This article is part of our College Football Fantasy Five series.
Even though there are no official college football games being played, it doesn't mean that we can't start preparing for the 2022 fantasy college football season. We're getting closer to the summer break portion in the off-season which is a slower news cycle, so I'm going to reveal my top five new head coach landing spots with significant college fantasy football (CFF) implications.
One of the best edges that can be found in the game of CFF is identifying offenses that not many people are looking at and getting value in the CFF draft and on the waiver wire. This is a perfect place to look because head coaches don't typically land with established defenses meaning they will need to lean on their offenses regardless of what kind of weapons they have.
Here's a sample of last year's first year (at their respective schools) head coaches who ranked in the top 25 for offensive yards per game with their star players who mostly were not picked in fantasy drafts:
16th - Charles Huff at Marshall (456.9 yards per game)
- RB Rasheen Ali finished as 3rd best RB with 318.3 fantasy points
20th - Blake Anderson at Utah State (448.6 yards per game)
- WR Deven Thompkins finished as 4th best WR with 233.1 fantasy points
- QB Logan Bonner finished as 20th best QB with 332.0 fantasy points
Here are five teams and their new coaches that I have a very close eye on this off-season:
Top Five Coaching Changes For Fantasy
5.) Rhett Lashlee, SMU
Lashlee was the offensive coordinator at Miami last season when they put together the 19th best offense in the nation at 449.9 yards per game. The youngster will get his first shot at a head coaching gig; however, SMU is not a new place for him as he served as Sonny Dykes' OC in 2018-19 when the Mustangs started making their offensive ascent. With Dykes bolting for TCU, it's now time for Lashlee to take the baton and keep the SMU offense chugging.
4.) Mario Cristobal, Miami
Cristobal comes over from Oregon to his dream job. He inherits the aforementioned 19th-ranked offense and QB Tyler Van Dyke, who was one of the most impressive freshman signal-callers during the 2021 season. Oregon had the 52nd ranked offense last year, but this Canes' squad has a bit more to work with and all kinds of momentum in the ACC Conference.
3.) Tony Elliott, Virginia
Elliott was the mastermind behind Clemson's powerhouse offenses since 2015, including a pair of national championships as offensive coordinator. He takes over a Virginia squad that was 3rd in the nation with 515.9 offensive yards per game.
2.) Brian Kelly, LSU
This one is obvious as Notre Dame ranked 46th in the nation with 426.7 yards per game with Kelly at the helm last year and he's highly regarded as one of the best coaches in the nation. He'll take over an LSU squad that has never had a problem attracting talent. Kelly may not be at the top of his game in year one, but I think the offense will take a huge step forward right away as they were 90th in the nation with 370.1 yards per game a year ago.
CFF Players to Consider
WR Kayshon Boutte (ADP ~ 2-4th Rounds)
QB Jayden Daniels (ADP ~ TBD)
RB Noah Cain *Transfer from Penn State OR John Emery (ADP ~ High Sleeper Potential)
TE Kole Taylor (ADP ~ High Sleeper Potential)
1.) Lincoln Riley, USC
What a bizarre year for the coaching carousel as it's possible that people are underrating what Riley will do at USC in his first year. The roster is ready to go and he has the offensive talent that could push to be one of the most efficient units in the country. What I like most about the situation is that the USC defense projects to be one of the worst in the Pac-12 and we all know what Riley did with some bad defenses at Oklahoma. His offense has proven to be plug-and-play with transfer players in the past, so don't hesitate one bit in CFF Drafts.
CFF Players to Consider
QB Caleb Williams (ADP ~ 1-2nd Rounds)
WR Jordan Addison (ADP ~ 1-2nd Rounds)
WR Mario Williams (ADP ~ 4-6th Rounds)
RB Travis Dye (ADP ~ 6-8th Rounds)
WR Gary Bryant (ADP ~ High Sleeper Potential)