O.J. Howard

Five players the Bears should consider targeting at the NFL trade deadline

Five players the Bears should consider targeting at the NFL trade deadline

The 2019 NFL trade deadline (Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 3:00 p.m. CST) is quickly approaching, and that means general manager Ryan Pace has less than one week to determine if a trade is what this team needs to salvage a once-promising season.

The Bears have more than just one weakness; there isn't one simple solution or one position upgrade that'll fix the ever-growing mess. But there are a few veterans who could be had on the trade market who would represent an uptick in overall talent on this team. 

Here are five options for Pace to consider.

RB Melvin Gordon (Chargers)

Gordon had one of the most ridiculous training-camp-into-regular-season holdouts in recent contract-dispute history. It literally accomplished nothing for the talented well-rounded running back, who would bring a combination of experience and big-play ability to the Bears' backfield. What we do know, however, is that Gordon is looking for a big contract, one that Los Angeles isn't going to pay him. And if they aren't going to pay him, Pace might as well try to bring him to Chicago for at least the final 10 games of this season. The Bears' running game is arguably the worst in the NFL. Acquiring a player like Gordon, even if it's a one-year rental, can only help.

OT Trent Williams (Redskins)

The Bears' struggles along the offensive line haven't been because of any particular player; it's not like Chicago needs an upgrade at offensive tackle because Bobby Massie and Charles Leno, Jr. are playing poorly. They aren't. But Williams, who's vowed to never play for the Washington Redskins again, is one of the NFL's best all-around offensive linemen and would be a bonafide blue-chipper upfront. What would a Williams addition mean for Leno, Jr. and Massie? That's anyone's guess. But if a player of his caliber can be had at the trade deadline, Pace would be doing the Bears a disservice by not at least inquiring.

QB Case Keenum (Redskins)

Sadly, this is where we are with the Bears' quarterback situation. A player like Keenum, a veteran journeyman who's had as many lows as highs in his career, could actually be an upgrade for Chicago at the trade deadline. And it's not because he projects as a better longterm option than Trubisky. Rather, Keenum is the prototype quarterback who can inject life into an offense when it needs it most. The Bears wouldn't necessarily be giving up on Trubisky by acquiring a player like Keenum, but they would take a big step toward salvaging their playoff hopes.

TE OJ Howard (Buccaneers)

Howard is the most underused yet supremely talented players in the entire league. It's obvious he needs a change of scenery, and it's similarly obvious that the Bears need more than what Trey Burton is giving them at tight end. Howard is the perfect blend of power and athleticism to stay on the field in both running and passing situations and he can be a lethal weapon down the field for Trubisky (or whoever's under center). He's also a high-end run blocker. Win-win. The Buccaneers have said they aren't interested in trading Howard at this point, but where there's smoke? You know the rest.

OLB Vic Beasley (Falcons)

Beasley is essentially the Falcons' version of Leonard Floyd, with one exception. Beasley proved there's sack potential buried deep down inside him somewhere. He had 15.5 sacks in 2016. Compare that to Floyd, who has 17 sacks in nearly 3.5 seasons. The Falcons pass rush has been terrible in 2019, and Atlanta looks like they're ready to be sellers after dealing wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots for a second-round pick. Beasley, who has the kind of quick-twitch that would make for an interesting pairing with Khalil Mack, would likely require nothing more than a Day-3 selection to pry away. 

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2017 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings

2017 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings

On Wednesday's edition of the Fantasy Football Fix Podcast, the guys unveiled their positional rankings for the 2017 season.

Listen to our Podcast for more in-depth analysis and take a look at the full rankings from Tony Andracki, Scott Krinch and Glynn Morgan below.

Andracki's positional rankings

QBs

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Drew Brees
3. Tom Brady
4. Marcus Mariota
5. Jameis Winston
6. Andrew Luck
7. Russell Wilson
8. Cam Newton
9. Kirk Cousins
10. Matt Ryan
11. Derek Carr
12. Ben Roethlisberger
13. Matthew Stafford
14. Philip Rivers
15. Dak Prescott
16. Tyrod Taylor
17. Eli Manning
18. Carson Palmer
19. Blake Bortles
20. Jay Cutler

Analysis: I could see any of the guys I ranked 1-6 ending the season at the top fantasy quarterback. Mariota and Winston are absolutely ascending, but in reality, this quarterback class this year is SO deep. I would be perfectly happy with my 15th (Prescott) or 17th (Manning) QBs being my only gunslinger on my team. 

This is proof you should draft QBs late and there's rarely any need for two on your fantasy roster. 

