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TE O.J. Howard - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

6-6, 251Born: 11-19-1994College: AlabamaDrafted: Round 1, pick 2017

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Photo: Reinhold Matay, US Presswire

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Nov 12): Howard became an afterthought in the Bucs pass offense against Washington. We'll still go back him in a good matchup against the Giants, but if he fails to come through it'll be hard to trust him in the fantasy playoffs.

Week 11: at New York Giants

All TE vs NYG

FBG says: Neutral matchup. Ryan Fitzpatrick remains an enigma, still explosive at 35 (400 yards or more in 4 of his 5 full games) but also wildly erratic at times (9 interceptions among just 225 attempts). His appeal lies in his aggressive, never-give-in approach to the deep ball - he's never afraid to push things downfield, and he trusts his explosive receivers in traffic. That mindset, plus the flow of a typical game for the 3-6 Buccaneers, usually leads to a big fantasy stat line. And fantasy players couldn't care less about his functional efficiency. Rather, they love that Fitzpatrick throws to a wide array of downfield dominators in Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard. Evans is not a consistent producer, even with big volume, but is always a threat to spend an afternoon winning contested throws down the field. He's been held to just 67 combined yards over the past 2 weeks but has recorded 137 or more 3 times. Jackson has averaged 82 yards in full-Fitzpatrick games, and Godwin is emerging before our eyes - he caught all 7 of his targets last week, for 103 of his own. Howard is a wild card, unreliable for volume but adept at finding room up the seams and moving after the catch. There's always enough opportunity and firepower in this unit to produce week-winning fantasy days. The only week-to-week question is whether Fitzpatrick will throw four interceptions and snuff out his own scoring chances in the process. The Giants pass defense remains one of the league's most unpredictable units. On some weeks, the pass rush clicks, forcing quarterbacks to make less-than-optimal throws into an underrated secondary. On others, they put no pressure on the pocket, and opposing passers have an easy path to 300 yards. It's easy to see that inconsistency in the performances of the key players. Top cornerback Janoris Jenkins has had a rollercoaster season, showing well against a few No. 1 receivers (Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins) but flailing badly against others (Alshon Jeffery, Julio Jones). Star safety Landon Collins and the linebackers have held tight ends mostly in check, but have also leaked a few big plays to the position - and San Francisco's George Kittle roasted them for 83 yards on 9 catches last week. All told, it's tough to project the play of this unit from week to week. But at the moment, the pass rush and coverage components are both struggling, and that always suggests an inviting fantasy matchup.

Recent Stats and Projections

7 vs CLE 63 5 67 0 0 6.7
8 at CIN 53 4 68 1 0 12.8
9 at CAR 37 4 53 2 0 17.3
10 vs WAS 45 1 15 0 0 1.5
11 at NYG 0 5 78 0 0 7.8
11 at NYG PROJ-Dodds * 4 * * * *
11 at NYG PROJ-Tremblay * 3 * * * *
11 at NYG PROJ-Bloom * 3 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs TE 1, TE 12, TE 24

Percentile ranks

O.J. Howard's percentile rank in each category, among TE with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2018 Week 10 vs WAS (2 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)

Howard split out a few feet from the offensive line and secured a post route in the middle of the field for a 15 yard gain gain on Tampa Bay's first offensive drive. It would be his last catch of the day as the Washington defense completely shut down the Bucs tight ends in the receiving game. Howard was the target on Fitzpatrick's second interception, but the fault lies with the QB, who didn't see a defensive back coming behind Howard to undercut the route he was running up the seam.

2018 Week 9 vs CAR (6 / 4 / 53 / 2 rec)

Howard caught the first 2 of Fitzpatrick's lined up in a three point stance and ran a shallow crossing route behind the linebackers in coverage, hauling in a pass from Fitzpatrick for a 15 yard gain in the 1st quarter. Howard scored on a nice play action misdirection play early in the 2nd quarter. Fitzpatrick faked handoff to Barber off left tackle, then rolled out to the right, while Howard chip blocked and sprinted into the flat, where he was wide open for an easy score. Howard scored again on a similar play at the end of the 1st half, catching a shallow out route for another easy score from the 3 yard line. Howard split out wide right as the only receiver on the right side of the formation and beat his defender down the right sideline, securing a high pass from Fitzpatrick for a 31 yard gain.

2018 Week 8 vs CIN (4 / 4 / 68 / 1 rec)

Howard's target total was a bit disappointing at 4 total, but he converted all 4 targets into catches and found the end zone again. He picked up a nice gain up the seam with his first target of the 1st quarter. Winston hit him again for a big gain on a seam route in the 3rd quarter. Howard had an impressive catch and run that was called back for offensive holding in the 4th quarter. Fitzpatrick found Howard for a touchdown on 4th and 3 from the Bengals 18 yard line. The big tight end was matched up with a linebacker in coverage, who didn't have a chance as Howard took off on a skinny post and left him in the dust. The Bucs converted the ensuing 2 point tie the game at 34-34, but couldn't stop the Bengals from driving down and kicking the game-winning field goal as time expired.

