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What to do with Jordan Howard in Week 5 fantasy football

Jordan Howard was one of Week 4’s biggest surprises. Can we count on him to continue to find the end zone against the Jets?

Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard rushes for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In general, Eagles running backs have been difficult to trust. Doug Pederson and his teams have consistently adhered to a committee approach in the backfield, with much of the failure or success of his players coming down to sporadic game elements like the “hot hand” or simple sequencing. That said, I think we can definitively state what Jordan Howard’s role on Philadelphia is entering Week 5’s matchup with the Jets. Howard set season-highs across the board in last Thursday’s victory over the Packers, rushing the ball 15 times for 87 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The fourth-year back would also catch three of his four targets, with one of those receptions going for this third score of the contest. It was far and away the most explosive Howard’s looked since 2017.

The key part of Howard’s performance was his six red zone carries. While he had entered last week’s tilt against Green Bay trailing Miles Sanders for the team lead in that category for the season as a whole, Howard was the go-to guy in high-leverage situations in Week 4, and might have just secured the job. Consider that Howard’s now averaging 4.1 yards per carry and has scored three touchdowns on his 11 opportunities inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Sanders, for the sake of comparison, has mustered only eight yards on his seven attempts in that area of the field. Additionally, he’s yet to find the end zone. Though I do believe that the snap counts and the overall carries with fluctuate between the duo on a game-to-game basis, I’d wager Howard’s locked down this particular aspect of the committee going forward. That’s crucial.

Fantasy Football Analysis, Philadelphia Eagles RB Jordan Howard

From a yardage perspective, New York’s actually been quite stout versus RBs in 2019. The 72.0 yards per game it has surrendered to opposing backfields in the second-lowest mark in the AFC, as is the 3.37 adjusted line yards per carry the unit’s allowed through three games. However, with the Eagles in possession of the main slate’s highest implied team total, you’d have to assume that Howard gets his chances to thrive at the goal line. He’s a far more questionable play in PPR - and his salary is up $500 in DFS - but, in standard, Howard’s a relatively safe option as an RB2 even in what should be a low-volume output.

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