Chris Carson Fantasy Value Bolstered by Preseason Snap Count

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 18: Chris Carson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks carries the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the first quarter of the preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 18, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Seattle Seahawks v Minnesota Vikings | Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

When the Seattle Seahawks invested a first-round draft pick in Rashaad Penny before the 2018 season, it looked like a bad sign for Chris Carson, who was a 2017 seventh-round pick coming off a 49-carry rookie season.

Determined to avoid committing the sunk cost fallacy with Penny, they ended up rolling with Carson as their workhorse, giving him 247 carries across 14 games, compared to only 85 for Penny. Results from the preseason point to 2019 bringing more of the same, solidifying Carson's fantasy outlook.

Carson finished 15th in fantasy scoring among running backs in 2018, and he's available at a slight discount this year, with an average draft position (ADP) of RB18, according to FantasyPros.com.

If anything, the situation in Seattle points to the potential for Carson to finish ahead of where he did last year, making this drop in value interesting. He posted that finish despite missing two games in 2018, and the Seahawks will also head into 2019 without their second leading rusher from last season in Mike Davis.

Davis vacates 112 carries from the offense with his move to the Chicago Bears, and with Carson dominating the work ahead of Penny, he should also soak up a larger share of Davis' volume.

Carson didn't get much volume in the passing game in 2018, but he was efficient on that front, catching 20 of his 24 targets. Seattle also took a run-heavy approach, and there just wasn't much volume to go around in general. He more than made up for a lack of receiving work with his prowess as a runner, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, while ranking seventh in the NFL with 247 carries. At 17.6 carries per game, he was on a 16-game pace for 282 attempts, which would have been the league's second-highest mark.

Carson's value certainly takes a hit in PPR leagues, but in standard scoring formats he becomes a very intriguing pick in the late third round, where he's typically being drafted.

You're not getting that top-end ceiling that some of the truly elite fantasy RBs may offer from playing in a better offense, or adding receiving upside to the equation, but Carson has a real shot to finish among the NFL's leaders in rushing attempts once again in 2019. And for fantasy football running backs, there are few better ways to find value than through elite volume.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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