Rashaad Penny: Waiver Wire Target Amid Trade Rumors? (Fantasy Football)
We will continue our deeper look at some top priority waiver wire pickups this week, this time featuring Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny. While Chris Carson has dominated touches out of the backfield this season for the Seahawks and ranked as a top 10 RB in fantasy, Penny still provides some intrigue as a change of pace option and potentially valuable handcuff. He’s also been known to have value on the trade market as the trade deadline approaches. We will take a look at Penny as a prospect coming into the league, the state of the Seahawks offense, and what we can expect from Penny going forward.
Rashaad Penny is a second-year back who came into the league last season after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. He played his college ball at San Diego State where he most-notably had a monster senior year carrying the ball 289 times for 2,248 yards and 23 TDs while adding a receiving line of 19-135-2. Beastly. That was easily the most rushing yards in NCAA that season and his TDs ranked second while he earned All-American honors and was the Mountain West Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. He’s third all-time at SDSU with 3,656 rushing yards behind only Donnel Pumphrey and Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk. At 5’11” and 220 lbs he surely has the size of an all-purpose back.
As Samuel Gold of The Athletic explained in his in-depth review of Penny in the video below, the Seahawks surprisingly reached for Penny early in the draft as most people had him pegged as more of a second- or third-round draft pick. The team didn’t use him much at all last season as a rookie. He only handled 85 carries for 419 yards (4.9 YPA) with two rushing TDs. He finished third on the team in rushing yards behind workhorse Chris Carson and even behind now-Bears RB Mike Davis. Penny did have one big breakout game last season when Carson was not active in Week 10 against the Rams where he carried the ball 12 times for 108 yards and a TD.
State of the Offense
The Seahawks have hung around the top five in rushing yards and attempts all season, as was the story last season as well. Chris Carson has been a top-five RB in terms of rushing attempts and yards and is a top 10 back in fantasy. Russell Wilson has played at an MVP-caliber level all season. Penny has been in and out of the lineup all season dealing with a hamstring injury, so it is tough to say what his value could be and if he has taken a step forward or backward in his second season in the league. This will continue to be one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league and is really an ideal spot for him to try and carve out value if he can force an RBBC.
Penny has been a constant name in trade rumors as the deadline approaches at 4 pm EST this Tuesday in the NFL as Ian Rapoport has reported. It’s clear at this point that Chris Carson will not be replaced as the primary ball carrier in this backfield and even change of pace duties is a fight right now as C.J. Prosise continues to hang around as a solid receiving back when healthy.
If Penny isn’t traded, he will likely remain a change of pace/backup to Carson, but if Carson were to miss time with an injury, Penny would slide right into his role as a workhorse. Carson did have some struggles with fumbles earlier this season and it was thought that there could be some controversy between who could be the lead back here. That noise has quieted since.
Penny showed in college he has the ability to carry a heavy workload and even though he is constantly credited with being a product of scheme and an elite O-Line, you aren’t just gifted over 2,000 yards in a single season. If Penny can land in another favorable spot where there isn’t a clear landscape at RB like Detroit, he could immediately slide into RB2 status. The Cardinals are ruled out as a suitor with their recent signing of Kenyan Drake. Some other spots that could be on the lookout for potential long-term investment at RB are the Bucs and Redskins. The Dolphins have an obvious need now without Drake but they’re likely looking forward to the draft to rebuild their team.
If Penny stays on the Seahawks, he will have a tough road ahead. Aside from carving out value alongside Carson, the Seahawks have the third-toughest strength of schedule going forward. You’re hoping for a trade here to maximize your value but there is plenty of handcuff value as well if his location doesn’t change.