The Choice Between Jordan Howard And Matt Breida Isn’t As Obvious As It Seems.
This season the Miami Dolphins have two new RBs to head-up their offense. While Jordan Howard projects to get the majority of the Dolphins’ carries, a case can be made for having Breida too, depending on the scoring format in your league.
The Dolphins drafted three offensive linemen in the 2020 draft, showing their commitment to improving their offense. That improvement starts with the three players who will benefit the most from better O-line play: rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa, Howard and Breida.
Let’s take a quick look at both running backs and see what they bring to the table for the Dolphins.
Jordan Howard had a jaw-dropping rookie year (he combined for over 1600 yards rushing+receiving) with the Chicago Bears, and appeared to be on his way to becoming one of the NFL’s elite RBs. However, Howard’s rushing stats started to regress slowly as his career played out. Three years and two teams later, the Dolphins signed Howard in the off-season to be their lead RB.
Despite not repeating his tremendous rookie season stats, Howard has still been one of the most productive RBs, over the last four years, but an injury robbed him of the latter part of the 2019 season, and his stock plummeted as a result.
Howard brings an above-average rushing ability and was 4th in the NFL in 2019 in TD % on rushes inside the ten yard-line (45%), something the Dolphins sorely lacked last year.
Most rushing yards since 2016
Ezekiel Elliott – 5,405
Todd Gurley – 4,298
Jordan Howard – 3,895
Derrick Henry – 3,833
Mark Ingram – 3.830
Melvin Gordon – 3,599
Carlos Hyde – 3,567
LeSean McCoy – 3,384
Le’Veon Bell – 3,348
Frank Gore – 3,307
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) July 16, 2020
Matt Breida was acquired by the Miami Dolphins for a 5th round 2020 draft pick, from the San Francisco 49ers. Breida is a deadly Robin to Jordan Howard’s Batman. His pass-catching ability and blazing speed make him a perfect complement for Howard, and a very nice check-down weapon for Tua/Fitzmagic.
[Note: Breida has twice been named the fastest recorded NFL player by NextGenStats.com]
While Breida won’t get as many rushing carries as Howard, he will get nearly all the receptions of the RB duo.
With those roles in mind (Howard = Rushing RB with the majority of the goal line looks and Breida = Some rushing, but mostly pass-catching RB), let’s take a look at which of those RBs might benefit your team this fantasy season.
Excited to see Matt Breida play for the #Dolphins this year. Super explosive player that meshes well with Jordan Howard. Breida brings that blend of speed, vision, and is a great weapon out of the backfield. He has been one of my favs to watch for a couple years now. #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/YcAOVRNFLa
— Ryder McConville (@RyderM25) July 28, 2020
We’ll operate with some 2020 projections for both players (these are my projections, so feel free to throw rocks at me):
Jordan Howard: 230 carries, 950 yards, and 7 TDs. With 15 catches, 120 yards, and 1 TD
Matt Breida: 120 carries, 600 yards, and 2 TDs. With 55 catches, 500 yards, and 2 TDs.
Howard comes in at 155ish points in standard leagues, and that puts Howard just outside of a top 25 RB.
Breida comes in around 134 points, which will get him close to being a top 35 RB.
Winner: Howard in standard leagues
1/2 Point PPR Leagues:
Howard’s advantage massively shrinks in .5 PPR formats. 163 points, which would put him hovering near the top 30 RB area.
Breida jumps up to 162 points. He comes in just below Howard…but an extra couple catches, and he’s right there with Howard.
Winner: Too close to call; Having one, or both, of these guys in your lineup, would be a cheap way to get good points in your FLEX spots.
Howard’s lack of receptions catches up to him here. 170 points, which puts him on the other side of the top 30 RBs (maybe closer to RB35).
Breida now checks-in with 189 points, which pushes him up the RB rankings. A top 30 RB who could sneak up close to top 25.
Winner: Breida in PPR leagues.
As in any fantasy game, knowing the rules/setting is one of the most crucial parts of playing. Jordan Howard will be a cheap, productive RB in all scoring formats, but he may not be the best Dolphins players to have on your roster in all formats. Matt Breida gives you an advantage in PPR leagues, and that is being ignored.
In ESPN redraft leagues, Jordan Howard is going RB39 off the board, and Matt Breida is going RB 45.
In dynasty leagues drafts, we/DFD have them going Breida RB 38 and Howard RB42.
Both are steals at their current ADPs and should be scooped up in redrafts/startups and buy low opportunity trades.