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O.J. Howard | Bills TE

Date of Birth:  11/19/1994
Age:  27
Height  6'6"
Weight:   251
College:  Alabama
Drafted:  2017 | Round 1 | Pick 19
Depth Chart:  2nd string

O.J. Howard | Bills TE


WOLF SPORTS ANALYTICS

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WOLF SPORTS PROJECTION

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

The Bills are signing O.J. Howard.

On the heels of signing pass rusher Von Miller to a six-year, $120-million deal, Buffalo is also adding to the offense by pairing Howard with Dawson Knox at tight end. The former first-round pick fell clearly behind Cameron Brate (and obviously Rob Gronkowski) last season in Tampa Bay, but he was coming off a torn Achilles and will hopefully be able to regain form catching passes from Josh Allen. Knox will be the clear preferred option from a fantasy perspective, though we'll see if Buffalo—currently with three wideouts under contract—ends up using more heavy personnel groupings in 2022.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard has a ruptured Achilles, according to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians.

Arians says Howard is likely done for the season, which we can assume is the case—we will let you know if anything changes. This was the fear after Howard was carted off earlier, and it's very tough news for the fourth-year tight end. Howard was playing as confidently as ever along with new teammates Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, but he'll now face a lengthy rehab as he looks ahead to the 2021 season. Howard's season ends with 11 receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns in four games.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard is out for the game with an Achilles injury.

Howard is unfortunately being carted to the locker room, but we can hope it’s nothing serious. The former Alabama standout caught three passes for 50 yards and a score before leaving.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

The Buccaneers exercised the fifth-year option on O.J. Howard.

Tampa Bay is doing everything they can to surround Tom Brady with as many weapons as possible for at least the next couple of years. Tight end is a major luxury for the Bucs with All-Pro Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate also at the position, but Howard is a very talented player that can be devastating as a complementary tight end to Gronkowski. Howard will likely go undrafted or toward the very end of 2020 fantasy drafts, so he's obviously an interesting player to keep an eye on.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians says O.J. Howard should be "ready to roll" for Week 10.

After missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, Howard is set to return for Tampa Bay this weekend against Arizona. Howard returns for the best matchup possible in terms of fantasy points allowed to the tight end position, and he's worth a strong look as a TE1 in your fantasy lineup this week despite a disappointing 2019 campaign to this point.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (hamstring) will not play in Week 9.

This is Howard's second consecutive missed game with his hamstring issue, and he should be considered week-to-week for now. Being ruled out ahead of a weekend might be a sign that the athletic tight end is not particularly close to returning. Cameron Brate will again be in the TE1 mix for a potential shootout against the Seahawks this Sunday.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (hamstring) remains out of practice.

It's only Wednesday, but it's not a good sign that Howard was not able to practice to open the week. Howard might have trouble playing in Week 9 if he cannot get out there for Thursday's practice in a limited capacity.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 8.

Howard is dealing with a hamstring issue, and it's apparently bad enough that the Bucs don't want to test him in pregame warmups this Sunday. Cameron Brate immediately works his way onto the TE1 radar at a shallow position given his chemistry with quarterback Jameis Winston. Howard likely just happened to sustain the injury as Tampa Bay returns from the bye, but it would not be surprising if he was being held out in part because of a potential trade ahead of Tuesday's deadline.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

Jameis Winston says "the moon" is the limit for O.J. Howard.

With the Bucs offseason program underway under new head coach Bruce Arians, the team's quarterback was asked about Howard: "The sky's the limit really, not even the sky—probably the moon. Why limit him there? This guy, he's incredible. He and [Cameron Brate] really compliment each other well." Winston went on to say that Howard can learn a lot from Brate, and that those two tight ends can help the offense "go to the top." He also added that "you can't really stop O.J. from doing anything... I think he's going to have a great season and Lord willing, he's going to stay healthy and make it to the Pro Bowl like was before he got injured [last year]." And Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin basically said the same exact thing, also calling the sky the limit for the third-year tight end. Howard was a legitimate TE1 before his high-ankle sprain last season, and—despite Arians typically focusing on getting the ball to his running backs and receivers—he should be a lock to be in the top ten at the position assuming health cooperates this season. Arians hasn't had a talent like Howard at tight end.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

The Buccaneers are placing O.J. Howard on injured reserve, according to Rick Stroud.

