.Understanding the offensive and defensive coaching systems for each 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 rankings and draft accordingly. Read through the articles of the system, 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 FREE 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 New York Giants have a completely revamped coaching staff and suddenly personnel you may have previously ignored is now much more viable. 

 In case you missed the previous divisions:


NFC East Coaching Systems

Dallas Cowboys

Head CoachMike McCarthy3rd year
Offensive CoordinatorKellen Moore4th year
Defensive CoordinatorDan Quinn2nd year
Offensive SystemWest Coast Offense 
Blocking SchemeZone 
Mike McCarthy -- HC    Kellen Moore -- OC   
Category201920202021 Category201920202021
PointsN/A171 Points6171
PaceN/A12 Pace212
Pass AttemptsN/A26 Pass Attempts926
Passing YardsN/A82 Passing Yards282
Rushing AttemptsN/A1512 Rushing Attempts81512
Rushing YardsN/A179 Rushing Yards5179

Offensive Breakdown

Head coach Mike McCarthy has been pretty hands-off when it comes to the offensive scheme here in Dallas. He retained Kellen Moore as his offensive coordinator in an effort to maintain the scheme for the incumbent personnel, but did give one stipulation in that he wanted Moore to use a west coast style as the base of the passing attack. Moore obliged, but did weave in elements of his own Air Coryell scheme to give an intriguing hybrid system.

The Cowboys use the run with an outside zone blocking scheme and the short, high-percentage passing you find in a west coast offense, but Moore has blended in the vertical elements of his system which, in the past, have suited the Cowboys well. They use an up-tempo pace to get to the line quicker and give Dak Prescott more time to read the defense and he has autonomy at the line to audible based on what he sees. Moore will usually hand him a series of plays he likes and Prescott chooses from that bucket if/when he changes the call. They also blend in a fair amount of RPO work as well.

The key to Dallas’ success is, once again, tethered to the offensive line. They lost both La’el Collins and Connor Williams and need to rebuild that chemistry between linemen, so the success of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard might take a slight hit initially as they get it together. Obviously, the same goes for the pass-blocking. But overall, the running backs, CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz will see strong volume to open the year. You’ll be able to track their progress by the mood of Jim Bowden on the Fantasy Alarm Show each week.  

Players Who Best Fit the System: Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz

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

Defensive Breakdown: 

The Dallas defense was absolutely horrendous in 2020, so they got rid of then defensive coordinator 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 also used eight of their 11 drafts picks on defensive players last season, including Defensive Player of the Year, Micah Parsons. 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 might once again as they lost Randy Gregory and routinely move Parsons all around the field. If Leighton Vander Esche can stay healthy, they may have a fighting chance, though.

As for the secondary, Quinn has done well in rebuilding it after losing top corners the year prior. He likes using the Cover-3 which keeps Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown on the outside zones while free safety Malik Hooker stays deep. Diggs is a ball-hawk, but his aggressiveness can sometimes get him into trouble as he’s been known to give up the big play, but if he can adjust that aspect, then he shouldn’t have much trouble shutting down that side of the field. 

Players Who Best Fit the System: Demarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, Malik Hooker

New York Giants

Head CoachBrian Daboll1st year
Offensive CoordinatorMike Kafka1st year
Defensive CoordinatorDon Martindale1st year
Offensive SystemSpread 
Blocking SchemeInside & Outside Zone 
Brian Daboll -- HC    Mike Kafka -- OC   
Category2019 (BUF OC)2020 (BUF OC)2021 (BUF OC) Category2019 (KC)2020 (KC)2021 (KC)
Pass Attempts24115 Pass AttemptsQB COACHPGC/QB COACHPGC/QB COACH
Passing Yards2639 Passing YardsQB COACHPGC/QB COACHPGC/QB COACH
Rushing Attempts61726 Rushing AttemptsQB COACHPGC/QB COACHPGC/QB COACH
Rushing Yards82024 Rushing YardsQB COACHPGC/QB COACHPGC/QB COACH

Offensive Breakdown

Guess who got a full makeover this spring and summer? Hooray!!! After some real dark times in recent Giants history, Big Blue finally has a head coach and subsequent staff the fan base can be proud of in head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. Daboll’s success in Buffalo made him one of the most-coveted of head coaches this season and Kafka has spent the last two seasons with Patrick Mahomes as the Chiefs quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. This is make-it-or-break-it for Daniel Jones.

