Pro Football Weekly's Chicago Bears Preview Magazine

O.J. Howard

Tight End • Buccaneers

2018 Projections

40 536 7


Howard was the first tight end selected in the 2017 draft (No. 19 overall). In his rookie season, he caught 26 balls for 432 yards and six touchdowns. Catching 26 balls is pretty pedestrian, even for a rookie, but his 16.6 yards per catch was outstanding. Not only did he lead all tight ends in YPC, only one qualified wide receiver (T.Y. Hilton) averaged more per catch than Howard. His big-play potential was on display in Week Four against the Giants when he scored from 58 yards out. He added a 33-yard touchdown at Buffalo in Week Seven, and had a 30-yard score against Atlanta in the season finale. While at the University of Alabama, Howard was the Offensive MVP in the 2015 national championship game against Clemson.


Because Howard is not an elite blocker, he is not always on the field in goal-line sets. He’s been known as a bit of an underachiever going back to his college days. Cameron Brate is not going anywhere -- he signed a six-year $41 million deal in March. Howard will continue to lose opportunities to Brate, especially in the red zone.

Bottom Line

How you value Howard needs to be at least partially determined by how your league treats yardage and receptions. In leagues that place a greater emphasis on yardage (and in keeper leagues), Howard jumps up a notch. He goes the opposite direction in PPR and TD-only leagues. In standard leagues, Howard’s size and athleticism make him a very interesting prospect. He’s a low-end TE1 in larger leagues and absolutely terrific selection in all formats as a TE2.

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