1Questionable role alongside Kenneth Walker III
It took former first-round draft pick Rashaad Penny nearly two seasons to earn more than 12 carries in a game (and nearly four seasons to earn more than 15). In April, the Seahawks invested a second-round pick in Kenneth Walker III. Penny’s usage alongside Walker is the major X-factor in Penny’s 2022 fantasy value. If he’s given lead-back duties, he can remain on weekly fantasy radars in a run-friendly offense. But for now, that’s a week-to-week question.
2X-factor: Chris Carson’s health
Will Chris Carson be healthy enough to play? His unlikely ascension as Seattle’s bell cow began in 2018, only months after the team drafted their supposed franchise RB in Penny. Carson’s neck surgery puts not only his season but his career in doubt. Since he’s the most accomplished pass catcher among the “big three” in this backfield, his absence would open the door for an expanded aerial role for Penny.
3Yellow flag: Penny’s seemingly inflated yards before carry
The passing game assuredly will take a moderate-to-significant hit with Russell Wilson gone. Penny’s long-awaited dominance in Weeks 14-18 last year (678 rushing yards and six touchdowns) coincided with Wilson averaging two TDs per game. It’s little surprise that Penny’s 3.2 yards before contact last year was the third-highest among all RBs. Though much of that has to do with Penny and the offensive line, a sharp downgrade at QB this year — and a more predictable run-first offense — should make it tougher for Penny to dominate, even if he gets bell-cow work.