Understanding the different coaching systems – both offensive and defensive -- for each NFL team has helped numerous fantasy football players win championships. If you understand the different schemes and know what to look for with regard to each team, you’ll see greater fantasy football draft success with regard to how you build your team. Try testing it out in a few fantasy football mock drafts. Don’t just stare at your fantasy football player rankings and draft accordingly. Read through the systems articles, check out our all-new dynamic tier rankings and see for yourself. 

And not only will they help you in your drafts, but you’ll also fare much better with your in-season free agent pick-ups off your fantasy football waiver wire. The fantasy football draft guide here at Fantasy Alarm is all you need and the NFC East is a fantastic example of why we do this as the Washington Commanders have a completely offensive system and suddenly personnel you may have previously ignored is now much more viable. 

 In case you missed the scheme/personnel package breakdown and the previous division:



NFC East Coaching Systems

Dallas Cowboys

Head CoachMike McCarthy4th year
Offensive CoordinatorBrian Schottenheimer1st year
Defensive CoordinatorDan Quinn3rd year
Offensive SystemAir Coryell 
Blocking SchemeInside Zone 
Mike McCarthy -- HC    Brian Schottenheimer -- OC   
Category202020212022 Category2020 (SEA OC)2021 (JAC PGC)2022
Points1714 Points832OFF. ASST.
Pace124 Pace193OFF. ASST.
Pass Attempts2619 Pass Attempts1712OFF. ASST.
Passing Yards8214 Passing Yards1622OFF. ASST.
Rushing Attempts15126 Rushing Attempts1730OFF. ASST.
Rushing Yards1799 Rushing Yards1222OFF. ASST.

Offensive Breakdown

Big changes in Big D as the Cowboys say goodbye to offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and hello to Mike McCarthy. Yes, McCarthy has been the coach for the past three seasons, but he has primarily stayed out of the coordinator’s ways and let them run their own offensive scheme. This year, not so much, as he promotes “consultant” Brian Schottenheimer to help him install his new system. But while Schottenheimer has the OC tag, it will be McCarthy who is calling the plays.

So, what will the offense look like under McCarthy? Well, for starters they are switching out of their west coast, heavy-motion, RPO-infused style and turning more towards a tradition Air Coryell, vertical passing game that will feature more elements of a spread offense. The timing between Dak Prescott and his receivers must be on-point as Dak will be throwing to a spot on the field where his receiver should be with an additional heavier lean on the downfield passing game. They will still have Tony Pollard and the tight ends running underneath routes and the hope is that Dak will catch them in-stride to add yards after the catch.

As for the ground attack, while Dallas will maintain a zone-blocking scheme, we are expecting more of an inside-zone game than the outside zone, Moore used to run. What that means is that, instead of looking to run it outside the tackles and beat the edge-rushers up field, they will look to have the runner cut back in towards the guard. Dallas doesn’t have a fullback to help with this, so expect to see the tight end tethered to the line a little more to help out.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks

Defensive System: 4-3 base with multi-front looks and a Cover-3 zone

Defensive Breakdown: 

The Dallas defense was completely transformed in 2021 when they ditched Mike Nolan and replaced him with former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, one of the original architects of Seattle’s old Legion of Boom. They used eight of their 11 drafts picks on defensive players that year, including Defensive Player of the Year, Micah Parsons, and the results were strong as the front-seven was able to generate a ton of pressure without having to blitz too much. They still had some struggles against the run and did again last year after they lost Randy Gregory and routinely moved Parsons all around the field. Enter rookie DT Mazi Smith who should help clog the middle and solve many of the run-stopping issues.

As for the secondary, Quinn continues to do great things with his Cover-3 system. Trevon Diggs is an unbelievable ball-hawk who does great in coverage off the line, but has been known to get burnt quite often downfield. To help fix that, Dallas brought in Stephon Gilmore to patrol the opposite side of the field. His coverage abilities will make it much easier for the Cowboys to float safety help Diggs’ way downfield and prevent big plays on that side. Jourdan Lewis will maintain his role as the slot corner while safeties Donovan Wilson and Jayron Kearse continue to support coverage down the middle of the field.

Overall, this Dallas unit should remain incredibly strong this season and if Mazi Smith proves to be the real deal, it’s going to be very difficult to put points up on the board here. 

Players Who Best Fit the System: DeMarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, Stephon Gilmore



New York Giants

Head CoachBrian Daboll2nd year
Offensive CoordinatorMike Kafka2nd year
Defensive CoordinatorDon Martindale2nd year
Offensive SystemSpread 
Blocking SchemeInside & Outside Zone 
Brian Daboll -- HC    Mike Kafka -- OC   
Category2020 (BUF OC)2021 (BUF OC)2022 Category2020 (KC)2021 (KC)2022
Pass Attempts11525 Pass AttemptsPGC/QB COACHPGC/QB COACH25
Passing Yards3926 Passing YardsPGC/QB COACHPGC/QB COACH26
Rushing Attempts17268 Rushing AttemptsPGC/QB COACHPGC/QB COACH8
Rushing Yards20244 Rushing YardsPGC/QB COACHPGC/QB COACH4

Offensive Breakdown

New York hit the coaching lottery last year when they brought in Brian Daboll and had him overhaul the staff and system from the previous regime. He brought in former Chiefs QB coach Mike Kafka as the new offensive coordinator to help him implement his offensive scheme and he brought in one of the strongest defensive minds in Don “Wink” Martindale whose decades of experience were needed to complete the defensive makeover needed. While the offense found success, the defense struggled, but that was more due to the personnel rather than leadership or coverage schemes.

