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Jordan Howard 2018 Season Outlook

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24 minutes ago, Rolling Thunder said:

 

I don't interpret Nagy's statement as all that great for Howard's usage.  Is he saying there will be games where they won't plan to feature Howard?  

 

Hyde was utilized consistently last season even though he wasn't a great fit for Shanahan's offense, so anything is possible.  Coaching changes = lots of risk though, especially when a player isn't someone that the new coach would hand-pick.

 

 

I mean define "feature." I'm sure there's games where they'll pass more this year. But the interior run game will have at least it's role every week, and as the only possible GL back on the team, the only real question is if you believe this team can score. Because if they can score, Howard can limp to 10 TDs. 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Rolling Thunder said:

I don't interpret Nagy's statement as all that great for Howard's usage.  Is he saying there will be games where they won't plan to feature Howard?  

 

I interpreted it the same way -- there may be times when matchups dictate that they go away from Howard for a bit.

 

All the other stuff about "being the guy" and personally throwing the ball to him to develop him in that regard... those are the things that encourage me.

 

Being a student of Reid, Nagy will certainly search for and try to exploit matchups.  If you have a tough run defense that week, but the LBs are weak in pass coverage, it could be a healthy dose of Cohen and Howard may only get 10 carries.

 

Howard could be more boom/bust, potentially, but still....  all in all I was encouraged by the rest of the article.

 

And like taobball mentioned....  he's going to be the goal line guy, which can help his floor even in games when his usage is down.

Edited by Lord_Varys

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I really like both guys (Cohen and Howard) which makes me lean towards Cohen for value (especially in PPR). I like Howard and can't see him being a total flop but I don't see him getting to that RB1 level this year

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1 hour ago, Lord_Varys said:

 

I interpreted it the same way -- there may be times when matchups dictate that they go away from Howard for a bit.

 

All the other stuff about "being the guy" and personally throwing the ball to him to develop him in that regard... those are the things that encourage me.

 

Being a student of Reid, Nagy will certainly search for and try to exploit matchups.  If you have a tough run defense that week, but the LBs are weak in pass coverage, it could be a healthy dose of Cohen and Howard may only get 10 carries.

 

Howard could be more boom/bust, potentially, but still....  all in all I was encouraged by the rest of the article.

 

And like taobball mentioned....  he's going to be the goal line guy, which can help his floor even in games when his usage is down.

 

THIS

 

I have no clue how Rotoworld took Nagy's comments yesterday to be positive?  If anything, they're neutral in regards to his usage.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lord_Varys said:

 

I interpreted it the same way -- there may be times when matchups dictate that they go away from Howard for a bit.

 

All the other stuff about "being the guy" and personally throwing the ball to him to develop him in that regard... those are the things that encourage me.

 

Being a student of Reid, Nagy will certainly search for and try to exploit matchups.  If you have a tough run defense that week, but the LBs are weak in pass coverage, it could be a healthy dose of Cohen and Howard may only get 10 carries.

 

Howard could be more boom/bust, potentially, but still....  all in all I was encouraged by the rest of the article.

 

And like taobball mentioned....  he's going to be the goal line guy, which can help his floor even in games when his usage is down.

People read so much fantasy football into coaches comments. Nagy is answering a real football question, not a fantasy football question. Thus, when he says Howard is the guy, he means Howard will be the unquestioned starter. This isn't an open competition or anything like that. There was a point where the speculation was that the Bears would either trade Howard, or go away from him. This is just a response to that. He's saying Howard is "the guy" at the top of the Bears depth chart. He's not saying Howard is "the guy"... to draft in your fantasy league.

Edited by ajs723

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7 hours ago, Panthers8912 said:

Yeah, but not well. I can try to find the numbers if you want but his success rate outside is awful 

 

Sure. Show me the numbers that say he played awful outside. Then show me how awesome the other Dolphins WRs played great. 

