Kenneth Walker's hernia surgery has potentially opened up a bigger opportunity for incumbent Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny heading into Week 1. Walker hasn't officially been ruled out yet, leaving fantasy managers eager to know how this backfield is shaping up for the season opener.
Kenneth Walker Injury Update
The latest update on the rookie running back seems to cast doubt on his Week 1 availability.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Walker was "working some" on Monday. While he was doing things like running and catching passes, Carroll tempered expectations by saying, "We'll see what happens" and pointing out that this type of recovery can be "unpredictable."
For Walker's fantasy managers, this is a clear warning to have a backup plan prepared in case he was slated as a Week 1 starter.
Rashaad Penny Fantasy Outlook
Walker's uncertain status for Week 1 is a major boost to Rashaad Penny's fantasy outlook. Walker turned heads in training camp and figured to be a threat to steal work from Penny in the early going, but his injury allows Penny to make his case as the clear-cut RB1 in Seattle.
Penny showed his workhorse potential down the stretch of last season, becoming a league-winner for some lucky managers in the fantasy playoffs. He averaged 18.4 rushing attempts and 134.2 rushing yards per game over the final five contests of the regular season, racking up six rushing touchdowns as well.
He put up a staggering 22.04 fantasy PPG during that stretch, showcasing his capabilities in a true RB1 role. However, the addition of Walker has clouded his season-long upside given the possibility of a committee developing.
Penny's outlook seems more certain for Week 1, at least, if Walker sits. He'll be the clear top back for an offense that could struggle to move the ball through the air with Geno Smith under center. The Seahawks averaged 23.6 RB rushing attempts across Smith's three starts in 2021, which is a healthy supply that Penny should dominate if Walker is out.
Penny checked in at RB34 in The Duel's Week 1 PPR rankings prior to the Walker news. He's a FLEX play at minimum based on volume alone, even against a tough Denver Broncos defense.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. 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.