Dolphins signing Jordan Howard creates a fantasy football opportunity

Dolphins signing Jordan Howard creates a fantasy football opportunity

Fantasy football player movement

Dolphins signing Jordan Howard creates a fantasy football opportunity

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(Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports)

Running back Jordan Howard‘s NFL career began with a pair of strong seasons and one unimpressive year for the Chicago Bears before he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles last offseason. He scored 32 offensive touchdowns in three and half seasons, which is nothing to scoff at for fantasy football purposes.

It wasn’t always pretty, though. The versatile running back never seemed to fit into Matt Nagy’s offense in the Windy City, but then the move to Philly created a head-scratcher due to the same general offensive system being in place. Prior to a lingering ankle injury, which cut his season to only nine games in 2019, Howard was showing signs of his pre-2018 self. His yards-per-carry average rebounded to a respectable 4.4, and Howard’s touchdown efficiency rating improved to a personal-best 19.8 carries per score. He is still only 25 years old entering Week 1.

Table: Jordan Howard career stats (2016-19)

Year
Team
Gm
Att
Yards
Avg.
TD
Targ.
Rec
Yards
Avg.
TD
PPR
PPR/Gm
2016
Chicago Bears
15
252
1,313
5.2
6
50
29
298
10.3
1
232.1
15.5
2017
Chicago Bears
16
276
1,120
4.1
9
32
23
125
5.4
0
201.5
12.6
2018
Chicago Bears
16
250
935
3.7
9
27
20
145
7.3
0
182
11.4
2019
Philadelphia Eagles
9
119
525
4.4
6
14
10
69
6.9
1
111.4
12.4

In Miami, the current competition for touches is scant. There is little doubt the Dolphins will address the position one way or another to complement Howard, likely inking someone whose focus is the passing game. In the event this isn’t the case — which would be surprising — Howard is “the guy” in an offense that intends to run it. He still should be viewed as the primary back when someone else is added.

Miami has a defense that has improved in the offseason, but Howard’s carries will come behind an offensive line that absolutely needs to get better. Veteran playcaller Chan Gailey came out of retirement to help lead a youthful offense that has a well-seasoned Ryan Fitzpatrick currently tabbed to start under center. There still plenty of moving pieces that will need to be accounted for in the coming weeks, so keeping one’s expectations in check is wise.

Fantasy football outlook

It’s all about understanding the situation and the expectations. We’re looking at a ground-up rebuild that began last year and will continue for at least another offseason. Gailey’s offensive experience helps, and his willingness to mold the system to the team’s talent shouldn’t be overlooked.

Miami will not always be able to do what they want on offense, and it will result in a detrimental shift away from Howard at times. He also has a few things to prove on his own, so “intriguing” is the best way of describing is fantasy football forecast. The AFC East is a tough division from a defensive perspective, too. His game isn’t the most explosive, and while he is a capable receiver, there are real limitations to his ability in this area of the offensive designs.

Despite the drawbacks, it is all about opportunities for Howard. Monitor the moves made along the line and at wide receiver. Having safety in mind suggests Howard is somewhere in the RB3/flex conversation when composing a roster, and his track record offers hope for No. 2 production in traditional scoring formats. He will come at a fair or even bargain price in most settings.

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