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7 hours ago, BrianM said:

 

So you think Cohen won't have a large role, or you think his role is significant but is just independent of Howard's?

Mix. He should have a slightly larger role, but it will be independent of Howard’s 

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Posted (edited)

Howard will be a beast again this season. Offense had a lot of upgrades, very good defense... Howard's situation is an order of magnitude better than last year. I think he will be a top 10 RB, maybe even battle for top 6.

Edited by Mr.STD

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10 hours ago, taobball said:

 

I mean define "feature." I'm sure there's games where they'll pass more this year. But the interior run game will have at least it's role every week, and as the only possible GL back on the team, the only real question is if you believe this team can score. Because if they can score, Howard can limp to 10 TDs. 

 

 

I'm going to reiterate this point with a bit of emphasis because it needs repeated:

 

The Bears current RB depth chart is:

(JH aside)

FB: Michael Burton

RB: Tarik Cohen, Benny Cunningham, Taquan Mizzell

 

Cohen is obviously not a three-down back. He's more likely a slot-WR / COP RB than a 1st down RB. Cunningham is slightly better in the tackles, but that's never been his thing, and Mizzell also profiles as a small, pass - catching RB. The only possible other tackles option on the roster right now is Oregon State UDFA Ryan Nall, but that's what we're talking about when we're talking about Goal Line competition-- a UDFA.

 

Scoring with Howard will still be the first "line of offense" so to speak in go-to-goal situations. And, with the interior O-Line and his own proven talents, should be reasonably successful. If the Bears offense is a top 16 offense, which is a significant if, but if they are a good offense, it is hard for me to see Howard not being one of the better Fantasy RBs season long due to TD production. 

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Jordan Howard plans to improve his pass-catching this year.

Howard has impressed as a ball-carrier (back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons) since arriving as a fifth-round pick in 2016, but continues to disappoint in the passing game with 14 drops over his past two seasons. With Tarik Cohen now at the Bears' disposal, Howard could be in danger of losing significant snaps under first-year head coach Matt Nagy. "It started being a problem in high school, just not having my hands in the right position," said the former Indiana Hoosier. "I didn’t work on it that much in college because we didn’t really throw to the backs that much. But I’m going to fix it." Howard is still in play as a mid-range RB2, but Cohen's presence certainly lowers his ceiling.

 

Not sure I like the sound of this or not. So torn on Howard this season, but no matter how I spin it, I can't see him getting less than 250 carries this season in an ascending offense with a creative coaching staff.  I'll take that in the 4th round PPR but 3rd is too rich for me.  

 

 

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13 hours ago, SvanE42 said:

Jordan Howard plans to improve his pass-catching this year.

Howard has impressed as a ball-carrier (back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons) since arriving as a fifth-round pick in 2016, but continues to disappoint in the passing game with 14 drops over his past two seasons. With Tarik Cohen now at the Bears' disposal, Howard could be in danger of losing significant snaps under first-year head coach Matt Nagy. "It started being a problem in high school, just not having my hands in the right position," said the former Indiana Hoosier. "I didn’t work on it that much in college because we didn’t really throw to the backs that much. But I’m going to fix it." Howard is still in play as a mid-range RB2, but Cohen's presence certainly lowers his ceiling.

 

Not sure I like the sound of this or not. So torn on Howard this season, but no matter how I spin it, I can't see him getting less than 250 carries this season in an ascending offense with a creative coaching staff.  I'll take that in the 4th round PPR but 3rd is too rich for me.  

 

 

 

IMO I don't agree with a bit of the take. He could lose more snaps, but Cohen's just fundamentally not a back who's going to see 50% of snaps at the RB position. Not even close. And they don't ahve to take Howard out of the game to put Cohen at the slot. He's a borderline 2nd round pick for me in Standard leagues. He gets a bit of a knock in PPR, but unless your league scores Rushing TDs as less than 6, I don't think he falls out of the third for me. 