The other thing worth noting: Roethlisberger is not — and should not be considered — an elite option any longer. Over the last three seasons, his home/road splits are real and they're awful:

Home: 59 TD, 16 INT
Road: 23 TD, 22 INT

He's nothing more than a spot starter at this point in his career, but when he is playing in Pittsburgh, there's hardly anybody better.

RBs

1. David Johnson
2. Le'Veon Bell
3. Ezekiel Elliott
4. Jordan Howard
5. Jay Ajayi
6. Melvin Gordon
7. Devonta Freeman
8. Lamar Miller
9. LeSean McCoy
10. DeMarco Murray
11. Todd Gurley
12. Ty Montgomery
13. Mark Ingram
14. Tevin Coleman
15. Leonard Fournette
16. Christian McCaffrey
17. C.J. Anderson
18. Isaiah Crowell
19. Dalvin Cook
20. Bilal Powell
21. Duke Johnson
22. Paul Perkins
23. C.J. Prosise
24. LeGarrette Blount
25. Mike Gillislee
26. Danny Woodhead
27. Theo Riddick
28. Spencer Ware
29. Jonathan Stewart
30. James White
31. Derrick Henry
32. Doug Martin
33. Eddie Lacy
34. Carlos Hyde
35. Ameer Abdullah
36. Matt Forte
37. Frank Gore
38. Jeremy Hill
39. Gio Bernard
40. Latavius Murray

Take these 40 and add a bunch of late-round flyers on guys like Zach Zenner, Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson Joe Mixon, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Dion Lewis, Charles Sims, Darren Sproles, Kareem Hunt, Marlon Mack, Joe Williams, Jamaal Charles.

Analysis: For me, there are the top three backs (Johnson, Bell, Elliott) and then a major drop-off. There are serious question marks around every guy and most teams have two or three capable options that could make an impact, especially in PPR leagues.

Could make the case that anybody from 15-40 could be interchanged in my rankings and anybody from that list of flyers can bump into the 25-40 range. That's how finicky RBs are in 2017.

That being said, I'm really high on Howard and waiting for McCoy and Murray to just fall off a cliff, as I explain in the podcast.

WRs

1. Antonio Brown
2. Odell Beckham
3. Julio Jones
4. Mike Evans
5. A.J. Green
6. Jordy Nelson
7. Michael Thomas
8. T.Y. Hilton
9. Dez Bryant
10. Brandin Cooks
11. Jarvis Landry
12. Keenan Allen
13. Amari Cooper
14. Allen Robinson
15. Doug Baldwin 
16. DeAndre Hopkins
17. Demaryius Thomas
18. Alshon Jeffery
19. Jamison Crowder
20. Julian Edelman
21. Terrelle Pryor
22. Golden Tate
23. Willie Snead
24. Larry Fitzgerald
25. John Brown
26. Cam Meredith
27. Martavis Bryant
28. DeVante Parker
29. Eric Decker
30. Donte Moncrief
31. Rishard Matthews
32. Michael Crabtree
33. Brandon Marshall
34. Tyreek Hill
35. Jordan Matthews
36. Davante Adams
37. Randall Cobb
38. Pierre Garcon
39. Emmanuel Sanders
40. Corey Coleman
41. Sammy Watkins
42. Stefon Diggs
43. Kelvin Benjamin
44. Corey Davis
45. Sterling Shepard
46. Kevin White
47. Tyler Lockett
48. Phillip Dorsett
49. Malcolm Mitchell
50. Adam Thielen
51. Jeremy Maclin
52. Breshad Perriman
53. Tyrell Williams
54. Allen Hurns
55. Tavon Austin
56. Taylor Gabriel
57. J.J. Nelson
58. Cole Beasley
59. Josh Doctson
60. John Ross
61. DeSean Jackson
62. Mike Williams
63. Eli Rogers
64. Kenny Britt
65. Mike Wallace
66. Marvin Jones
67. Robby Anderson
68. Travis Benjamin
69. Robert Woods
70. Chris Hogan

LATE-ROUND SLEEPERS

Cooper Kupp
Kenny Golladay
Tanner Gentry
Marqise Lee
Laquon Treadwell
Zay Jones

Analysis: It's the Top 10 for me then some serious question marks, though I do love me some Jarvis Landry. I'd be happy with anybody from 11-40 as my Nos. 2/3/4 WRs and there are plenty of upside guys to be had late in the draft.

It's a deep position group this year, but my plan in drafts is to strongly target one of the Top 10 guys, as I'd rather bet my early-round picks on the more-stable WRs as opposed to the scary/iffy RB crop.

