.6% TEs
Not surprisingly, Norv Turner's offenses revolved around the quarterback. Scott Turner should follow suit because he's spent a surprising chunk of his coaching career working with young quarterbacks. He even told the Redskins' website he studied Dwayne Haskins when coming out of Ohio State and is excited to develop him. Big-armed quarterbacks have typically done well under Norv Turner; Scott Turner didn't have quite that trait in Kyle Allen and Will Grier.
Obviously expect Scott Turner to ride his running back more than 14.8 carries per game (unless the Redskins go 0-16 in the ugliest way possible). Norv Turner has an awesome list of running backs who thrived under his guidance, including Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson and that McCaffrey guy. Maybe once Derrius Guice proves to his coaches he can stay on the field a while, he'll get that kind of opportunity.
It's the running back reception distribution that should turn your face into that starry-eyed emoji thingy. Holy cow, 30.4%?! That was actually the number Turner had BEFORE he came to Carolina, and he kept it steady with McCaffrey. Hopefully the Redskins come up with a consistent answer to their run game that gives us a player with 60-catch potential. It could be Guice; it probably won't be Chris Thompson (free agent) or Adrian Peterson (free agent and not handsy enough).
I might be a little concerned about the tight end number being reliable, at least for now. While Norv Turner regularly developed and utilized pass-catching tight ends, Scott Turner didn't have one come through for him nearly as much in his small sample size of games. Jordan Reed is a likely cap casualty, Vernon Davis is a free agent and Jeremy Sprinkle never put much out there to signal he could be a reliable option. If the Redskins don't address the position, don't expect Washington to field a Fantasy tight end worth a draft pick.
You probably already know the best receiver in Washington: Terry McLaurin. His rookie year was a complete surprise, catching 58 passes for 919 yards and getting seven targets in 14 games. Norv Turner's offenses typically featured one big-play receiver regularly, from Michael Irvin to Vincent Jackson to Josh Gordon's monster year to even D.J. Moore this past season. McLaurin is best suited to be that guy for Scott Turner, who didn't exactly spread the ball around evenly in his four games as playcaller (Moore had 19-270-1 in basically 3.75 games; Curtis Samuel was next best with 11-86-1). McLaurin could be a top-50 pick if he and Haskins take to Turner's offense in 2020. It will help if Washington has a second pass-catcher to help take coverage away from him, too.
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