How Doug Marrone Impacts the Jaguars' 2017 Fantasy Outlook

How Doug Marrone Impacts the Jaguars' 2017 Fantasy Outlook

By TJ Hernandez (Director of DFS), last update Aug 14, 2017

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TJ is a former full-time poker player who has been playing fantasy football for more than a decade. After online poker was outlawed, TJ ended his poker career and dedicated himself to fantasy football. His background in poker statistics and analytics translates to success in both daily and season-long fantasy football.

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Most coaching decisions about playing time and allocation of touches are determined by personnel talent and game flow. In order to understand how a playcaller can impact a team apart from those factors, we can examine their situational play splits and look for patterns in the pace of their offense.


More in TJ's Playcaller series: Kyle Shanahan | Mike McCoy | How Play-Calling Tendencies Affect Fantasy Football


A Snapshot of Doug Marrone’s History

Doug Marrone served as the offensive coordinator in New Orleans under Sean Payton from 2006–2008, but Marrone’s play-calling history is limited to the 2013–2014 seasons, when he was the head coach in Buffalo. After the Jaguars fired Gus Bradley in 2016, Marrone filled in as the interim head coach for the final two games of the season.

Doug Marrone Rush Rates in Wins vs. Losses
Year Team Rush % in Wins Rush % in Losses
2013 Bills 57.8% 43.3%
2014 Bills 48.2% 29.2%
Overall   53.0% 36.2%
Doug Marrone Situational Rush Rates
Year Team Neutral Rush % Rush % up by 8+ Rush % down by 8+
2013 Bills 48.6% 66.4% 32.5%
2014 Bills 38.4% 62.6% 18.8%
Overall   43.5% 64.5% 25.6%

In two seasons under the headset, Marrone has the eighth-highest rush rate in neutral situations among all active playcallers, but where he really stands out is in his reaction to game script. Marrone has the third-highest rush rate of any playcaller in wins and the fourth-largest discrepancy in rush rates between wins and losses. No active playcaller shows a larger gap in play-calling splits in situations when their team is up by eight or more compared to situations when their team is down by eight or more.

In regards to pace, Marrone has shown distinct patterns there, as well:

Doug Marrone Pace Stats
Year Team Sec/Play - Total Sec/Play - Neutral
2013 Bills 23.95 24.92
2014 Bills 26.97 29.71

Pace stats courtesy of FootballOutsiders.com

Marrone runs the fastest-paced offense—overall and in neutral situations—of any active playcaller in the league. Chip Kelly’s Eagles were the only teams in the last 10 years with a faster pace than the 2013 Bills. Because Marrone has leaned so far towards the run, his pace stats are especially noteworthy. Pass-heavy teams can have an artificially inflated pace since an incompletion stops the clock, but Marrone has seemingly made it a point to run as many offensive plays as possible.

Marrone’s Quarterbacks

Doug Marrone QB Per-Game Averages
Year Player Games Completions Attempts Yards TD INT Fantasy Points
2013 E.J. Manuel 10 18.0 30.6 197.2 1.1 0.9 14.1
  Thaddeus Lewis 6 15.5 26.2 182.0 0.7 0.5 13.0
2014 Kyle Orton 12 23.9 37.3 251.5 1.5 0.8 15.6
  E.J. Manuel 5 15.2 26.2 167.6 1.0 0.6 15.4

To say Marrone hasn’t had much to work with at quarterback is an understatement. Of the four quarterbacks to start at least four games under Marrone, none posted an adjusted net yards per passing attempt—a metric that offers a snapshot of a quarterback's overall efficiency—over 5.88, which would have ranked 25th out of 33 qualified passers last season. 

Marrone’s made it clear he’d like to call “zero” passing plays per game and a lack of talent under center only encourages that thought process.

Marrone’s Running Backs

Doug Marrone Primary RB Per-Game Averages
Year Player Games Rushes Receptions Total Yards PPR FP % of RB Touches
2013 Fred Jackson 16 12.9 2.9 79.8 14.6 46.3%
2014 Fred Jackson 14 10.1 4.7 73.3 13.3 43.1%
Doug Marrone Team RB Per-Game Averages
Year Rushes Receptions Total Yards PPR FP % of Team Touches
2013 455 91 2656 27.5 64.6%
2014 366 114 2260 23.8 62.7%

The 64 percent of team touches Marrone has given his backs is the highest running back touch share of any coach in the league. Marrone hasn’t accomplished this just by pounding the rock, though, as his teams have targeted running backs on 25.2 percent of passes—only Sean Payton has targeted the position more often.

Marrone’s willingness to use his running backs in the passing game is of utter importance for PPR leagues. Recall that Marrone ranks eighth in neutral rush rate, which is high but not so high it would make his backfield one to blindly target. When we look at the whole puzzle, though, Marrone’s teams have the potential to lead the league in running back touches.

Marrone’s Receivers

Doug Marrone Primary Receiver Per-Game Averages
Year Player Games Targets Receptions Rec Yards Rec TD PPR FP % of Team Targets
2013 Steve Johnson 12 8.4 4.3 49.8 0.3 10.8 19.5%
2014 Sammy Watkins 16 8.0 4.1 61.4 0.4 12.4 22.4%
Doug Marrone Secondary Receiver Per-Game Averages
Year Player Games Targets Receptions Rec Yards Rec TD PPR FP % of Team Targets
2013 Robert Woods 14 6.1 2.9 41.9 0.2 8.5 16.4%
2014 Robert Woods 16 6.5 4.1 43.7 0.3 10.2 18.2%

With so much of the workload in Marone’s offenses going to running backs, it's no surprise that none of his receivers have ever seen more than 128 targets in a season, a total that would have ranked 19th in the league last year. While the target volume hasn’t been high, Marrone has been willing to offer a single receiver a large target share. Sammy Watkins' targets in 2014 are the 12th-most for any rookie since the league started tracking the stat in 1992, and Stevie Johnson was on pace to see a healthy 26 percent target share had he played all 16 games in 2013.

What It All Means for the Jaguars in 2017

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Filed Under:
Preseason
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2017