In the final five games of 2021, Penny finally delivered on the upside that caused Seattle to take him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In his final five games he ran for 671 yards and six touchdowns and finished the year with a league-best 6.3 yards per carry. That performance was not enough to deter Seattle from spending a Round 2 pick on Kenneth Walker. We expect Walker to eventually lead a committee in Seattle, which means you shouldn't draft Penny before Round 10. Even if Penny does win the job in camp, his inability to stay healthy and the presence of Walker would make him no better than a Round 8 pick.
After 3-and-a-half mostly disappointing seasons to open his NFL career, Penny showed the skills that made him a 2018 1st-round pick over the final 5 games of last season. He led all RBs in PPR and non-PPR points during that stretch.
Penny and 2nd-round rookie Kenneth Walker will duke it out for snaps and touches this summer. But this is likely to be a committee backfield, with Chris Carson, Travis Homer and/or DeeJay Dallas also potentially involved. And it’ll be a bad offense without QB Russell Wilson.
That has Penny looking like just a bench stash on fantasy rosters – unless he handily beats out Walker.
Penny re-signed with Seattle and is expected to operate as the team's lead back after a dominant finish to the 2021 season. He was fantasy's top-scoring RB by 11 points after Week 13 and he finished four of the final five weeks as a top-10 fantasy back. Penny's career had previously been marred by injuries, as he has appeared in 37 of 65 possible games in his career (57%). Of course, he's been extremely productive when healthy, as his career 5.6 YPC is second best among backs (minimum 150 carries) since he was selected in the first round of the 2018 draft. Penny is not a factor in the passing game (31 career targets) and rookie Kenneth Walker III will be involved as well, so especially considering Seattle's likely offensive struggles, it's safest to view him as a flex/bench option.
After years of injuries and squandered opportunities, former 1st-round pick Rashaad Penny finally showed the fantasy world his potential in 2021. Appearing in 10 games, Penny established career-highs in just about every category, including fantasy points scored. However, he showed his true value from Weeks 14-18 after taking complete control of the backfield. In the last five games, Penny carried the ball 92 times for 671 yards and six touchdowns. He was the best running back in all of fantasy during that five-game span. Seattle gave him a one-year deal to prove last year was not a fluke, and Penny could be an excellent sleeper candidate in 2022. His role is not exactly safe, with the team adding a running back in the 2nd Round of the draft, but he will get first crack at the starting role.