Penny and D'Andre Swift both joined the Eagles this offseason. With Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott already on the roster, this looks like a crowded room. We're valuing Penny like a bench back who should be drafted in the Round 9 range, but once the season starts, his weekly upside is through the roof. While Penny has only played 18 games over the last three seasons, he's been amazing when healthy. He has five games with more than 130 rushing yards in his last 10 appearances. Behind the Eagles offensive line, he may not need more than 8-12 touches to crack that mark. His injury history combined with his big-play ability makes him a better fit in Best Ball, but if Swift gets hurt first, Penny will be a top-20 back for as long as he stays healthy.
If healthy, Penny projects as an early-down replacement for Miles Sanders.
Of course, the healthy part hasn’t been easy for Penny, who has topped 10 games in a season only once.
He’s still in his prime at 27. But rushing and scoring efficiency will be critical given Penny’s lack of receiving upside.
What We Learned Last Year
Penny barely played for Seattle in 2022 (57 carries). But his limited sample proved impressive.He tallied elite marks of 6.1 yards per carry and 4.23 yards after contact per attempt.Ten of his attempts went for at least 10 yards (~18%).His season ended with a tibia fracture, costing him 12 games.Penny has missed 40 games since entering the NFL with several injuries, namely: hamstring, calf, and ACL.Penny tallied only five targets in five appearances. His season-high in targets? 12, back in 2018.
What to Expect in 2023
Penny signed a one-year deal with only $600K guaranteed. Call it a low-risk, all-reward signing for a squad that lost Miles Sanders (and his 259 carries) to free agency.Penny looks like the better early-down back than trade acquisition D’Andre Swift.Philadelphia only gave up a 2025 fourth in that deal while swapping seventh-rounders in 2023.Penny, at 220+ pounds, projects as the goal-line back. But Jalen Hurts will remain heavily involved after seeing 26 carries inside the 10-yard line. Only two players (Jamaal Williams, Joe Mixon) beat that mark.Philly’s O-line lost G Isaac Seumalo to free agency. But C Jason Kelce decided to put off retirement for another year, and stud tackles Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata return. We’re not concerned about this unit.
Penny signed with the Eagles as the team's de facto Miles Sanders replacement. The 2018 first-round pick is an elite rusher -- his career 5.69 YPC is tops in the NFL since he was drafted -- but the problem is injuries have limited him to 337 carries in five seasons. Penny has missed at least six games in four consecutive seasons and was healthy for only five games in 2022. He's also failed to emerge as an option in the passing game, having yet to clear nine catches in a single season. Sanders finished eighth in carries and 44th in targets among RBs last season and while Penny could see similar usage, he's going to defer plenty of work (especially in passing situations) to D'Andre Swift and perhaps Kenneth Gainwell. Penny is safest as a flex option with added value in non-PPR.