Some have indicated it might be a high-ankle sprain Howard is dealing with, which might have taken the rest of the season to heal, but this is still a surprise. Hopefully the injury isn't anything worse than a high-ankle sprain. The uber-athletic second-year tight end's season ends with 34 receptions for 565 yards and five touchdowns in ten games. The Alabama product again showed the major upside that arguably made him a steal with the 19th pick in last year's draft, and he's averaged 16.6 yards per reception in each of his first two seasons. Cameron Brate will now take over as the lead tight end for the Bucs, and he has obvious TE1 upside down the stretch given his solid connection with Jameis Winston. It's worth noting that Tampa Bay's offense might run more through their talented receivers now, though. Howard will likely offer elite TE1 upside in 2019 fantasy drafts, though we'll see if anything changes with a potentially-new coaching staff after the season.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (ankle) is doubtful to return against the Giants.

It doesn't look like Howard is going to return to the game, but hopefully the injury doesn't keep him out much longer than today. Before leaving, Howard caught four passes for 78 yards in a strong bounce back from his one-catch, 15-yard game last week.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard catches one pass in Week 10.

Howard gained 15 yards on his one reception against the Redskins. This ends the hot streak Howard was on with 47 fantasy points in his previous four games. The second-year tight end will look to bounce back next week against the Giants.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard scores twice in loss to the Panthers.

Howard caught four passes for 53 yards, including a pair of first-half touchdowns as Tampa Bay dropped to 3-5. Averaging a healthy 16.9 yards per reception, Howard is on pace for a 56/944/10 line through eight games, and he's established himself as one of the game's premier tight ends. Keep him in lineups as a midrange TE1 for Week 10 against the Redskins.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard keeps it going as Bucs' comeback attempt falls short.

Howard caught four passes for 68 yards, including what turned out to be the game-tying touchdown (following the two-point conversion) from 18 yards out. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay was bested on a last-second field goal, but Howard continues to enjoy a breakout campaign, as he cleared 62 yards in all three October appearances. The former Alabama star is a solid TE1 for next week's matchup against the Panthers.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard caught five passes for 67 yards in Sunday's win over the Browns.

Howard's nine targets trailed just Mike Evans (11), and he's clearly the tight end to own in Tampa Bay no matter who is under center. The Alabama product—who is averaging 17.6 yards per reception—remains a solid TE1 option for Week 8 against the Bengals.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard scores against the Falcons.

Howard worked as a reliable target in the Bucs' Week 6 loss, catching all four targets for 62 yards and a touchdown. The score was on a ten-yard pass where the big second-year tight end used his frame to shield off the defender on a pass over the middle. Howard didn't show any affects from the MCL sprain suffered in Week 4, as the bye week was enough time for him to heal up. Howard has at least 54 yards in each of his first four healthy games this season, and he's on the TE1 radar for Week 7.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (knee) is active for Week 6.

Because of Tampa Bay’s Week 5 bye week, Howard didn’t miss any games with his MCL sprain. The second-year tight end is in the TE1 conversation in a potential shootout against the Falcons.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard remains limited in practice.

Two straight limited practices is probably a positive, but Howard's Week 6 status is still up in the air. We'll see how he's listed on the injury report for the game when it's released tomorrow.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (knee) was limited in today's practice.

Howard is dealing with an MCL sprain that came with a two-to-four week timeframe, but the bye week appears to have done good for his chances of not missing any time. A limited Wednesday practice is a great start to the week, and we'll continue tracking his status tomorrow and Friday.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard has a sprained MCL, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Howard is expected to miss two-to-four weeks with the injury, according to Schefter. The Buccaneers have a bye week this week, so it's possible Howard makes a very swift recovery and can play in Week 6 against the Falcons. However, a Week 7 return against the Browns or a Week 8 return against the Bengals is more likely. If Howard does miss game time, Cameron Brate would be a TE1 option as the clear top tight end for the Bucs—especially because he has a very good connection with Jameis Winston.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (knee) is out for the rest of today's game.

The Bucs are down by 35 points at halftime, so this isn't a surprise. Hopefully the knee issue isn't too serious for Howard, who had no receptions before leaving the game.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (knee) is questionable to return against the Bears.

It's unclear when Howard was injured, but the Bucs are down by 32 points late in the second quarter. Unless it's a very minor injury, the team might just be cautious with their second-year tight end.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard catches six passes in Week 3.

While he didn't average 27.0 yards or 32.0 yards per reception like he did in the first two games of the season, the monster second-year tight end again showed major flashes for the Bucs. Howard caught six-of-eight targets for 72 yards in the Monday night loss. Cameron Brate scored a touchdown for the Bucs, but Howard was the primary option at the position throughout the night. Howard remains a TE1 option when he faces the Bears next week.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard scores 75-yard touchdown in Week 2 win.

