Howard secured one of three targets for 11 yards in the Buccaneers' 31-17 win over the Panthers on Sunday. With Chris Godwin (concussion) sidelined Sunday, there was cautious optimism among some of the other Bucs skill-position players' fantasy managers that there would be a positive residual effect for several members of the offense. That never really materialized for any one player, including Howard, who actually saw his targets halved from his Week 1 tally. The fourth-year tight end will look to get back on track in Week 3 against the Broncos on the road, irrespective of whether Godwin is available for that contest.
Howard brought in four of six targets for 36 yards and a touchdown in the Buccaneers' 34-23 loss to the Saints on Sunday. Howard had a slow start to his season, but he broke the ice with a nine-yard scoring grab that saw him get wide open in the left portion of the end zone early in the third quarter. The talented fourth-year tight ultimately finished third in receptions behind Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller, and he notably doubled up position mate Rob Gronkowski in targets and receptions. He'll look to build up his numbers further in a Week 2 home matchup against a beatable Panthers defense.
Howard is listed as a second starting tight alongside Rob Gronkowski in the first edition of the Buccaneers' unofficial regular-season depth chart released Monday, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports. Howard enjoyed a very strong camp by all accounts, building a quick rapport with Tom Brady and establishing himself as a frequent target despite the latter's intimate familiarity with Gronkowski. Given the Buccaneers arguably boast the deepest tight-end room in the league, it's unsurprising they list a 12 alignment as their base offense for depth-chart purposes. While Smith notes Cameron Brate and even blocking specialist Antony Auclair could be in on the first offensive play at times this season depending on specific packages, Howard seems like a good bet to see the second-most targets, at minimum, at the position.
Howard, who made several notable catches during Sunday's padded practice, has been singled out by coach Bruce Arians for his strong performance in camp, Carmen Vitali of the Buccaneers' official site reports. The athletic fourth-year tight end is overshadowed at his own position to an extent going into this season due to the arrival of Rob Gronkowski, but Howard has made sure to keep his name in the news with strong performances throughout camp. On Sunday, the Alabama product made his presence felt with a tough diving and contested catch, as well as with a long grab down the sideline. Vitali reports Howard has been steadily increasing his workload in practices, and Arians made it a point to note how impressive a camp the 25-year-old has put together following Sunday's practice.
Howard has demonstrated improved routes during training camp, and tight ends coach Rick Christophel notes Tom Brady has been a factor, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports. Howard has had the underachiever label affixed to a certain degree over his first three seasons, even as injuries have also played a significant role in his somewhat underwhelming numbers. Smith's report indicates that Howard may benefit considerably from the change under center in Tampa this season, although he'll naturally have a formidable competitor for targets at the position in offseason arrival Rob Gronkowski, and to a lesser degree, fellow incumbent Cameron Brate. Christophel notes the coaches have been "having some fun" in trying to figure out how the team will maximize all the talent available in the tight end room, but the fact Howard has already caught several touchdowns from Brady in early practices is certainly encouraging for his prospects of seeing a fair share of looks, particularly in the red zone.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/04||Los Angeles Chargers||22||10.00|
|6||10/18||Green Bay Packers||13||5.00|
|7||10/25||@Las Vegas Raiders||7||2.00|
|8||11/02||@New York Giants||5||2.00|
|9||11/08||New Orleans Saints||25||10.00|
|11||11/23||Los Angeles Rams||8||4.00|
|12||11/29||Kansas City Chiefs||20||10.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||47||31||485||4||23||15.65||70|