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Should I start or sit Jordan Howard in Week 1 fantasy football?

The Eagles are stacked all around their roster. They face lowly Washington to start the season. But their backfield might run by committee featuring its two newcomers on an equal share. Should you start or sit Jordan Howard in Week 1?

Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard looks on after a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Lincoln Financial Field on August 8, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Bringing Jordan Howard to Philadelphia only cost the Eagles a sixth-round draft pick. The move highlighted Philadelphia’s plans for this season, as Josh Adams was expected to have surgery and there were concerns around his availability going forward. He was cut a week ago after being the team’s leading running last year. Wendell Smallwood had the second-highest rushing attempts but is off to Washington. Back when the trade happened, Howard was penciled in as the no. 1 option. Only Philadelphia drafted Miles Sanders 53rd overall in the 2019 draft and doubts started to pop about what the Eagles would truly do at the position.

Howard has rushed 250-plus times, posted 935-plus yards, and scored at least six touchdowns in all of his three seasons as a pro in Chicago. He has also showcased some catching abilities with 20 or more receptions and 125-plus yards receiving each season. In fantasy football, he brings good upside, given that he’s heavily used inside the red zone as a short-yardage powerful back and that gives him more chances to score touchdowns that those awarded to other backs. Expect his efficiency to keep up, but his touches to fall short of what he has done in the past. The Eagles will run a RBBC scheme and although Howard was named RB1 on their Week 1 depth chart it is not out of the equation that Miles Sanders ends trumping him in the pecking order.

Fantasy Impact: Howard should by no means be your no. 1 running back in season-long leagues, although he has the potential to end the season with RB2 fantasy numbers. Not many running backs offer such upside going as low in drafts, but the Eagles’ backfield situation won’t do him any favors. Howard faces a Washington defense that fell right in the 50th percentile last season in yards gave up to RB (1,535). They excelled at preventing RB touchdowns with the fourth-best mark among all teams allowing just nine all season long. A slightly above-average defense, combined with a heavy share of opportunities with others in the backfield, calls for fading Howard this week.

Recommendation: Sit