Update August 31: Expect Carson to get the bulk of Seattle’s touches out of the backfield. Carroll says the running back has looked good every snap since returning from an extended absence caused by family issues. Hyde could be a big factor in the offense as well, but shouldn’t get nearly as much work as Carson.
Update August 25: Rashaad Penny remains out and will likely end up on the PUP list to start the season. Chris Carson appears to be fine, but has missed a chunk of time due to undisclosed personal reasons, which has helped rookie DeeJay Dallas show his stuff. Carson is still the lead back, but the competition for backup between Dallas and Carlos Hyde is still up in the air.
In this series we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project, correctly, which players will win training camp battles.
Going after a Seahawks running back in your fantasy drafts is always a worthwhile endeavor, as the team loves to run the ball and are usually successful doing so. Going into this season the Seattle backfield isn’t cut and dry due to injuries to both Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny near the end of the 2019 season. Those injuries prompted the team to add Carlos Hyde to the fold and Hyde has shown he can be productive enough when given a chance.
Last season, Carson averaged 4.4 yards per carry on 278 rushing attempts for 1,231 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 37-of-46 receptions for 266 yards and two more touchdowns. Penny was more efficient but also missed time with injuries, playing in just nine games and rushing just 65 times and catching eight passes. Amazingly, he turned those 73 touches into 453 yards and four touchdowns.
Recently, coach Pete Carroll hinted that Penny would begin the regular season on the PUP list with his ACL tear. That doesn’t mean he can’t return in the second half, refreshed and ready to dominate, but for now, he’s not draftable in most leagues. Carson, on the other hand, is in better shape to be ready for Week 1 after rehabbing his hip injury this offseason.
That makes Henry the back to target in drafts, but there’s a chance Hyde can win a chunk of work, especially early on in the season with Carson returning from injury. The team also drafted DeeJay Dallas in the fourth round, but he isn’t really in the discussion unless Hyde is cut.
Carson is currently the 18th back off the board in PPR and standard scoring. If he shows up to camp looking ready to go, that’s a nice spot to grab him. If he’s still rehabbing, we should be somewhat worried about his current ADP and grab Hyde where we can.