Jordan Howard is on his third NFL team in as many seasons with the Miami Dolphins. He is joined by Matt Breida, as the two hope to become a true “thunder and lightning” pairing in the NFL. Howard is a bruising, power back. Breida on the other hand holds the fastest on-field speeds each of the last two seasons according to NextGen Stats. Usually, running-back-by-committees are something to stay away from in fantasy football. But considering Howard’s price tag and history, he could be one of the biggest values in drafts this year.
Target Jordan Howard in 2020 Fantasy Football Drafts
Comparing Jordan Howard and Matt Breida
Howard is currently ranked as the RB36 by ESPN, right ahead of Breida. This is because no one really knows what their split is going to look like. Both had pretty similar stats last year on teams that ran their running backs by a committee.
Howard started four games, appeared in ten, and rushed 119 times for 525 yards. Breida started five games, appeared in 13, and rushed 123 times for 623 yards. Breida has the advantage in receptions – narrowly. He caught 22 passes for 120 yards, compared to Howard, who only caught ten 69 yards.
But it does start to clear up what their roles are likely to be. Howard, who is third in the NFL in rushing yards since he entered the league in 2016, is likely to get early-down work. Then Breida will probably sub in on third downs to use his versatility as a pass-catcher to his advantage.
Usually, the needle leans towards the back that is involved in the passing game, but in this case, things might not balance out enough. This is because Howard will undoubtedly be used more in the red zone. During his time in the league, he has never had fewer than seven touchdowns in a year. This includes last year when he only played in ten games.
Breida on the other hand is an anti-red zone back. He has never scored more than five touchdowns in a year and bottomed out last season with two. With him already in a limited role behind Howard, this further limits his upside, while ensuring Howard leaves the field less.
Howard’s role is really nothing new for him either. During most of his time with the Chicago Bears, he split time with the scatback Tarik Cohen. But Howard’s volume and efficiency as a runner, combined with his touchdown upside, kept him as a valuable fantasy back, especially towards the end of the season, where cold weather and worn-down defenses further increase upside.
Each year he was with Chicago, he got at least 250 carries. His efficiency fell his final year, causing him to fall just short of 1,000 rushing yards, and caused him to only average 10.6 fantasy-points-per-game. Still, he was a solid starter who could be thrown into a FLEX spot if necessary.
In 2019 with the Philadelphia Eagles, he fought off rookie Miles Sanders until he suffered a stinger injury week ten that kept him out basically the rest of the year. He technically suited up week 17 but didn’t see any carries. Still, up to week nine, he was the RB15. In Miami, he will still split carries, but he has proven that he doesn’t need the bell cow role to be fantasy relevant, especially for his price tag.
Jordan Howard ADP and Value
Admittedly, Howard does not have an extremely high ceiling, unless Breida were to go down. But considering his ADP, his value is too much to ignore. As mentioned, ESPN is giving him no respect, with an RB36 grade. FantasyPros has him higher at RB32. Still, he is grouped in with a bunch of backs who either are also splitting time or might not even see the field.
James White is right ahead of him, but White’s best days are behind him, and his only value is in catching passes. J.K. Dobbins is rated immediately after Howard. Dobbins is a great stash for dynasty, but Mark Ingram showed no signs of slowing down last season. Aside from that players like Cohen and Tevin Coleman have not shown they can provide consistent fantasy value in their shared backfields as Howard has. He is really the only one in this range that has lead-back potential, should his partner ever go down.
At worst, he is an every week FLEX starter. Target Howard whenever possible and reap the rewards.
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