The England defender has had another excellent season and Howard feels he is often unjustly overlooked when it comes to end-of-season accolades.
"With Bainesy at left-back it's not a glamour position and I think it's hard sometimes to see just how effective he is," said Baines.
"He's our key cog. We've got Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar and those guys, and obviously Kevin Mirallas, can produce a bit of magic.
"But without Bainesy this team doesn't go. It's just hard sometimes for people on the outside to see that."
Everton entertain Fulham this weekend and Howard knows they have to bounce back after the 1-0 defeat at Sunderland last Saturday.
"We have to perform at home, we know that, and when you are on your home pitch you have to push the tempo," he added.