Can we dispel the notion that Sammy Watkins is an elite receiver? Dude is far from it. He can't stay healthy and he's one of the more inconsistent wideouts in fantasy, with nearly half of his career games (18 out of 37) finishing with fewer than 9 fantasy points, even in full point PPR leagues.

TEs

1. Rob Gronkowski
2. Travis Kelce
3. Jordan Reed
4. Greg Olsen
5. Tyler Eifert
6. Jimmy Graham
7. Kyle Rudolph
8. Delanie Walker
9. Eric Ebron
10. Hunter Henry
11. Zach Ertz
12. Martellus Bennett
13. Austin Hoooper
14. Jack Doyle
15. Coby Fleener
16. Julius Thomas
17. Jason Witten
18. C.J. Fiedorowicz
19. Cameron Brate
20. O.J. Howard

SLEEPERS

David Njoku
Evan Engram
Maxx Williams
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 
Adam Shaheen
Clive Walford

Analysis: Gronk's inability to stay healthy bumps him out of the first round, in my eyes. He's also no longer putting up the per-game production way above the rest of the position now that Kelce is finding the endzone and Reed/Olsen are gigantic parts of their team's offense. 

Ebron and Henry could be solid value late in drafts and Bennett has proved he has something left in the tank, plus he's just joined up with the best QB in the league in Aaron Rodgers. Don't sleep on Cameron Brate, even with O.J. Howard in town.

Krinch's positional rankings

QUARTERBACK

1. Aaron Rodgers (GB)
2. Drew Brees (NO)
3. Tom Brady (NE)
4. Andrew Luck (IND)
5. Marcus Mariota (TEN)
6. Russell Wilson (SEA)
7. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
8. Cam Newton (CAR)
9. Matt Ryan (ATL)
10. Derek Carr (OAK)
11. Jameis Winston (TB)
12. Kirk Cousins (WSH)
13. Philip Rivers (LAC)
14. Eli Manning (NYG)
15. Andy Dalton (CIN)
16. Dak Prescott (DAL)
17. Matt Stafford (DET)
18. Carson Palmer (ARI)
19. Blake Bortles (JAX)
20. Tyrod Taylor (BUF)

RUNNING BACK

1. LeVeon Bell (PIT)
2. David Johnson (ARI)
3. Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)
4. LeSean McCoy (BUF)
5. Jordan Howard (CHI)
6. Melvin Gordon (LAC)
7. Devonta Freeman (ATL)
8. DeMarco Murray (TEN)
9. Jay Ajayi (MIA)
10. Todd Gurley (LAR)
11. Lamar Miller (HOU)
12. Dalvin Cook (MIN)
13. Mark Ingram (NO)
14. Isaiah Crowell (CLE)
15. Marshawn Lynch (OAK)
16. Leonard Fournette (JAX)
17. Bilal Powell (NYJ)
18. C.J. Anderson (DEN)
19. Paul Perkins (NYG)
20. Ty Montgomery (GB)
21. Spencer Ware (KC)
22. Tevin Coleman (ATL)
23. Frank Gore (IND)
24. Christian McCaffrey (CAR)
25. Ameer Abdullah (DET)
26. LeGarrette Blount (PHI)
27. Doug Martin (TB)
28. Eddie Lacy (SEA)
29. Mike Gillislee (NE)
30. Carlos Hyde (SF)
31. Danny Woodhead (BAL)
32. Joe Mixon (CIN)
33. Matt Forte (NYJ)
34. Adrian Peterson (NO)
35. Jonathan Stewart (CAR)
36. Samaje Perine (WSH)
37. C.J. Prosise (SEA)
38. Kareem Hunt (KC)
39. Marlon Mack (IND)
40. Darren Sproles (PHI)

