The Duel

Would You Rather: Start Miles Sanders or Jordan Howard for Remainder of 2019 Fantasy Season

Max Staley
Dylan Buell/Getty Images
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Much to the chagrin of Miles Sanders' fantasy owners, Jordan Howard exploded Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers. He racked up 115 total yards on 18 touches, adding three touchdowns as well.

With the Philadelphia Eagles seemingly committed to a timeshare, let's break down which RB you'd rather own for the rest of the 2019 fantasy season.

Jordan Howard Fantasy Outlook

When the Eagles acquired Howard from the Chicago Bears via trade, many thought he could become the team's lead back. That vision was clearly muddled, however, as Philadelphia selected Sanders with a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft just one month later.

While Howard's workload has been far from consistent, his carries have actually increased in each week. Howard saw six carries in Week 1, eight in Week 2, 11 in Week 3 and 15 on Thursday night. This could suggest that Howard is emerging as the lead back.

The snap counts from Week 4 tell a similar story. After Sanders out-snapped Howard in each of the first three weeks, Howard was on the field for 53 percent of the snaps last night, while Sanders played just 35 percent of the snaps.

Miles Sanders Fantasy Outlook

While Sanders' usage might be trending in the wrong direction, he's actually been more consistently involved in the Eagles' offense than Howard. Sanders has received double-digit carries in all four of Philadelphia's games.

He's also far more dynamic in the passing game, racking up six receptions (10 targets) for 84 yards while Howard has turned his nine targets into six receptions for 47 yards.

Where Howard can be a bit of a plodder, Sanders is an explosive athlete. He's been returning kicks for the Eagles (including a 66-yard return), and has taken a rush for 30 yards and a reception for 40. Howard's longest carry in 2019 is 19 yards, and his longest reception went for 20.

Even though things are currently trending in Howard's favor, Sanders is likely going to be the better season-long value.

Sanders' ability in the passing game ensures he'll be a crucial cog in Philadelphia's offense, he has some added TD potential from kick returns and has out-snapped Howard in three of Philadelphia's first four games.

It could be a while before Sanders definitively establishes himself as the lead back, but the second-round pick will likely become the better fantasy option in the not-too-distant future.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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