Howard showed his unfair combination of size and speed on a catch and run in the second quarter of Tampa Bay's victory over the Eagles, as he simply outran everyone with some help from Chris Godwin leading the way. The Alabama product finished with three receptions for 96 yards and a score, but he was also at fault on a dropped pass that was boosted into the air for an interception. Fortunately, it didn't cost the Bucs, who are rolling at 2-0 heading into a meeting with the struggling Steelers. Howard is worth considering as a TE1 option after Travis Kelce stung Pittsburgh for 109 yards and two scores on Sunday.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard catches two passes in season opener.

Howard gained 54 yards on his two receptions from Ryan Fitzpatrick, with his receptions going for 35 yards and 19 yards. The extremely talented second-year tight end is the preferred fantasy option over teammate Cameron Brate (zero catches) despite Brate receiving a huge contract this offense.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard is "far, far ahead" of where he was last year

Entering his second NFL season, the uber-athletic tight end has reportedly improved his blocking from last season; and he's also been a "human highlight reel in the passing game," according to Carmen Vitali of Buccaneers.com. Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said he thinks Howard is "far, far ahead" of where he was at any point as a rookie, which probably means the team has a ton of confidence with him on the field. Despite Cameron Brate's big contract extension earlier this year, Howard is going to be a big part of the offense and has obvious TE1 upside in fantasy drafts.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard has been a "human highlight reel" during Bucs minicamp.

Carmen Vitali of Buccaneers.com says Howard has been making big plays during minicamp so far, including a "bomb from Jameis Winston" today. Vitali says Howard has been working on his blocking, which should help him stay on the field more. And Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter says Howard's "incredible athleticism just jumps out with you." Tampa Bay signed Cameron Brate to a sizable extension this offseason, and they have four receivers they feel very comfortable with, but Howard should get a good amount of playing time after he averaged 16.6 yards per reception with six touchdowns (on 26 catches) as a rookie last season.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

The Buccaneers have placed tight end O.J. Howard (foot) on injured reserve.

The injury suffered on Monday night will keep him out for the final two games of the season. Overall, it was an impressive rookie season for Howard, who caught 26 passes for 432 yards (for a superb 16.6 yards per reception) and six touchdowns. The first-round selection of the Bucs showed the major flashes that made him a top-ten overall prospect according to many, and his future is extremely bright. Teammate Cameron Brate will be a restricted free agent this offseason, so Howard's fantasy value for 2018 will be determined by Brate's status with the team. If Brate leaves, Howard would offer a ton of a upside as a potential TE1 in fantasy drafts.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (foot) won't return tonight against Atlanta.

The early foot injury bad enough that Howard was ruled out to start the second half. Before leaving, Howard had the 30-yard touchdown reception where he was injured, as he was wide open for a short pass on the back side after play-action and used his great speed to take it up the sideline before diving for the score. Hopefully this isn't a multi-week injury for Howard, but more information should become available by tomorrow.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard (foot) leaves Monday night game.

Howard was injured on a 30-yard touchdown, as it appears he might've strained the foot when diving for the end zone. The rookie tight end is currently in the locker room after getting looked at on the sideline, but hopefully he ends up being OK and able to return to this game. Teammate Cameron Brate is also out right now, as he's dealing with a knee injury that he's trying to walk off on the sidelines.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard scores in loss to the Bucs.

Howard caught four passes for 54 yards and a touchdown, as he and fellow rookie Chris Godwin were the two top options for Jameis Winston on Sunday. Tampa Bay's first-round pick will remain a volatile TE1 option next Monday night when they host the Falcons.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard catches one pass in Week 13.

The rookie tight end gained 17 yards on his reception versus Green Bay. Howard is an excellent dynasty league tight end, but Cameron Brate is the Bucs tight end to have for standard leagues right now.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard outproduces Cameron Brate again in loss.

Howard caught three passes for 52 yards, while Brate was held to just six yards on one reception. The rookie tight end is clearly the tight end fantasy owners should want with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center for the Bucs, but he's still off the TE1 map in Week 13, especially if Jameis Winston returns.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard scores in Week 11 win.

Howard caught three passes for 52 yards, including a six-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Tampa Bay's first-round pick has found the end zone four times this season, but he's an unreliable fantasy option with no more than one fantasy point in games he hasn't scored in.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard held without a catch in Week 10 win.

