Jordan Howard looking to expand his role, while setting up some lofty expectations.
As a rookie, Jordan Howard came into the NFL and took the fantasy landscape by storm after being named the starter over Jeremy Langford. Howard was one of the few three-down backs that had a large volume workload. He was one of the most valuable fantasy players last year since his owners either spent a very late pick on him, or added him off of waivers. A true RB1 for the remainder of the season, Howard finished with 1,313 yards and 6 touchdowns. He only had 29 receptions on the year, so an expected increase mentioned above would be great news for his stock.
The loss of Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery are going to be big hits to the Bears no doubt, and plenty of questions have risen about whether this offense will stall and hold Howard back in 2017. With new QBs Mike Glennon and Mitchell Trubisky on board, Howard could be looking at more dump offs and touches while the rest of the offense tries to figure itself out. However, owners should hope that defenses don’t start stacking the box against him knowing that the Bears simply cannot move the ball through the air — ala the Todd Gurley treatment.
Howard’s determination to succeed is present, as he’s come out and said that he wants to “lead the league in rushing this year.” That’s a very lofty goal especially after watching the likes of David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell carve through defenses in 2016. As confident as he might be with his own abilities, we here at the RSJ are lower than most sites when it comes to ranking Howard. Currently ranked RB14 in The Wolf’s RB rankings, he’s currently not worth the first round pick that others have him billed for. A bad “surrounding talent” score has us reminiscing of Gurley last year, as he simply had no room to run with such a poor supporting cast. Other backs like DeMarco Murray, Melvin Gordon and Jay Ajayi are way better options to draft if you are starting at the RB position.
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