The Giants are going to use a spread offense with three and four-receiver sets which, as it is intended, will spread the defense out and give Jones some extra time to assess the coverage and find the best match-ups. There will be plenty of deep shots take downfield, but Daboll likes to use some west coast passing elements and run a couple of short, high-percentage routes which will, hopefully, allow the receiver to run in space and pick up significant yards after the catch. If they have the deep receiver in favorable one-on-one coverage, they’ll encourage him to go that direction.

While Daboll notoriously abandoned the ground game in Buffalo, he will likely use Saquon Barkley significantly more in New York. You’ll see a mix of outside zone work as well as some power/gap blocking, depending on the opponent and situation, but where Barkley may really earn his money is in the RPO work we’ll see. Jones has no problem running the ball himself (not tripping over the 10-yard line is a different story), so if the Giants can freeze the linebackers, we could see Barkley (if healthy), rip off some serious chunks of yardage. 

Overall, we are bullish on the system and the coaching staff. How the personnel reacts will be noticeable in camp and hopefully, spill off into the regular season.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney, Wan’Dale Robinson 

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

Defensive Breakdown: 

After spending the last decade with the Ravens as their linebackers coach (six years) and defensive coordinator (four years), Don Martindale, affectionately referred to as “Wink” by his friends and colleagues (Google it if you don’t get the reference), brings his vast experience to New York and will implement his defensive scheme into a defense that needs some serious revitalization. He apparently fell out of favor in Baltimore due to his heavy blitzing which, according to John Harbaugh, left the secondary high and dry. Martindale loves to blitz and while he brings the pressure from all over, 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 offer up a multitude of looks given the outside edge rushers they have in Azeez Ojulari and rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux. Martindale will keep the offense guessing as to where the pressure is coming from and he will also have his defensive captains calling out the plays based on what they see on the field. It’s risky, but his defenses have had success with it. 

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. We’ll see what happens as camp rolls on and this is definitely something worth watching. Adoree Jackson has had his troubles when he loses safety help and Cordale Flott is a third-round rookie. If the Giants struggle in pass coverage, then you can expect fewer blitzes and, as much less value to the defenders if you’re playing in an IDP league. 

Players Who Best Fit the System: Dexter Lawrence, Justin Ellis, Blake Martinez


Philadelphia Eagles

Head CoachNick Sirianni2nd year
Offensive CoordinatorShane Steichen2nd year
Defensive CoordinatorJonathan Gannon2nd year
Offensive SystemWest Coast 
Blocking SchemeZone/Power Hybrid 
Nick Sirianni -- HC    Shane Steichen -- OC   
Category2019 (IND OC)2020 (IND OC)2021 Category2019 (LAC)2020 (LAC OC)2021
Points16912 PointsQB COACH1812
Pace142316 PaceQB COACH1116
Pass Attempts252032 Pass AttemptsQB COACH532
Passing Yards301125 Passing YardsQB COACH625
Rushing Attempts5102 Rushing AttemptsQB COACH92
Rushing Yards7111 Rushing YardsQB COACH171

Offensive Breakdown

When Nick Sirianni took over the Eagles last season, he brought with him, the offensive scheme he and former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich were running 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 offensive coordinator Shane Steichen made the necessary adjustments you like to see in a coaching staff.

For a Week 8 match-up against the Lions, the Eagles not only went with a heavier rushing attack, but they also used more RPO to give Jalen Hurts more time with the ball and 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. Yes, their schedule down the stretch was weak, but they went 7-3 over their final 10 games and made the playoffs, so we are expecting more of the second half of the season Eagles than the first-half bunch.

