Can we trust the Seattle RB escape game?
My God, what a day for Rashaad Penny. Sunday morning I wrote on the Seattle backfield and said don’t be surprised if Penny breaks a long run against Houston. What I didn’t expect was for him to advocate for him to take full control of the backfield for the remainder of the season. Was it a mirage? A flash in the pan? Or should fantasy football managers expect this level of penny use throughout the fantastic playoffs and, as a result, are applying for a waiver?
Rashaad Penny hasn’t quite found his niche in the NFL
Penny was selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, edging out future running back star Nick Chubb. His career never really got off the ground due to a combination of injuries, ineffectiveness and lack of playing time behind Chris Carson (who was a seventh-round pick the year before and beat Penny for the departure station). Penny just never took the plunge.
Still, there were flashes of an explosive and powerful runner. At 5’11 “and 220 pounds, Penny has a prototypical running back size and enough speed to make big plays. In 33 career games, Penny has compiled 1,038 rushing yards on 204 attempts (5.1 ypc ) and 7 touchdowns.
He hasn’t been asked to do much in the receiving game, but it’s more about the Seattle game call than anything else. Penny caught 19 of his 25 career targets for 186 yards and a touchdown.
Prior to Sunday, Penny had played two career games with over 100 rushing yards. He had to make these sorties happen on the back of explosive pieces. The two 100-plus-yard days spanned 14 carries or less.
Penny had a breakout game on Sunday
In Week 14, Penny was in the Seahawks roster for the second week in a row. He looked set to play a role in an offense featuring an ineffective Alex Collins.
But Penny didn’t just have a role – he took over.
Week 15 Waiver Thread: Top picks and targets for fantasy football include Rashaad Penny, KJ Osborn and Amon-Ra St. Brown
Collins finished the day with just 16 rushing yards on 7 carries (2.3 ypc). Penny dominated, making 16 carries for 137 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Until Monday Night Football, Penny is currently RB2 Week 14.
Speaking on 710 ESPN Seattle Monday morning, head coach Pete Carroll said Penny “reminded us of what it’s like to have a home run” in the backfield. The Seahawks offense was sorely lacking in an explosive element out of the backfield. Collins hasn’t been able to do anything since replacing an injured Carson.
Penny’s Fantastic Expectations
Penny not only was in charge on Sunday, but he appears to be Seattle’s running back for the remainder of the season – as long as he’s healthy. Health has always been the number one issue with Penny. If he can withstand those nagging injuries, he could be a nice addition to the fantastic playoffs.
Will Penny be a top-of-the-line RB1 every week? No of course not. But it’s available in virtually every league on NFL.com (1.4% registered). This must change immediately. A running back capable of making big plays in a Seattle offense who enjoys running the ball is an asset that cannot be taken lightly.
Of course, it’s possible that Penny will find herself injured again. But for his sake and ours, I desperately hope he can string together a series of great games. The Seahawks have turned down Penny’s fifth-year option, which means he’ll be a free agent after this season. A great series of games could go a long way in helping him land a role – in Seattle or elsewhere – next year.
Penny won’t start the fantastic playoffs with a good game. In Week 15, Seattle meet up with the Los Angeles Rams, who gave the opposing backs the third fewest fantastic points per game. But the Seahawks have the Lions on the line in Week 17 for Fantastic Championship Week. Add Penny, and he just might help you win a title.