For the last two seasons, one of the biggest mysteries in fantasy football has been Jordan Howard. As a member of the Bears, he was the team’s lead back going into 2018 and picked among the top 10 running backs in many fantasy draft leagues that year. Surprisingly, however, he ended up playing second fiddle to rookie Tarik Cohen for a lot of the season, particularly early and mid-season when owners needed him to produce most. Through 12 weeks last year, he had just five touchdowns and only three games with more than 15 carries.
This year, after being traded to Philadelphia, he was expected to play second fiddle to rookie Miles Sanders, but instead, has become the team’s top back in terms of fantasy production and is an RB17 in fantasy leagues. He has four touchdowns already this season and has seen an uptick in carries since week 2, out-carrying Sanders the last three games.
It’s given Howard owners a cautious optimism in that they are getting more out of him than they expected, but also worried that at some point this season Miles Sanders‘ production will increase and Howard will be shoved to the side again.
My advice to you–don’t be worried. Right now he is picking up steam in the Eagles backfield. Ride him with confidence until the gas runs out. However, have a good backup option if you can because of the Eagles upcoming schedule. Their next six weeks they are at Minnesota, at Dallas, vs. Buffalo, vs. Chicago, a bye week, and then at New England. A lot of those defenses are among the best in the league.
We can’t read Doug Pederson’s mind and can’t see the future, but if you read between the lines, his words should give Howard owners more hope than doubt. Pederson admitted this week that as of now, Howard is the team’s top back. However, he did throw caution to the wind that he likes to go with the hot hand, and if Sanders gets that, he will see more carries.
Howard has looked solid in Philadelphia, no doubt, and that’s helped in him getting more carries. However, the bigger issue is Sanders has not looked like the guy the Eagles drafted. In three of his five games this year, he’s failed to get more than 3 yards per carry and ran for just 15 yards on nine carries against the Jets. Sanders, however, has had some success as a pass-catcher thus far, but he has zero touchdowns thus far. Howard has gotten the goal-line carries, and that’s been huge for his owners. Howard has shown to be more of the short-yardage guy that Pederson trusts, which is another reason why Howard owners should feel confident moving forward.
Given the choice between Howard and Sanders, I think Howard has the bigger upside and should be trusted as of now. If you have both on your team, go with Howard until he proves otherwise.