Cameron Brate had just one reception, as Ryan Fitzpatrick mostly targeted DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin. Howard isn't a reliable fantasy option with inconsistent usage, but next week could be a week for him to be involved against Miami. Still, there are better options.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard held to one reception in loss to the Saints.

It went for six yards, and he also lost a fumble. The first-round pick isn't a recommended fantasy option with Cameron Brate healthy.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard caught two passes for 16 yards in Sunday's loss to Carolina.

After a huge Week 7 game, many fantasy owners were jumping on the Howard bandwagon, but both of his scores came on busted coverages on the back end. He's still clearly behind Cameron Brate and while he should have big games and plays, the rookie isn't a recommended own in redraft leagues, as they will be difficult to predict. The 2-5 Bucs travel to New Orleans for Week 9.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard breaks out with two-touchdown performance in loss.

Howard caught six passes for 98 yards and two scores. The first came on a backside play-action pass from seven yards out, and the second was a 33-yard score where the rookie found himself wide open on another backside play-action pass. It was obviously a promising game for the first-round pick, but he still isn't a reliable TE1 option in redraft leagues. Howard can probably stay on the waiver wire heading into Week 8.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard catches one pass as Bucs fall to Cardinals.

It went for 15 yards. Cameron Brate is clearly the tight end to own in Tampa Bay, so Howard isn't worth rostering in redraft leagues. He's obviously a great dynasty own.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard doesn't catch a pass in Week 5.

The rookie tight end was targeted in the end zone on the final play of the game, but that was it. Howard isn't a reliable fantasy option yet, but he's a good bet to be one in future seasons if not the end of this one.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard catches lone target in Week 3.

The rookie tight end had a 12-yard reception against the Vikings. He doesn't need to be rostered in standard leagues right now.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

Rookie O.J. Howard catches first-career pass in his NFL debut.

Howard had a 17-yarder over the middle on his only reception in the Bucs' Week 2 win over Chicago. Howard might not put up consistent numbers as a rookie, but he offers a ton of upside down the line as a freak athlete tight end with prototypical size.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard caught two passes for 15 yards on Saturday night.

Howard is being drafted as a late-round pick in fantasy drafts, but teammate Cameron Brate is probably the better pick, and he's going undrafted in many leagues. You should probably look elsewhere at the tight end position for 2017.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

O.J. Howard caught two passes for 28 yards in Thursday night's preseason game.

Howard nearly charged his way into the end zone on one of his receptions, but was stopped short. Still, it showed the strength and speed of the rookie tight end. Howard, currently going as the TE13, probably isn't worth drafting over some of the players he is going ahead of, though, because of Cameron Brate's presence.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

Bucs GM Jason Licht is happy with rookie tight end O.J. Howard.

Licht was on SiriusXM NFL Radio and says their first-rounder has been "everything" they expected. Howard is a prototypical tight end that somehow dropped to the 19th pick in the draft, where the Buccaneers—who were shocked he was still available—scooped him up. For those watching HBO's "Hard Knocks", you should get a nice look at Howard leading up to the regular season. He's being drafted as a borderline TE1.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

Jameis Winston says rookie tight end O.J. Howard is "unreal."

Winston told NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon that the former Alabama tight end is "just a specimen" and they are "privileged" to have him. The Buccaneers quarterback said what Howard is going to do "is going to be amazing." Winston also explained that Howard is "the fastest, most athletic 6'6", 255 guy I've ever seen in my life." Tampa Bay was lucky to select Howard with the 19th pick in the draft, and the early word has been great. Cameron Brate, who had a breakout season last year, is also there at tight end for the Bucs, but Howard will certainly have a role as a rookie. It's too early to tell if he'll have fantasy value this season, though.

O.J. Howard | Bills TE

Buccaneers select Alabama tight end O.J. Howard with the 19th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

The slide ends for Howard, who was thought to be a top ten overall prospect by many people, despite being a tight end. Don’t be fooled by Howard’s 114/1,726/7 career line over four years at Alabama, as he has the makings of an elite, all-around tight end in the league. Despite never being featured, he did whatever was asked of him at Alabama, and did it more than well. Despite Cameron Brate having a good season last year, Howard should immediately be an every-down player for the Bucs, and will likely be a popular pick as a mid-range TE1, but some veteran players might be more reliable in 2017. Jameis Winston and Howard is a potentially lethal combination for many, many years.