 

 

ESPN has him projected at 6 TDs through a full season. Howard has scored 15 TDs in two of the worst offenses in football the last two years. I consider that projection a farce. 

 

Inside 20 TDs in 2018:

Gurley -- 12 TDs (62 ATTs)

Bell -- 9 TDs (61 ATTs)

Ingram -- 9 TDs (33 ATTs)

Hyde -- 8 TDs (41 ATTs)

Howard -- 8 TDs (32 ATTs)

 

Gurley was the only RB to score significantly more TDs than Howard inside the 20, and did so on nearly twice as many touches. And Howard, between Trubisky/Inman/Wright/Bellamy, easily had the WORST outside threats, and easily saw some of the most stacked boxes. The closest comparable player for TDs and ATTs was Ingram... who OBVIOUSLY was seeing easier fronts with Brees/Thomas/everyone-else-affected-by-Brees. 

 

Like always, maybe I'm wrong. But there's few RBs (realistically none) going outside the first round that I think are more likely to put up 1000+/10 than Jordan Howard. ESPN projects him for closer to 1000/6, and the difference int he TDs I think is why I think Howard is going to be closer to a steal than anything. 

 

Howard has more outside threats, will see less pressure up the middle, has a great interior-OL, and I think is EASILY going to be the 1st-Line-of-Offense inside the 20.

 

I don't want any Bear more this year, even at price, than I want Jordan Howard. 

Edited by taobball
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I'd love him in standard but he was frustrating to own in ppr last year due to his vulnerability to game flow. Even though he was a strong RB2 he had a ton of volatility, I remember one week he had like 0 points and the next week had over 30. I like the offensive improvements but it'll ultimately come down to Trubinsky how big of a difference they make. It's tough to judge him after coming in midseason to an offense with virtually no talent but there are no excuses this year with the new personnel on the field and in the coaching staff. I think his 3rd round price tag is fair with so many questions with the RBs behind him although there is a ways to go before the season and I can see some of the rookies rising which could make Howard an even better value as he isn't the sexiest option especially in ppr but I predict him to still be effective and more consistent in what should be a more potent offense. 

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Something to consider: Howard had 276 carries last year, which is quite a bit.  It was a conservative offense.  It really wouldn't surprise me if that fell below 240.  Even if he catches a few balls, the better offense could be washed out by the fact that he's getting less carries.

 

Something else: Sitton is gone, and he was pretty good.  At least above average.

 

Something else: Nagy's limited exposure as playcaller saw a low rush % in neutral game scripts.  Are the Bears good enough now to have positive game scripts?

 

 

Edited by Lord_Varys

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10 minutes ago, Lord_Varys said:

Something to consider: Howard had 276 carries last year, which is quite a bit.  It was a conservative offense.  It really wouldn't surprise me if that fell below 240.  Even if he catches a few balls, the better offense could wash out by the fact that he's getting less carries.

 

Something else: Sitton is gone, and he was pretty good.  At least above average.

 

Something else: Nagy's limited exposure as playcaller saw a low rush % in neutral game scripts.  Are the Bears good enough now to have positive game scripts?

 

 

 

 

YPC and TDs should both be greatly improved even if he's suffering carries. Which I think will ultimately be a net positive. 

 

Howard suffered thru injuries and saw about as many stacked boxes as any RB in football last year while playing in a system that telegraphed Run & Pass simillarly to the way Gurley suffered in Fisher's system. And Howard still had over 4 YPC.

 

Maybe he does only get 240 Carries, but a projection of 1000 Yards only needs a 4.167 YPC, which isn't that much higher than his YPC last year. If I take his career average 4.6 YPC, he needs just 217-218 Carries, which I would consider a VERY conservative estimate. If we give him 240 at career average then that's 1104 yards, which is greater than most projections. 

