Breakout Player of the Year: O.J. Howard, Tight End
Expectations for second-year tight end O.J. Howard was sky-high this off-season, and through eight weeks he’s more than delivered. Howard has become a lethal chess piece that can line up all over the field.
Want him lined up wide against a cornerback? Done. Want him in the slot against a linebacker? Done again. Want him as a traditional tight end? Triple done.
Despite sharing targets with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin, Howard is among the most productive tight ends in the entire league, registering 24 catches, 419 yards and three touchdowns. That’s just two catches and thirteen yards shy of his entire rookie season total.
On top of the raw counting stats, Howard is Pro Football Focus‘s top tight end in the entire league, a remarkable feat considering how well Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz and San Francisco’s George Kittle are playing.
Look for Howard to continue his breakout regardless of whether it’s Winston or Fitzpatrick throwing him passes.