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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2023 Half PPR Draft Rankings

Kenneth Walker III Note
Kenneth Walker III photo 15. Kenneth Walker III (at ARI)
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.
3 weeks ago
Zach Charbonnet Note
Zach Charbonnet photo 37. Zach Charbonnet (at ARI)
Zach Charbonnet started his college career at Michigan in 2019, where he started ahead of the future NFL draft selection, Hassan Haskins. But in 2020, Charbonnet's numbers regressed in a six-game season for Michigan due to COVID-19. He split time with Haskins again, while also losing out to work to another NFL-drafted Chris Evans and up-and-coming running back star, Blake Corum. Charbonnet was part of a major running back by the committee as a Wolverine so he transferred to UCLA in 2021 and immediately saw his production skyrocket. He would post a 25% dominator rating as a junior, finishing third among all RBs in PFF rushing grade. Charbonnet's 2022 senior production was also elite, as he finished 4th in PFF rushing grade among all RBs topping his grade from the year before. But more importantly, for fantasy purposes, the 6-foot, 214-pound running back improved on his receiving game, catching 37 balls for 320 yards on 44 targets. He 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 Seattle Seahawks selected Charbonnet in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft (52nd overall) pairing him with last year's second-round pick, Kenneth Walker III. Charbonnet can't deliver the home run rushes like Walker, but he can be trusted to hit doubles as a rusher and receiver consistently. Charbonnet's 3-down skill set combined with his draft capital suggests he will be used by the Seahawks plenty as a rookie, and he could end up being the better fantasy asset compared to Walker, who is currently dealing with a groin injury.

Keep in mind that head coach Pete Carroll is never afraid to shake things up when it comes to his backfield. The team drafted Rashaad Penny in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft. But former 7th-round draft pick Chris Carson was the team's leading rusher in 2018, 2019 and 2020. One of Charbonnet's closest comparisons based on his size and weight is Carson.
3 weeks ago
DeeJay Dallas Note
DeeJay Dallas photo 93. DeeJay Dallas (at ARI)
DeeJay Dallas is expected to have a larger role on offense during the preseason given the injuries to Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet. He has been splitting 1st-team reps with 2023 7th-round rookie selection, Kenny McIntosh. The team knows what they have in Dallas after he's spent three years within the organization. Pete Carroll has said that Dallas has bulked up to nearly 230 pounds, which gives him bell-cow size to handle a massive workload. And while McIntosh might offer more upside as a one-play receiver/explosive rusher, Dallas is built more to take on a workhorse role if presented with the opportunity. The team has never shied away from using the bigger back as part of their receiving game, as he has been targeted at least twice in half of his NFL games played where he recorded snaps on offense. The trust and reliability Dallas owns might give him the edge over McIntosh, despite the latter offering more "sexy" appeal as an unknown rookie. Even though Dallas owns better draft capital (4th-round versus 7th) and is a superior athlete. Remember, there's a reason that McIntosh was drafted in Round 7. He ran a 4.62 40-yard dash at 204 pounds. (23rd percentile). Dallas ran a 4.58 40-yard dash at 217 pounds. McIntosh also surpassed 15 carries just twice in his four-year collegiate career. Dallas could easily be this year's Samaje Perine. A la, a completely forgotten backup RB who finally delivers when called upon.
3 weeks ago
Kenny McIntosh Note
Kenny McIntosh photo 105. Kenny McIntosh (at ARI)
Kenny McIntosh is expected to have a larger role on offense during the preseason given the injuries to Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet. The 7th-round rookie out of Georgia has been splitting 1st-team reps with fourth-year pro, DeeJay Dallas, showcasing his explosiveness at sub-200 pounds and proficiency as a receiver. Head coach Pete Carroll says he was one of the "highlighted players" during off-season activities and training camp.
Per usual of most Georgia running backs, Kenny McIntosh had to bide his time before getting the opportunity to shine in the Bulldogs' offense. With Zamir White and James Cook drafted to the NFL in 2022, McIntosh got his shot to perform. He led Georgia in rushing yards (824) and thrived as a receiver out of the backfield. McIntosh earned PFF's highest receiving grade among all RBs in the FBS (86.8) due in part to compiling the second-most receiving yards among RBs (509). With solid size (listed as 6-foot-1 and 204 pounds) and a dynamite receiving profile, McIntosh could have some serious fantasy football sleeper appeal with his newfound opportunities in an injury-ridden Seattle backfield.
Shouldn't be overlooked that in 2021, McIntosh was posting better per-snap numbers than both White and Cook as both a rusher/receiver as PFF's 8th-highest graded RB in the FBS among running backs with at least 50 carries. McIntosh can compete, and the path for touches is there for the taking in Seattle.
3 weeks ago
Nick Bellore Note
Nick Bellore photo 176. Nick Bellore (at ARI)