Skip to main content

Kenneth Walker III Fantasy Football Outlook (2023)

By Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros), Fri, Sep 1st 2023, 10:35am EDT

Kenneth Walker III stood as the RB8 from Weeks 6-17 after Rashaad Penny was placed on IR with a season-ending injury. The rookie was the RB9 in points per game. If you remove the two games, he missed due to injury (Weeks 13/14) he averaged 16.4 fantasy points per game, which would have placed him as the RB8 in points per game. Walker's late ADP last season made him a draft-day steal.
We all knew that Rashaad Penny was never going to be "the guy" for the long run based on his injury track record and that Walker would likely take over RB1 duties as an uber-talented second-round pick. He did just that and got absolutely FED after returning from a late-season ankle injury. Walker was either consistently playing 70 percent-plus snaps or carrying the ball 23-plus times. And at times, we even saw Walker earn targets while leading the backfield in routes run.
But overall, he underwhelmed as a receiver as he did at the college level. And his tendency to look for home runs rushes resulted in a rushing success rate that ranked second-to-last (31.4%) among rushers with at least 100 carries in 2022. He also missed games because of injuries.
And his path to RB1 upside will be that much tougher to realize after the team added Zach Charbonnet in the second round of this year's draft. Charbonnet posted the 5th-highest PFF receiving grade and tied for first in receptions per game (3.7) among his draft class. The former UCLA running back also finished with the highest positive run rate (57%) and lowest bust rate (4%) among drafted running backs.
The rookie Seahawk can't deliver explosive rushes like Walker, but he can be trusted to hit doubles as a rusher and receiver consistently. That's concerning for those hoping Walker was stepping into a workhorse role this season, which was very appealing about his fantasy profile last year.
And to add literal insult to injury, Walker has popped up this offseason with a groin injury, forcing him to miss time in training camp. The rhetoric out of the Seahawks' camp is that this is they are just being overly cautious, so it's not a MAJOR cause for concern. However, it needs to be noted that Walker missed two games last season and dealt with a sports hernia early on during last offseason that required surgery. He missed Week 1 last year as a result but returned in Week 2.
All in all, I'd buy the dip his "injury status" calls for. Because the bigger injury is to his teammate Charbonnet, who is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Because Charbonnet caused the big dip in Walker's ADP after the NFL Draft, any missed time by the rookie is a massive win for KW3. The other RBs on Seahawks depth chart include fourth-year pro DeeJay Dallas and 2023 7th-rounder Kenny McIntosh.

More Kenneth Walker IIINews  |  Articles  |  Rankings |  Projections |  Stats