Let’s start with the offense. The Giants used a spread offense with three and four-receiver sets which, as it is intended, spread the defense out and, while working out of shotgun formation, gave Daniel Jones some extra time to assess the coverage and find the best match-ups. There were still plenty of deep shots taken downfield, but Daboll likes to use some west coast passing elements and runs a couple of short, high-percentage routes which allowed the receivers to run in space and pick up significant yards after the catch. They still lack a true No. 1 receiver, but the addition of Parris Campbell and TW Darren Waller improves the pass-catching corps.

While Daboll notoriously abandoned the ground game in Buffalo, he did use Saquon Barkley significantly more in New York. You saw a mix of outside zone work as well as some power/gap blocking, depending on the opponent and situation, but where Barkley also helped was in the RPO work we witnessed. Jones has no problem running the ball himself, so if the Giants can freeze the linebackers, should see more of Barkley ripping off big chunks of yardage. Of course, all this falls apart if they don’t get him signed and in camp, so stand by on that front.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Parris Campbell 

Defensive System: 3-4 base with multi-front looks and a mix of man and Cover-4 zone

Defensive Breakdown: 

After spending the previous decade with the Ravens as their linebackers coach (six years) and defensive coordinator (four years), Martindale implemented his defensive scheme into a defense that needed some serious revitalization. He fell out of favor in Baltimore due to his heavy blitzing which, according to John Harbaugh, left the secondary high and dry, but was embraced by the Giants players, especially his defensive captains who were given much more autonomy to call plays and change alignments. Martindale loves to bring the pressure from all over, but he has a particular affinity for the safety blitz. If the cover corners are weak, then a safety blitz means the defense is extremely vulnerable to the deep plays.

For the front-seven, Martindale will use a 3-4 base but offered up a multitude of looks given the outside edge rushers they have in Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux. Martindale will keep the offense guessing as to where the pressure is coming from and again, having his defensive captains calling out the plays based on what they see on the field worked well.

As for the secondary, the mix of man coverage in with the Cover-4 zone is something he really likes to do, again, due to his penchant for lots of safety blitzes. Adoree' Jackson has had his troubles when he loses safety help but the addition of first-round, rookie cornerback Deonte Banks should help. And the addition of Bobby McCain in the middle should also do wonders in transforming this defense.

Players Who Best Fit the System:  Xavier McKinney, Bobby McCain, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Leonard Williams



Philadelphia Eagles

Head CoachNick Sirianni3rd year
Offensive CoordinatorBrian Johnson1st year
Defensive CoordinatorSean Desai1st year
Offensive SystemWest Coast 
Blocking SchemeZone/Power Hybrid 
Nick Sirianni -- HC    Brian Johnson -- OC   
Category2020 (IND OC)20212022 Category2020 (FLORIDA)20212022
Points9123 Points13QB COACHQB COACH
Pace23168 Pace58QB COACHQB COACH
Pass Attempts203223 Pass Attempts13QB COACHQB COACH
Passing Yards11259 Passing Yards1QB COACHQB COACH
Rushing Attempts1023 Rushing Attempts122QB COACHQB COACH
Rushing Yards1115 Rushing Yards93QB COACHQB COACH

Offensive Breakdown

When Nick Sirianni took over the Eagles in 2021, he brought with him, the offensive scheme he and former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich ran in Indianapolis. It was a pass-heavy, west coast-based scheme where they used the short, high-percentage passes to set up the run and deeper shots downfield. They also ran the majority of their plays out of shotgun which, obviously, was a detriment to the run. But after a 2-5 start, Sirianni and then-offensive coordinator Shane Steichen made the necessary adjustments you like to see in a coaching staff.

Not only did the Eagles go with a heavier rushing attack, they also used more RPO to give Jalen Hurts additional time with the ball in an effort to make better decisions. They started to use the run to set up the pass and rather than staying glued to the short-passing game, they began to stretch the field more and open things up with their speed. They pulled back from the three and four-receiver sets and used more 12 and 22-personnel formations so that the wideouts could go deep and leave the short passing game to the tight ends. The success they found was big and it helped set them up for Year-2 of the system, which, as we saw last season, was a well-oiled machine.

