Howard is the leader in this backfield according to draft position; Fantasypros has his ADP set at 89. Howard was selected in the 8th round of our last mock draft. That’s fair value considering his potential workload. Howard averaged 14 touches per game last year with the Eagles; I could see him getting a similar workload this year with the Dolphins. Despite the volume, he’s going to be a ‘stay away’ candidate in 2020.
Howard’s downside is that he doesn’t catch the ball out of the backfield; he won’t be used on third downs and doesn’t have the same outside speed as his counterpart, Matt Breida. The offensive line has plenty of questions too. According to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins O-Line ranked 32nd last year in the run and pass blocking. They spent a first-round pick on OT Austin Jackson, but it’s still not sure he’ll be a week one starter. Howard is a land mine to avoid before the 10th round.
Breida is the value pick out of this backfield. Fantasypros has his ADP set at 111, but in our last mock draft, he went just one round behind Jordan Howard. After Howard was selected in the 8th round, Kerryon Johnson and Phillip Lindsay were the next running backs selected before Matt Breida in the 9th round.
I would rather have Breida over Howard based on his potential draft position and big play ability. Breida has the speed to earn big gains outside the numbers. He’s averaged five yards per rush and 8.4 yards per catch over his three-year career. Breida will also be the guy being used in garbage time, even with an improved defense, I expect the Dolphins to play their fair share of Mercy Ball.
Breida’s downside is simply Jordan Howard. Howard is still the safe and steady option according to the playbook, and he’s shown the ability to hit over 1100 rushing yards twice in his career. The most carries Breida has recorded in a season is 153 to Howard’s 276. Howard is built for the punishment that comes with being a lead running back.
I could understand if you wanted to stay away from this backfield in general. The Miami Dolphins aren’t the most appealing team in regards to Fantasy options. There’s going to be a back and forth at the quarterback position this year between Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Fitzpatrick; it would be a nightmare if 3rd string quarterback Josh Rosen made it on the field. Third-string running back Kallen Ballage is still there as well, he recorded 88 touches last year and could eat into their volume with any increased workload. Plus, the aforementioned offensive line issues.
All this being said, don’t reach for either of these running backs until one has already been selected. I’m sure that Howard will be picked before Breida in your draft, look to pounce on Breida a round or two after Howard if you need running back depth. Breida will be a respectable flex play week one and two against the Patriots and Bills, look for Howard to break out week three against the Jaguars.