How much does pedigree matter to you? If you want to bet on a first-round pick over a seventh-rounder, you'll want to make Penny your target in the Seahawks' backfield with a mid-round pick. Chris Carson should open the season as the top option in the rushing game, but Penny offers explosiveness Carson can't touch. Whether that will make Penny a better option in the long run remains to be seen, but it's worth getting him on your bench just in case.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said Penny looks slimmer and in better shape than he did at minicamp last season, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports. "It's been cool to watch Rashaad, watch him grow up, watch him mature, watch him learn to kind of be a pro,'' Schottenheimer said. "I'm really pleased with the way he is attacking practice right now." With Chris Carson recovering from a procedure on his knee, Penny has been operating as the No. 1 running back at spring practices. Coach Pete Carroll mentioned Penny's improved conditioning earlier this offseason, noting that he expects the second-year back to be part of a "one-two punch" with Carson. Penny got off to a slow start as a rookie but then ran for 5.8 yards per carry from Week 4 through the end of the season, ripping off nine gains of 15-plus yards in the process. He also had 10 carries that lost yards on 85 attempts, with his positive run percentage (78.8) ranking only 52nd among the 81 NFL players that took at least 50 carries. Carson was more consistent, ranking 27th at 83.8 percent.
Coach Pete Carroll said Penny will push Chris Carson for more playing time and expects the duo to form a one-two punch, John Boyle of the Seahawks official site reports. Penny had a bumpy rookie season, as he missed most of training camp with a broken finger and fell behind Chris Carson and sometimes even Mike Davis in the backfield pecking order. He was still highly explosive and averaged 4.9 YPC to reach 419 rushing yards and added nine receptions for 75 yards. Carson was dominant and more consistent, however, racking up 1,314 scrimmage yards through 14 games. Penny has the potential to be a lethal running back, but he's facing an uphill battle since Carson is already a proven commodity. However, there's clearly room for Penny to earn a more stable workload, considering the Seahawks ranked second in the league with 33.4 rushing plays per game. The battle for how touches will be divided should go on through the offseason program and training camp.
Penny rushed four times for 28 yards in Saturday's playoff loss to the Cowboys. Penny was the most efficient running back on paper in this outing with 7.3 yards per carry, but that stat's deceptive since it's a small sample size and one of his rushes went for 28 yards while the other three combined for a goose egg. The rookie first-round pick couldn't secure a starting role this season when Chris Carson was healthy and only recorded double-digit carries twice, ending up with 85 carries for 419 yards and two touchdowns. Carson broke out as a highly productive back, but Penny's lack of touches after being the second running back selected in the 2018 NFL Draft is a troubling review, especially with young backs flourishing around the league. Penny will look to capture more backfield reps with a strong offseason program and training camp. However, Carson is under contract for two more years and coach Pete Carroll's game plan is historically tough to read, so perhaps fading his 2019 outlook is appropriate at this time.
Penny gained just six yards on four carries in Sunday's win over the Cardinals. Penny missed the previous two games with a knee injury, and he didn't get a carry until the second quarter. It was a brutally unproductive outing, and he fell behind Mike Davis, who rushed seven times for 44 yards and a touchdown. Penny is a more explosive back than Davis, but with limited touches, he needs to break out big plays early to earn more carries behind indisputable starter Chris Carson. The rookie first-round pick shouldn't be counted on in postseason fantasy formats without a dependable snap count.
Penny (knee) is listed as active Sunday against the Cardinals. A full practice participant all week, Penny still needed to get through a pregame workout unscathed to make his first appearance since Week 14. With the health of his knee approved by the training staff, he'll be available to the Seahawks backfield, though his workload could be determined by game flow. Chris Carson will get the initial touches but could be pulled if Seattle gets out to a comfortable lead, which would leave Penny and Mike Davis to vie for snaps.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/22||New Orleans Saints||3||12.44|
|5||10/04||Los Angeles Rams||14||17.26|
|9||11/03||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||21.25|
|10||11/12||@San Francisco 49ers||20||19.00|
|14||12/09||@Los Angeles Rams||14||17.26|
|17||12/29||San Francisco 49ers||20||19.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||85||419||2||9||75||0||60|