With the NFL Draft just over a month away, I’ve been breaking down top prospects and their ideal fits for Dynasty fantasy football, continuing with North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell. If you need a refresher on Dynasty, I wrote about how fun it can be in my previous articles. Here are the prospects I’ve covered so far:
- Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
- Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
- David Bell, WR, Purdue
- Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
- Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
- Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
- Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
- George Pickens, WR, Georgia
- John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
- Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Lucio Vainesman also broke down the best landing spots for these prospects, too:
- Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
- Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
- Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
- Drake London, WR, USC
- Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
- Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
Today, we were talking about North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell. At times, Howell looked like he could be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He’s shown he can make a variety of different throws, and he can also make plays with his legs, which is paramount to fantasy relevance. TDN’s Joe Marino agrees that Howell can one day be a starter, though he still thinks Howell has a learning curve ahead of him.
“Outside of the schematic adjustment ahead for Howell, my concerns for him when projecting him to the next level stem from instances where he can unravel on tape, his average pocket manipulation skills, and an overall modest package of physical traits,” wrote Marino in Howell’s scouting report.
Marino specifically noted the importance of letting Howell develop early in his career, although he should have an easier time to adjust in a spread offense. Therefore, Howell’s dynasty value lies in a team’s patience with Howell and their system.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone saying the Falcons are ready to compete now. Even if they exceed expectations next season, they still brought in quarterback Marcus Mariota on a two-year deal. That means Howell has no inclination to start right away. Instead, he can sit and absorb Head Coach Arthur Smith’s system. You may be wondering why I included Atlanta when, as it stands, they have no real intriguing weapons outside of Kyle Pitts. Well, as I’ve said countless times in this dynasty series, it’s futile to project a team’s lineup in two-to-three years from now. The real value comes in assessing the team’s scheme and organizational stability. While the latter has yet to be proven in the young tenure of Smith and General Manager Terry Fontenot, It’s safe to assume Atlanta is trending towards a scheme similar to the one Smith ran in Tennessee. You know, the one with running back Derrick Henry? The Falcons don’t have a Henry, so perhaps they won’t be as run-focused. Still, Mariota isn’t exactly Matt Ryan. I expect this offense to be friendlier to a quarterback like Howell, who has shown he can operate in space on timed throws. And if the Falcons do lean on the run game more, it can help to offset any passing deficiencies their starter may have. It’s not my favorite fit on this list, but it’s one I can see Howell growing into.
If you’ve been reading my dynasty series, then you know how highly I think of Indianapolis as a landing spot for a rookie quarterback. Just look at what I said about Liberty quarterback Malik Willis’ fit with the Colts: “Keep in mind, Indianapolis was one game away from making the playoffs last season. They have a good roster that can sustain a not-so-good quarterback. Luckily, Willis wouldn’t need to be thrust in right away. With Matt Ryan under contract for two more seasons, Willis can take his time to develop into the All-Pro passer some people think he can be.”
That all applies to Howell, too. He’d have the chance to work with Jonathan Taylor, who—in case you didn’t know—is a very good running back. Having a great run game forces defenses to focus more on that aspect of a team’s offense rather than a team’s passing game. Translation: it’s really nice for quarterbacks when the defense isn’t as concerned about you. Obviously, that may not always be a good thing. But with Taylor potentially there to shoulder the burden of opposing defenses, it can free up Howell to make plays and subsequently rack up fantasy points. I’d be very interested in Howell if he became a Colt.
Like the Colts, the Titans have a bit more stability at quarterback. Still, Ryan Tannehill may not have enough juice to lead the Titans deep into the playoffs. That’s where Derrick Henry comes in, especially in their 2019 postseason run. And what’s been a central theme of this article? That’s right, it’s good running backs easing the burden off of their quarterbacks. I like Howell as a long-term fit in Tennessee for the same reasons I like Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder’s fit: A steady offense and supporting cast, and utilization of the quarterback’s mobility.
“They have everything a young quarterback like Ridder could want—at least, from a Dynasty standpoint. A.J. Brown is here to stay, Derrick Henry can take the load off from any obstacles Ridder may face and Ryan Tannehill is a fine quarterback with not much long-term upside. Besides, it’s not often a rookie quarterback can land with a No. 1 seed.”
With no long-term backup in place, Howell can be that guy to eventually take the reins from Tannehill, maybe even sooner than people expect. Howell is by no means a perfect prospect, so opportunities to start earlier than normal could mean big things for his dynasty value.
When it comes to quarterbacks and good-looking team fits, I’ve shied away from including the Commanders. On the surface, the current regime has no proven track in maintaining a fantasy-rich offense. That offense is a mess right now. Although, I see things trending upward, at least on the defensive side of the ball. That makes me think Washington could soon invest more in the offense. After all, they did just trade three Day 2 picks for Carson Wentz. Speaking of Wentz, are we really sold he’s the answer in the nation’s capital? The Commanders’ front office sure seems to hope so. Wentz will be given every chance to start, which opens the door for Howell to sit and wait until he’s ready. By the time he is, who knows? Maybe the Commanders are finally ready to compete in a not-so-inspiring NFC East. Howell’s dynasty stock will obviously be boosted a bit if Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin are still on the team when or if he gets his chance to start. This fit may require a bit more patience from Howell dynasty managers, but it’s one with sneaky fantasy upside down the road.
Fantasy Football Rankings: 2022 Top RBs
- Aug 16, 2022
Fantasy Football Rankings: 2022 Top QBs
- Aug 16, 2022