We expect the Eagles to stick with a run-heavy scheme which makes Miles Sanders a bit more appealing in drafts, and newly-acquired A.J. Brown to be the guy who handles the majority of the short-passing work to allow him more opportunities to pick up extra yards after the catch and then the speedy guys like DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins to handle the deeper routes and stretch out the defense. Also working in Sanders’ favor is the fact that we should see more running back pass-plays as they will join Brown in the shorter routes. 

Players Who Best Fit the System: Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders, A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert

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

Defensive Breakdown: 

Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon uses a 4-3 base but will often slide into nickel coverage formations to help focus on stuffing the run while disguising the blitzes which come from multiple directions. Fletcher Cox does an excellent job in this scheme and gets plenty of help from a solid, rotating group of defensive linemen. Once they’ve established their ability to stop the run, they can then focus on pressuring the quarterback. Gannon doesn’t like to run a lot of blitzes, but he does like aggressiveness in his corners and safeties.

As for the secondary, Gannon prefers his defensive backs to be interchangeable parts. He wants his safeties to be able to cover receivers and he wants his corners to blitz from the edge and help stop the run. Having that ability will allow the Eagles to disguise their coverage schemes on a play-by-play basis. Gannon also wants press-man coverage which will require all of his defensive backs to play a very aggressive and physical game.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Fletcher Cox, Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps

Washington Commanders

Head CoachRon Rivera3rd year
Offensive CoordinatorScott Turner3rd year
Defensive CoordinatorJack Del Rio3rd year
Offensive SystemAir Coryell 
Blocking SchemeZone/Power Hybrid 
Ron Rivera -- HC    Scott Turner -- OC   
Category2019 (CAR HC)20202021 Category2019 (CAR)20202021
Points202524 PointsQB COACH2524
Pace11023 PaceQB COACH1023
Pass Attempts2921 Pass AttemptsQB COACH921
Passing Yards202521 Passing YardsQB COACH2521
Rushing Attempts242510 Rushing AttemptsQB COACH2510
Rushing Yards142612 Rushing YardsQB COACH2612

Offensive Breakdown

Ron Rivera has always been a defensive-minded coach and usually puts the offense into the hands of a capable coordinator. In Carolina, he had Mike Shula running the show for a number of years and then handed the reins over to Norv Turner. In 2019, Turner was let go from his responsibilities but his son Scott, who was serving as the team’s QB coach, took over. There were some who criticized the younger Turner’s excessive reliance on screen passes to Christian McCaffrey, but he did manage to get more out of some of his other playmakers.

Rivera knows he doesn’t have the luxury of a McCaffrey, but he is going to work with Turner in focusing on the ground game early and allowing it to set up the pass. Between Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic and newly-drafted Brian Robinson, there is an array of talent which seems like it will be deployed based on situation, something to watch closely if you plan on drafting anyone out of this backfield. From there, you’ll see both the vertical work and the quick timing-routes which will eventually open things up for play-action and the deeper routes. 

While many criticize Carson Wentz, and in a lot of cases, rightfully so, he should fare well in this scheme. He was strong out of play-action while with the Colts and while he didn’t do a lot of running, found success out of RPO work and should find similar success with it this season too. The Commanders have tremendous speed in this receiving corps with Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and rookie Jahan Dotson, so look for them to stretch the field whenever possible. And don’t forget about the gimmicks Turner likes to run. You’ll see reverses and jet sweeps as well which, with as much pre-snap motion Turner likes to use, will confuse some defenses, at least early in the game.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Carson Wentz, Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas

Defensive System: 4-3 with 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 was a major issue for them, especially in the case of losing DE Chase Young to a torn ACL. Back 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 on the interior to second-year standout Jamin Davis directing traffic from the middle, this front-seven is beyond formidable. 

Last year’s addition of William Jackson was a positive move for the secondary as his ability to run in man-coverage helped Del Rio get a little more creative with his safeties and linebackers when they fell back into coverage. Jackson, who alongside Kendall Fuller and Benjamin St-Juste did a solid job clamping down on the opposition’s passing yards, so if they can maintain a similar level and the front-seven stays healthy, this defensive unit could find itself back in the top-five among team defenses in fantasy.

Players Who Best Fit the System: Chase Young, Williams Jackson, Montez Sweat


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