Todd Gurley
Can Todd Gurley actually succeed in Atlanta? Fantasy owners shouldn’t just worry about the status of his knee. They also have to worry about Dirk Koetter. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Todd Gurley is returning to the state where he played college football. Gurley was a dominant football player at the University of Georgia and now will suit up for the Atlanta Falcons. Gurley’s knee remains the great unknown. I’m not even sure if he’s taken his physical yet. I want to look past the knee for a second even if that’s foolish. If fully healthy, can Todd Gurley actually succeed in Atlanta?

The knee is one thing. The greatest deterrent to Gurley’s potential success is Dirk Koetter. Todd Gurley has always been a good player. Still, there was a big difference between Jeff Fisher production and Sean McVay production. Never forget, Gurley averaged 3.2 yards per carry in 2016 with Jeff Fisher. Gurley is getting another Jeff Fisher.

Dan Quinn is a total lame duck coach. Dirk Koetter is just totally clueless. Koetter isn’t just a shitty head coach, he also leans heavy to the passing game. I think the graphic above sums it up very well.

Koetter has never had a productive fantasy running back. The lone exception was Doug Martin having a weird fluke season that came out of nowhere. Everybody else has been a major disappointment.

I think that’s the problem with Gurley. Bad head coach, bad offensive coordinator, bad defense, and super pass heavy. When you’re talking about circumstances, the one in Atlanta isn’t a great one. You want your running backs playing for good teams so they have leads to run the ball in the 4th quarter. How many comfy leads is Atlanta having this year?

The funny part is, not all is lost. Gurley could very well have a big year. Despite the knee troubles, the former Rams back has only missed 4 games the past 3 years. He also steps into a situation where he’s the lead back with no competition and a coaching staff on the hot seat. Gurley is on a one year contract and they’re going to run him into the ground because they have to.

Todd Gurley is one of the tougher fantasy evaluations heading into the 2020 season. The health isn’t the only question mark here. Can he overcome Dirk Koetter? That might be the real question.