Rashaad Penny Sinking Deeper into Committee Hole, while Chris Carson’s Value Surges

The Seattle Backfield is in flux, and needs reconsideration before your Fantasy Drafts

Entering Preseason action, Chris Carson — who was singled out by Pete Carroll as the offseason star and has been operating as the Seahawks’ lead guy in early camp — had been labeled “the favorite to start” Week 1. Though many speculated this was mere motivational coachspeak, Thursday’s contest versus Indianapolis suggests otherwise. Carson started and severely outplayed Rashaad Penny, leading the team with 26 rushing yards on just 4 carries (6.5 YPC). Meanwhile, Penny took 8 carries for just 16 yards (2.0 YPC), all while playing deep into the 3rd Quarter (and rotating with *PUKE* Mike Davis *PUKE AGAIN*)

Perhaps all this Carson “puff” is really more than just noise. Thus far, he’s been the backfield star at camp, labeled the Week 1 starter, and received such treatment in the Seahawks opener — where Carson was clearly the best back on the field. Moreover, when the pressure was highest on a 4th-and-1, the team went to Carson, who moved the chains.

While I acknowledge the team traded up to secure Penny in Round 1, the “Draft Capital” argument is growing weaker by the day. He was labeled one of my Most Overpriced Players in our Preseason Kickoff Guide, and his value seems to only be declining. Even worse, though he didn’t play Thursday, CJ Prosise has been operating as the 3rd-down back in camp, and OC Brian Schottenheimer has already announced his committee-preference, noting it takes “more than one [running back], for sure” to run effectively.

Thus, Penny’s Usage waters appear very murky. This is doubly concerning considering the line is horrendous here — rankings 30th in PFF’s most recent Line Grades update.  Plus, the Seahawks’ defense has been decimated, meaning the team will rarely be milking the clock and often playing from behind — not great for Penny, who’s struggled mightily in pass-protection throughout his college career. Penny’s ADP currently hovers in the same tier as Jay Ajayi, and Alex Collins, but has far less “Usage” and “Surrounding Talent” clarity to justify this. I’m passing on Penny at this price. Meanwhile, backfield-mate Carson offers far more intrigue at his 117 ADP Price Point.

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