 

Sitton is gone but they replaced him with an arguably first round talent in James Daniels. They still have Whitehair and Long in the interior which is one of the league's better tandems and has a good run blocking LT in Charles Leno. And Sitton was also a better graded pass blocker than run blocker. That isn't to say  he isn't a good run blocker, because he is, but as a whole I think the O-Line is top half. I think PFF will likely reflect that too. 

 

As for neutral situations-- I'm talking about Goal Line, where I expect Howard to score roughly 10 TDs this year. So 1100/10 out of my RB1/2 in the 3rd round is pretty acceptable to me. 

Edited by taobball
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11 hours ago, taobball said:

Inside 20 TDs in 2018:

Gurley -- 12 TDs (62 ATTs)

Bell -- 9 TDs (61 ATTs)

Ingram -- 9 TDs (33 ATTs)

Hyde -- 8 TDs (41 ATTs)

Howard -- 8 TDs (32 ATTs)

 

I don't want any Bear more this year, even at price, than I want Jordan Howard. 

 

Wanna just rephrase these in a bit of a different statistical sense. Firstly though, even though I haven't been accused of it, I'd just like to address my own biases. Yes, I am a Bears fan. But there is one Bear I want this year, and it's that simple. The fan in me wants to take a shot at AR, a talent I've liked since PSU, but I don't find that he even remotely stands out among the WRs listed among him. Cohen I like and think can be a solid PPR piece, but I'm not buying into the hype that he's going to be a fantasy stud really. I still think his role, like most others, will be inconsistent. Trey Burton is a TE with some fantasy hype. If I can get Burton in my last couple rounds of a standard sized league as my TE1 or even 2, I"ll do it. If anyone jumps him, which they usually do, I won't get Burton. 

 

But I love Howard. I've referred to him as this above, but I consider Howard "the first line of Offense" so to speak. Howard to me is the most important in making everything work. He's top 10 in RTDs, R. Yards, YPC, and Yards After Contact since his entrance into the league two years ago. Last year he suffered due to stacked boxes. But stacked boxes this year are going to be harder to come by. Nagy can use virtually the same personnel positionally, but instead of Howard seeing an 8 Man Box with Inman, Wright, Sims, and Zach Miller/Daniel Brown in a 2-WR, 2-TE set, he'll have AR, Gabriel/Anthony Miller, Shaheen, and Burton. Will they definitively be able to keep the box "un-stacked?" Maybe, maybe not. But I think it's more likely than not. And tempting Defenses to stack the box... saying "Hey, our QB is still a Sophomore who went 7/7 TD/INT last year, and we will run it up your bum until your defense is battered if you want to put quicker DBs on the field," to me, is still the most important part of the offense. The dichotomy between a strong, physical running game and a quick, efficient passing game. But Howard doesn't need an I-Form or even to run out of Ace. He had great numbers last year running Inside Zone from Shotgun. So if you can threaten the physical running game while not being set for it-- I think THAT is what Howard brings to the table that is being greatly undersold. They do not NEED (contrary to Fox-ian beliefs) to telegraph the run to put Howard in. Even if you don't want him running routes I'll take the extra blocker. There's plenty you can do with Howard just being in the game to open up the passing game taht has nothing to do with Howard catching passes. Not believing that is just not thinking creatively enough on the offensive side. 

 

But more to the point of what I wanted to write on specifically with the red zone numbers. 

 

I wish I could find Red Zone plays for team. If someoen has a source for that exact measurement, I'd appreciate it. I'll make do without for now. 

 

Take a usage comparison with someone like Todd Gurley. Gurley ran the ball 279 times which, based on a Team Plays per Game metric, would be roughly 27.9% of the Rams plays. Howard's ratio, despite playing on a team more often losing, is actually higher due to the talent surrounding him, with his 276 Attempts equating 29.5% of the offense. As mentioned, we expect the usage to go down in Neutral Scripts. And I agree with that entirely. The Bears, if they are a successful offense, will run a few more plays, which should make up for some of the difference, but ultimately it does seem like Howard having fewer carries is probably the right projection. But the total carries isn't really the main thing I'm concerned with here. 

