Rashaad Penny Fantasy 2018
When the Seattle Seahawks brought in Brian Schottenheimer and Mike Solari as their new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, Pete Carroll and the organization openly made a commitment to re-establish one of the top rushing attacks in the NFL. A feat they had not accomplished since 2015 when they had Marshawn Lynch in the backfield.
Since that time the Seahawks have been in the bottom half in the league in rushing, ranking 25th and 22nd in 2016 and 2017. To make matters worse no running back ran for more than 250 yards last season. In fact, quarterback Russell Wilson was the leading rusher for the team amassing close to 600 yards. The Seahawks clearly realized that having your franchise quarterback lead your team in rushing is a colossal problem and that the running back position is something that needed to be addressed drastically. For us managers in fantasy football, we too were hoping that the Seahawks drastically improved their running game as well.
In free agency, they acquired former Giants offensive lineman D.J. Fluker who played for Solari in New York last season to help both with run blocking at right guard. The Seahawks, also, signed tight end Ed Dickson, known to be one of the better pass blocking tight ends in the NFL.
Rashaad Penny Gamelog
|10||San Jose State||20||234||11.7||3||0||0||0|
Combine those acquisitions with the 2017 mid-season acquisition of offensive tackle Duane Brown, from Houston; Seattle has very quietly started to lay the groundwork for improvement along the O-line both in run blocking and pass protection.
However, as stated earlier, the Seahawks want to prominently feature the rushing attack in 2018 and with their 1st pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Seahawks selected running back Rashaad Penny out of San Diego State University. Considered to be a three-down running back for the team, according to Pete Carroll, Penny would provide an instant upgrade for that offense at the running back position. The only problem with his 1st round selection is Seattle’s offensive line issues were still a major liability for the running game.
Video: Rashaad Penny vs. Stanford (175 rushing yards)
Those concerns continued to be addressed with the drafting of Jamarco Jones out of Ohio State University whom many believe has the makings of a future starting left tackle in the league. With Duane Brown starting at left tackle, Jones should be moved over to right tackle giving the O-line two brand new bookends for the upcoming season. Another pick of offensive importance in 2018 was the drafting of the best blocking tight end in the 2018 draft in Will Dissly out of The University of Washington.
With talent upgrades addressed, the success of the running game now rests on the shoulders of new offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer’s offenses over the years have always boasted rushing attacks that averaged at least over 100 yards rushing yards per game. Brian Schottenheimer knows how to employ a successful rushing attack and now combine him with one the best rushing quarterbacks in the league and a rookie running back who ranked near the top of his draft class in elusiveness the Seahawks running game is starting to look not as damaged as most have thought to have believed. While these collective improvements bode well for the offensive line, what does all mean for the fantasy value for Penny going into the 2018 season?
Rashaad Penny’s Fantasy Football Outlook in 2018
It’s safe to say Rashaad Penny should have a prominent role in this offense during his rookie year. With incumbents Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise coming back from injury and with durability a concern for both of them Penny should command ample volume in the running game. Furthermore, his elusiveness running the ball will most certainly help to make up for any remaining deficiencies along the offensive line especially with opposing defenses having to plan for dual-threat running and passing plays featuring him and Russell Wilson which would raise his fantasy football value and even increase Russell Wilson’s fantasy value even more than it already is.
Talent and volume alone make him a viable flex option. Combine that with the improvements in the run blocking department made both in free agency and the draft, Penny could climb even higher up the running back rankings and make himself a viable RB2 by seasons end. In my opinion, I would not hesitate to spend a 4th or 5th round pick in redraft leagues during this upcoming fantasy football draft season on him. As training camp and the preseason approach, he has the potential to climb even up into 3rd or 4th rounds of drafts depending on health, opportunity, etc. While time will tell, for now, consider Rashaad Penny to have tremendous fantasy upside that could help you win your league in 2018!
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