2018 Week 7 vs CLE (9 / 5 / 67 / 0 rec)

Howard drew a season-high 9 targets against the Browns, securing 5 of them. He made strong catch up the seam with a defender draped over his back in the 2nd quarter, then followed it up with another catch on what looked like the same play twice in a row. Winston found Howard on a corner route in the 3rd quarter that almost resulted in a touchdown. Howard made an amazing leaping catch over two defenders and stretched it over the front pylon, but was ruled down by contact at the 2 yard line. Ronald Darby punched the ball in for a touchdown on the next play. Howard picked up a 1st down with a late 4th quarter reception on an out route as the Bucs tried to regain the lead.

2018 Week 6 vs ATL (4 / 4 / 62 / 1 rec)

Howard came back from a brief absence for an MCL sprain and did not appear limited at all. He scored at the end of the 2nd quarter, lining up in line on the right side of the formation and working his way across the field against physical coverage from a linebacker. Howard caught the pass with his defender draped over his back and then pushed his way into the end zone. Howard picked up 21 yards on a corner route in the 3rd quarter, then secured a deep curl route for another nice gain up the seam on the next play. Howard caught another crossing route near the Atlanta 5 yard line in the 4th, but was tackled before he could reach the goal line.

2018 Week 4 vs CHI (3 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Fitzpatrick overthrew Howard in the end zone at the end of the 1st quarter. Howard nearly secured a nice gain on a deep post in the 2nd quarter, but Fitzpatrick again overthrew him. Howard left before the second half with a knee injury. He was diagnosed with a sprained MCL and could miss up to four weeks. Brate could see extra targets and red zone looks with Howard out.

2018 Week 3 vs PIT (8 / 6 / 72 / 0 rec)

Howard drew 8 targets on the day and secured 6 of them, but it was fellow TE Cameron Brate(4 targets) who found the end zone this week. Howard lined up with his hand in the dirt and worked his way open on a curl route, finding room to run after the catch for a 13 yard gain in the 1st. Howard made another strong catch with a defender draped over his back on a curl route later in the quartert. Fitzpatrick hit him for a short gain late in the 4th, then found him up the middle for big gain on the very next play. Howard caught another short curl route later in the 4th and juked a couple of defenders for a nifty run after the catch.

2018 Week 2 vs PHI (4 / 3 / 96 / 1 rec)

Howard posted a great stat line with a limited amount of looks. He was targeted four times, making it six targets on the season. Fitzpatrick's interception was Howard's fault, as the tight end bobbled a perfect pass on a wide open crossing route near the end of the first quarter. Howard redeemed himself shortly after in the second quarter, hauling in an out route and housing it with an athletic scamper up the left sideline. Howard juked one defender out of his shoes after the catch and showed some serious speed as he outran the rest of the defense for a 75 yard touchdown. Howard made a beautiful diving grab on a deep post route later in the second quarter for a gain of 20 yards. Fellow tight end Cameron Brate played but was not targeted.

2018 Week 1 vs NO (2 / 2 / 54 / 0 rec)

Howard's targets were limited as receivers Jackson and Evans drew most of the looks from Fitzpatrick. Howard had a big 35 yard pickup early in the second quarter, outrunning his defender down the right sideline after high pointing a Fitzpatrick pass over two defensive backs. Howard split off wide right of the formation on the next offensive drive and made a leaping catch over is defender for another big gain. Howard was only targeted the two times, but had nearly twice as many offensive snaps as fellow TE Cameron Brate.


Latest News

Buccaneers | O.J. Howard injures ankle (Sun Nov 18, 08:28 PM) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (ankle) suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter of a 38-35 loss to the New York Giants in Week 11. He had five catches on six targets for 78 yards before exiting.

Our View: Cameron Brate will have some streamer consideration against San Francisco and for any game that Howard is out going forward. If this is a high ankle sprain as feared it will likely be a multi-week absence for Howard.
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Buccaneers | O.J. Howard out of the game (Sun Nov 18, 03:44 PM) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (ankle) suffered an ankle injury during the Week 11 game and is considered doubtful to return.

Our View: It might be a multi-week high ankle sprain for Howard. Next week against the 49ers seems like a stretch but Howard came back in the early end of his knee injury timeframe earlier this year and looked good. Don't drop him yet, but Cameron Brate is certainly worth a look as an add if you need a tight end.
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Buccaneers | One catch for O.J. Howard (Sun Nov 11, 09:31 PM) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard caught one pass on two targets for 15 yards in a 16-3 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 10.

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