O.J. Howard Fantasy Football Outlook & Value 2019

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Position Ranking– TE6, ADP– 5.1, Auction Value ($200)– $12, Team– TB, Bye– 7

O.J. Howard is being drafted as a top of the line tight end and will look to prove his owners right this year. Jeff Ratcliffe currently has him at #6 in positional rankings as Howard will look to fulfill this year’s sleeper pick at tight end.

The 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were quietly one of the best ranked offensive teams in the NFL last season. Splitting time at quarterback between Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bucs were 1st in passing yards and 3rd in passing TDs. Overall, they came in as the 12th rated offense. Their 2 tight end set featured O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate alongside one of the best wide receivers in the game, Mike Evans.



Many have deemed Howard as a potential breakout candidate in 2019 and there’s a shot he does that this year. He received 10.7% of targets last year, a figure that’s likely to go up with the departure of Deshaun Jackson and Adam Humphries. Compared to Brate, Howard held the edge in receptions, reception percentage, and total yards. If he steps up this year, he’ll get more looks than Brate and see his touchdown total go up from the 5 in 2018. If he does break out, expect Howard to get close to 800 receiving yards and 8 TDs.


With Winston back for hopefully a full season, what’s there not to like? The problem is Brate was targeted more in scoring opportunities and was healthy for the full 16 game season. With defenses likely focusing on Evans, Howard will look to make the most of his opportunities and thrive into what he was drafted to be. While most signs point up for Howard, there’s still some lingering concerns about whether he can repeat last year’s performance over a full season and whether Winston can actually get the ball to him after a 14 interception 2018. His floor is 600 receiving yards and 5 TDs.



What to Expect

Tampa Bay BuccaneersHoward is currently ranked as the 6th tight end off the board and holds an auction value of $12. He’s currently projected to have 5th round draft value. Many in the fantasy industry are high on Howard this year, liking him more than Evan Engram and Jared Cook. He’s got potential to be a TE1 at some point during the season but looks to be a TE2 on draft day. He’ll need to prove a lot to make his owners happy with their selection of him, especially in the 5th round.

While he might have the talent and ability to become one of the better tight ends in the league, he’ll need to prove himself worthy of a 5th round pick. This year’s tight end group is very distinct. There’s a clear group of tier 1 and a bunch of tier 2 tight ends that could potentially reach TE1 status. Howard is another one of those tier 2 players who could conceivably make the jump at some point this year.

However, the 5th round valuation and $12 auction value make Howard one of, if not the first tight end drafted from tier 2 and i simply can’t justify drafting him that early. Each tier 2 tight end has some question marks and for Howard, it’s whether Winston is accurate and how many opportunities he’ll actually get in the receiving game. I’d rather play it smart and take another skill position player and continue waiting on tight end in this round. For auctions, why not spend less and wait for another tier 2 TE to go for cheaper.

Howard will make a fine addition to your fantasy team with the only questions being where you draft him. At his current ADP, I’d pass but if he’s your guy, why not grab him when you can. He’ll be one the op receivers in the Bucs system that will likely see him become Winston’s best option after Evans. I expect a 750 receiving yard season with 7 TDs.

Originally from San Francisco, California, Justin Yeung has grown up as an avid Giants and Warriors fan, watching them both through the good and bad times. Currently, he is a junior attending the University of California, Irvine majoring in business economics and minoring in management. When he’s not in class, you’ll often find Justin at various sporting events and pursuing his goal of visiting all 30 Major League stadiums.

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