Though Steichen is now back in Indianapolis, the Eagles have promoted QB coach Brian Johnson to offensive coordinator and he doesn’t plan on changing a thing. We’ll see exactly how ling that lasts with the new running back room he is working with, but the overall elements of the scheme will be exactly what we saw last year and the second half of 2021. They will remain run-heavy and the passing attack will thrive off of it as such.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert, D’Andre Swift

Defensive System: 4-3 base with multi-front looks and press-man coverage

Defensive Breakdown: 

With defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon headed to Arizona to coach the Cardinals into last place, Sean Desai takes over as the new DC in Philadelphia. He spent last year in Seattle, working as a defensive assistant, and was the DC and safeties coach for the Bears the two years prior. At some point, we expect him to put his own spin on things, but for now, the Eagles will run the exact same defense that helped them usher in a 14-3 season last year.

Philadelphia uses a 4-3 base but also moved into nickel coverage formations to help focus on stuffing the run. They struggled with that which is why you saw them grab both Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith in the draft. The formations were more about disguising the blitzes so hopefully the new personnel helps them achieve it in stronger fashion. Fletcher Cox already does an excellent job in this scheme and will now get plenty of help from a solid, rotating group of defensive linemen.

As for the secondary, Desai will continue to use his defensive backs as interchangeable parts. He will have his safeties be able to cover receivers while his corners blitz from the edge and help stop the run. Vice versa for safety blitzes. Having that ability will allow the Eagles to disguise their coverage schemes on a play-by-play basis. As for the press-man coverage, that’s just Philly being Philly. They want their defensive backs to be aggressive, so expect to see more on that front.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Fletcher Cox, Jalen Carter, Darius Slay, James Bradberry



Washington Commanders

Head CoachRon Rivera4th year
Offensive CoordinatorEric Bieniemy1st year
Defensive CoordinatorJack Del Rio4th year
Offensive SystemWest Coast 
Blocking SchemeZone/Power Gap Hybrid 
Ron Rivera -- HC    Eric Bieniemy-- OC   
Category202020212022 Category2020 (KC OC)2021 (KC OC)2022 (KC OC)
Points252424 Points641
Pace102326 Pace13911
Pass Attempts92120 Pass Attempts325
Passing Yards252121 Passing Yards141
Rushing Attempts25104 Rushing Attempts232025
Rushing Yards261212 Rushing Yards161620

Offensive Breakdown

There’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Eric Bieniemy. Head coach Ron Rivera is, obviously, still in charge, but as a defensive-minded coach, he likes to leave the offense in the capable hands of his coordinator. While folks have been clamoring for Bieniemy to get a head-coaching job after spending the last decade in Kansas City as the Chiefs running backs coach (five years) and then offensive coordinator (five years), he is in Washington to prove that he can take a proven, winning system and implement it on his own. Can he get out from Andy Reid’s shadow and can he do it without the luxury of having Patrick Mahomes under center? We shall see.

Bieniemy will take everything he ran in Kansas City and use it in Washington, That means a wide variety of formations and personnel packages. With the Chiefs, he ran 11-personnel about half the time and then mixed in a lot of 12-personnel, some 21-personnel and even utilized some three-TE sets as well. You will also see a lot of pre-snap movement to help disguise the packages, a calling card of Reid’s west coast system.

Passing-wise, you will see a lot of timing-based routes where the quarterback throws to a spot on the field where he expects the receiver to be, so whether it’s Sam Howell or Jacoby Brissett, there needs to be a strong rapport between the pass-catchers and quarterbacks for this to be successful. You will also see a lot of RPO work as Brissett has shown rushing ability in the past and Howell can certainly run as well. One thing to also keep in mind – while Logan Thomas is no Travis Kelce, Bieniemy has had a VERY strong pass-catching tight end to incorporate into all the plays. Thomas might be a deep, deep sleeper here if he shows he can stay on the field and remain an active part of this offense.

On the ground, the Chiefs will utilize both Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson in all facets until roles are firmly established. Ideally, Bieniemy would prefer them to be interchangeable, but something tells me we’ll see a distinct separation as Robinson doesn’t exactly profile as a strong pass-catcher or pass-blocker, relatively speaking. Reid’s system loves to incorporate the running backs into the passing attack, so keep that in mind when watching this offense in training camp.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Sam Howell, Brian Robinson, Antonio Gibson

Defensive System: 4-3 with some multifront looks and a mix of man coverage and Cover-3 zone

Defensive Breakdown: 

Once again, this defensive unit has all the promise in the world. They just need to stay healthy, something that has been a major issue for them, especially in the case of losing DE Chase Young to a torn ACL back in 2020. Still, this defense has six first-round picks among its ranks. In 2020, Rivera brought in Jack Del Rio to be his defensive coordinator as they come from similar coaching philosophies and have very similar styles. The front-seven is where it’s at for Washington’s defense as it is loaded with robust talent. From Young to Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat on the line to Jamin Davis directing traffic from the middle, this front-seven is beyond formidable. 

The secondary has had its issues in the past, but with Kendall Fuller on one side, first-round rookie Emmanuel Forbes on the other, Benjamin St-Juste in the slot and breakout safety Darrick Forrest controlling the middle of the defensive backfield, this secondary is going to be tough to beat in man-coverage. Expect to see Del Rio and Rivera working these guys hard in generating turnovers.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Cody Barton

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