Jordan Howard began his rookie season on the bench for the Chicago Bears. He didn’t even see the field until Week 2 and only played 11 offensive snaps before Week 3. Yet on a bad team that was frequently playing from behind, Howard over 1300 rushing yards and over 1600 yards from scrimmage and 7 touchdowns, finishing as the #9 fantasy running back last season. Going into the 2017 season, Howard is the only consistent player that the Bears can count on and he will be a big focal point of their offense this year. Yet with so much riding on his shoulders, if he were to go down with a major injury, what would the fantasy implications be for the rest of the Chicago offense?
Jeremy Langford, RB - Langford began the 2016 season as the starting running back for the Bears, but he hurt his ankle in Week 3 and didn’t see any major action again until Week 10. Langford was underwhelming for the Bears in his rookie season, but given the other Chicago running backs on the roster, Langford would become the de facto starter for the rest of the season. Chicago was a punching bag for many teams last season and they still had over 350 rushing attempts as a team. Langford would certainly see 225-250 rushing attempts and could approach 300 touches factoring in the short passing game. Langford is ranked #74 among fantasy running backs going into training camp and he’ll probably go undrafted in any league that isn’t a best-ball format. He should be on waiver-wire speed dial if Howard is lost, and you’ll be able to plug him in as an RB3/Flex or even bye-week starter in any 12-team league, with a little bump up in PPR leagues.