 

Gurley had 62 Attempts inside the 20 Yard Line, or roughly 22.22% of his carries came within the 20.

Howard had 32 Attempts inside the 20 Yard Line, or roughly 11.60% of his carries came within the 20. 

 

Unfortunately again I don't have Red Zone plays, so it makes the discussion of the argument a bit trickier, but there's not a single logical explanation that could possibly explain this other than the fact that the Bears were in the Red Zone so infrequently last year that despite being a bigger part of the offense as a whole, he saw half the proportion of his carries from inside the Red Zone. 

 

I don't think Howard has a very good shot at surpassing 270 carries again. But I do think Howard has a VERY good shot of seeing both a higher proportion and a higher volume of his carries from within the redzone. Out of Running Backs who scored at least 6 Red Zone TDs last year (Howard had 8), only three had fewer attempts, Alex Collins* (6 TD on 27 ATT), Alvin Kamara (6 TD on 25 ATT) and Lenoard Fournette (7 TD on 29 ATT). *Shout-out to Alex Collins who I also really like this year. 

 

Maybe Howard is unlikely to convert carries for TDs at the same rate as he did in 2017, but regardless, if he just sees those 240 carries and sees his ratio of carries inside the 20 jump from 11% to 16-20%, he'll still see that Red Zone carry number rise to 40-48. He wont' need to repeat the ratio to repeat 8 TDs, but if he does he'll probably end up with more than 10. And not wanting it to go forgotten-- again, Howard suffered through terrible conditions last year. Nagging injuries, horrendous coaching, and talentless receiving corps. And he still proved himself to be FAR above average in this area. 

 

If you completely disagree about the state of the Bears offense-- that they won't be middle of the pack and able to actually score points consistently this year-- then you probably won't agree with me about Howard. And that's fine. But I expect the Bears to have a prettty solid defense and no matter how good or bad Nagy is he's better than the utter trash Dowell Loggains / John Fox provided. Loggains has some excruciating quotes from the past calendar year as a fan that just say "I have no business being in this sport at this level." And "I don't have the creativity or innovation to run a modern NFL offense." 

 

I expect running conditions to improve. I expect the offense to be in the Red Zone more, and I expect Howard to thrive in that area because that's what he was made to do. And with that defense, I also think the Bears could find themselves in ball control mode a few more times this year, particularly with a non-Divisional schedule that I consider one of the easiest (probably THE easiest from a preseason standpoint) in the entire NFL. And if they're up late in games it is going to be the Jordan Howard show, of that much I am sure. After all the offseason talk about replacements, the Bears have brought in absolutely zero competition for Howard for between-the-tackles running, short of a UDFA who's also listed as a Fullback in Ryan Nall. 

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54 minutes ago, joshua18 said:

He is a dark horse to lead the league in rushing TDs. 

 

rudimentary 'capping for spits and giggles ...

 

Zeke 9/5

Gurley 2/1

Lenny Snaps 7/2

MGIII 5/1

 

Howard i'd lay at 7/1 ... so, not necessarily "dark horse" in the true sense of the term - i don't think anyone in the magick foosball community would be shocked if he did lead that category. 

 

you want a real 75/1 level dark horse?

 

Corey Clement. 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, kidsgotsoul said:

This guy is one of my gut feeling players to outperform his ADP this year. I see him being on a lot of my rosters.

 

I’d suggest that outperforming his ADP will have a lot to do with the Bears as a whole. If the defense performs well (which I expect), if Trubisky gels with ARob + Burton (also expected), and if the Bears can be playing with a lead and utilizing the clock (ahem), Howard could climb a tier in performance. If the Bears are playing from behind (Week 1, Green Bay), struggling to catch up, featuring Tarik Cohen (who could just as easily out-perform his ADP), Howard will simply just earn his ADP. 