WIDE RECEIVER

1. Antonio Brown (PIT)
2. Julio Jones (ATL)
3. Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)
4. Mike Evans (TB)
5. Jordy Nelson (GB)
6. A.J. Green (CIN)
7. Michael Thomas (NO)
8. Dez Bryant (DAL)
9. T.Y. Hilton (IND)
10. Brandin Cooks (NE)
11. Doug Baldwin (SEA)
12. DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)
13. Amari Cooper (OAK)
14. Demaryius Thomas (DEN)
15. Terrelle Pryor (WSH)
16. Allen Robinson (JAX)
17. Keenan Allen (LAC)
18. Alshon Jeffery (PHI)
19. Jarvis Landry (MIA)
20. Tyreek Hill (KC)
21. Kelvin Benjamin (CAR)
22. Davante Adams (GB)
23. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)
24. Julian Edelman (NE)
25. Cameron Meredith (CHI)
26. Martavis Bryant (PIT)
27. Pierre Garcon (SF)
28. Michael Crabtree (OAK)
29. Eric Decker (TEN)
30. DeSean Jackson (TB)
31. Jamison Crowder (WSH)
32. Kenny Britt (CLE)
33. Golden Tate (DET)
34. Brandon Marshall (NYG)
35. Emmanuel Sanders (DEN)
36. Stefon Diggs (MIN)
37. Tyrell Williams (LAC)
38. Devante Parker (MIA)
39. Jeremy Maclin (BAL)
40. John Brown (ARI)
41. Willie Snead (NO)
42. Zay Jones (BUF)
43. Jordan Matthews (PHI)
44. Corey Coleman (CLE)
45. Marvin Jones (DET)
46. Sterling Shepard (NYG)
47. Rishard Matthews (TEN)
48. Sammy Watkins (BUF)
49. Randall Cobb (GB)
50. Mike Wallace (BAL)
51. Donte Moncrief (IND)
52. Adam Thielen (MIN)
53. Chris Hogan (NE)
54. Kevin White (CHI)
55. Robert Woods (BUF)
56. Corey Davis (TEN)
57. Malcolm Mitchell (NE)
58. Taylor Gabriel (ATL)
59. Tyler Lockett (SEA)
60. Allen Hurns (JAX)
61. Tajh Boyd (CIN)
62. Kenny Stills (MIA)
63. Breshad Perriman (BAL)
64. Tavon Austin (LAR)
65. Robby Anderson (NYJ)
66. Mohamed Sanu (ATL)
67. Josh Doctson (WSH)
68. Devin Funchess (CAR)
69. Kenny Golladay (DET)
70. Ted Ginn (NO)

TIGHT END

1. Rob Gronkowski (NE)
2. Travis Kelce (KC)
3. Greg Olsen (CAR)
4. Jordan Reed (WSH)
5. Tyler Eifert (CIN)
6. Delanie Walker (TEN)
7. Kyle Rudolph (MIN)
8. Zach Ertz (PHI)
9. Martellus Bennett (GB)
10. Jack Doyle (IND)
11. Jimmy Graham (SEA)
12. Hunter Henry (LAC)
13. Eric Ebron (DET)
14. C.J. Fiedorowicz (HOU)
15. Julius Thomas (MIA)
16. Coby Fleener (NO)
17. Charles Clay (BUF)
18. Evan Engram (NYG)
19. Jason Witten (DAL)
20. Cameron Brate (TB)

Morgan's positional rankings

Running backs

David Johnson 
Le’Veon Bell
Ezekiel Elliott
Devonta Freeman
LeSean McCoy
Jay Ajayi
Todd Gurley
Lamar Miller
Leonard Fournette
Melvin Gordon
DeMarco Murray
Jordan Howard
Dalvin Cook
Joe Mixon
Isaiah Crowell

Wide receivers

Antonio Brown
Odell Beckham
Julio Jones
Jordy Nelson
Michaell Thomas
Mike Evans
Deandre Hopkins
A.J. Green
T.Y. Hilton
Doug Baldwin
Amari  Cooper
Dez Bryant
Jarvis Landry
Allen Robinson
Brandin Cooks

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady
Aaron Rodgers
Drew Brees
Matt Ryan
Jameis Winston
Ben Roethlisberger
Derek Carr
Eli Manning
Matt Stafford
Andy Dalton
Kirk Cousins
Russell Wilson
Philip Rivers
Andrew Luck
Marcus Mariota

Tight end

Travis Kelce
Rob Gronkowski
Greg Olsen
Jimmy Graham
Jordan Reed
Hunter Henry
Evan Engram
Kyle Rudolph
Delanie Walker
Zach Ertz
Colby Fleener
Martellus Bennett
Jack Doyle
Eric Ebron
Tyler Eifert

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Alabama TE O.J. Howard

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Alabama TE O.J. Howard

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

6'6" | 251 lbs.

2016 stats:

45 receptions, 595 yards, 3 touchdowns

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"Howard has struggled to live up to hype that has come with his play-making ability while at Alabama, but some scouts put the blame on the staff and scheme. He has elite athletic traits and raw talent, but must add polish to go along with those attributes. Should become substantially more productive as a pro, but the difference between "potential weapon" and "elite tight end" will likely be tied to his desire and overall football character." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles