Scheme matters in fantasy football. So does the offensive deployment. Below are eight players who have the ideal offensive systems to post weekly fantasy production this season.
I’m focused on quarterbacks in systems that maximize their mobility in designed runs and use the action game. Brokers with reception volume and blocking specific to the scheme. And pass catchers with route trees that create explosive play receptions and catch-and-run opportunities that translate to a fantasy advantage.
So, let’s get into that. Here are the players on my “All-Scheme” team.
Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
I’m in Lamar this year because of his offensive deployment, as a running back and pitcher, in a new offensive system under coordinator Todd Monken. More empty, scattered and travel lineups. And a much faster offensive pace.
What does that mean exactly? Building on Monken’s previous playbooks, especially at the college level, the Ravens can create more space for Jackson in the play and backfield concepts, while forcing defenses to expand their lineups against Baltimore’s QB running game. .
Remember, Lamar averaged 19.7 fantasy points per game last season (12 games played). And the Ravens added legitimate improvements to the passing game with the explosive style of play from Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie Zay Flowers. Jackson should be seen as a quarterback with a top-three advantage here.
Daniel Jones, quarterback, New York Giants
Jones fits my philosophy on drafting mobile quarterbacks. I have to have it. And Brian Daboll’s system in New York suits Jones’ dual-threat traits.
Last season, Jones recorded 120 carries, with 67 designed carries. Let’s also not forget about the action game with the Giants. In ’22, Jones completed 75.3% of his game-action throws, which includes starting concepts that bring the quarterback to the edge of the formation.
Jones will take a hit in the passing game this season with the addition of tight end Darren Waller. He stretches the seams and runs after the catch in crossovers and underpants. Jones is currently my QB10 and plans to post mid-level QB1 numbers in his second season with Daboll.
Bijan Robinson, RB, Atlanta Falcons
The running game adjustment works for Robinson in Atlanta. Multiple TE staff. Zone schemes. That plays into his vision, power and ability to accelerate quickly off the ball. Find daylight and go. Here too there is volume.
But I also see Robinson as a versatile playmaker with elite fantasy potential due to his pass-catching abilities. And it’s more than just catching the ball from the backfield. Yes, I’m speculating here, but given what I saw on his college tape, Robinson can be deployed as a flexed receiver in the passing game. He is a three level target with matchmaking skills.
In our most recent mock draft on ESPN, I landed Robinson at No. 5 overall, with Ja’Marr Chase still on the board. Maybe it’s overkill, but I also see the high-level traits in a Falcons offense that will use the tower as a dual threat weapon.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots
My current RB9 in the ranks, Stevenson gets a roster boost with the return of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien to New England. Last season, playing in a Patriots offense that lacked a true identity, Stevenson still caught 69 of 88 targets while averaging 14.7 PPR points per game. Good numbers there.
However, with O’Brien holding the call sheet in ’23, I would bet on Stevenson in both the running and passing game. Level concepts on backfield throws, screen goals, and running volume. With Stevenson clearly No. 1 in New England based on depth in the Patriots’ quarterback, he fits easily into the way O’Brien displays his back. And that sets Stevenson up to post consistent RB1 numbers.
Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints
Olave is a vertical glider, with the traits of the route to be discovered, who has been elevated in my ranks since the Saints signed free-agent quarterback Derek Carr. Yes, Olave will still see targets underneath on quick starts, pivots and more. , but this is really about combining Olave’s third-tier ability with Carr’s arm talent on shooting down the field.
In ’22, Olave had nine receptions on upright targets, 10 on deep outs, and six more on deep in-breakers (dig route, overs). And I hope those numbers go up with Carr throwing the ball. Isolation routes, plus the schematic shooting plays that put the upper part of the secondary to the test. Think of a sprawling route tree, one that gives him the volume and major game juice to produce as a WR2, with WR1 rising.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
After watching the video and studying the route structure in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, I think I might still be too low on Aiyuk in my ranks (WR35). Last season, Aiyuk averaged 13.4 PPR points per game, recording 78 receptions and eight touchdowns. And it’s really about how it’s planned in Shanahan’s passing game, regardless of who’s shooting the ball.
Aiyuk will be isolating to get out of coverage, and we know Shanahan is the best in the league at creating open voids. Delete and replace concepts that give Aiyuk chances on catch and run objectives. Even with the potential for Aiyuk to experience a touchdown regression this season, the scheme and his sudden movement traits on the route will create a fantasy advantage.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
I see Toney as a potential breakout candidate in ’23. The volume will jump. We know. Three-tiered route tree in an explosive Chiefs offense, with fabricated touches on screens, lofty sweeps and backfield runs. Toney is a move/move player in the Andy Reid system with dynamic traits, stop/start speed, and vision in open field. He can shake you inside a phone booth.
Last season, we got a snapshot of Toney in Kansas City. From the time he was acquired from the Giants in Week 9 until the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win over Philadelphia, Toney caught 21 of 28 targets, carrying six times for 73 yards and a score. We saw that sudden movement ability with the ball in his hands. Now project Toney, if he’s healthy and on the field, in a role consistent with Patrick Mahomes and one of the most creative game plans in the league. Put it on his radar project.
Evan Engram, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Engram caught a career-high 73 passes in Jacksonville last season. And while that number could drop with the Jags adding wide receiver Calvin Ridley, Engram’s route structure under Doug Pederson is basically stealing in fantasy football.
Last season, Engram captured 16 screens in Jacksonville. High percentage targets with open space to attack. It’s the same with the shallow crossovers we see on the treadmill, quick cuts, pivots and more. Pederson sets him up as a quick-throw target for quarterback Trevor Lawrence, in addition to what he can do on the second and third levels when he works the seams or breaks away on corners and deeper breakers.
So if you’re someone (like me) who waits until the last few rounds of fantasy drafts to target a tight end, then keep Engram on your radar. The scheme works and you should see enough volume to post low-end TE1 numbers.