 

It does not seem viable that both Howard and Cohen can both outperform their ADPs

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He's the classic player type who explodes after being hated on all offseason by analysts. Followed by a collective "oh yeah, it was obvious he was primed to explode (even though we all derided him incessantly); everyone gets calls wrong" and extreme whitewashing hindsight analysis.

 

Hopkins and Gurley last year

Evans and M. Gordon in 2016

Freeman in 2015

L. Bell in 2014

 

For the record, I think a different RB from Howard will do this, but he is certainly a serious candidate.

 

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2 hours ago, pastorofmuppets2 said:

 

rudimentary 'capping for spits and giggles ...

 

Zeke 9/5

Gurley 2/1

Lenny Snaps 7/2

MGIII 5/1

 

Howard i'd lay at 7/1 ... so, not necessarily "dark horse" in the true sense of the term - i don't think anyone in the magick foosball community would be shocked if he did lead that category. 

 

 

Sure, and I'm right there with you. But most projection sites aren't. Now don't get me wrong, Clement is definitely a much greater dark horse and way more off the radar than Howard. But ESPN projects Howard's TD totals as 14th, not 5th. He is behind backs like Henry, Guice, Michel, Lynch, Hunt... So I think I'm closer to your projection and I think that's part of the disparity between myself and say, ESPN. 

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2 hours ago, cohenstantinople said:

If the defense performs well (which I expect), if Trubisky gels with ARob + Burton (also expected), and if the Bears can be playing with a lead and utilizing the clock (ahem),

 

The Bears should be a lot better.  But they still have arguably the toughest division in football.  2 SB contenders and 1 playoff caliber team to face 6 times a year.

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26 minutes ago, Lord_Varys said:

 

The Bears should be a lot better.  But they still have arguably the toughest division in football.  2 SB contenders and 1 playoff caliber team to face 6 times a year.

 

Good point. Though they also play the Cardinals, Seahawks, Dolphins, Bucs, Jets, Bills, Giants, some teams that might surprise us as they go through growing pains of their own.

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2 hours ago, joshua18 said:

He's the classic player type who explodes after being hated on all offseason by analysts. Followed by a collective "oh yeah, it was obvious he was primed to explode (even though we all derided him incessantly); everyone gets calls wrong" and extreme whitewashing hindsight analysis.

 

Hopkins and Gurley last year

Evans and M. Gordon in 2016

Freeman in 2015

L. Bell in 2014

 

For the record, I think a different RB from Howard will do this, but he is certainly a serious candidate.

 

I think Howard will have a solid year and will match his current ADP and could even better his TDs with a better offense. I think people will be happy where they draft him.  I'm kinda regretting trading him away last year when things were looking "down" at times and may have to look to reacquire him in some keeper leagues.  I just checked and didn't realize he is still only 23.  He could be a solid keeper for years to come. 

 

What does hold his stock back is his pass catching, especially with a dynamic back like Cohen behind him.  But even if they mix in Cohen on 3rd downs there should still be some passing work for Howard.  I would hope he can improve on his 23 receptions from last year.   He is working on his passing game skills and maybe he ends up getting some more looks, especially if he runs the hurry-up.

 

EDIT - oh who is the other RB you think will outperform his ADP?

Edited by Big Nate

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1 hour ago, taobball said:

 

Sure, and I'm right there with you. But most projection sites aren't. Now don't get me wrong, Clement is definitely a much greater dark horse and way more off the radar than Howard. But ESPN projects Howard's TD totals as 14th, not 5th. He is behind backs like Henry, Guice, Michel, Lynch, Hunt... So I think I'm closer to your projection and I think that's part of the disparity between myself and say, ESPN. 

 

that's absurd, imo ... hell, i'd wager that Howard's rushing TDs in 2018 will exceed those of Michel/Lynch combined.  

 

the only guy who has a shot to outdo him from the five you listed is Hunt ... but Reid, tho  (he went 10 straight weeks w/o a TD last year, and Ware is back).

 

i'm bullish on these Bears this year. 

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