I wrote about Penny back in February, but a lot has changed since then. The Seahawks selected Penny out of San Diego State with the 27th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Coming into the NFL, Seattle expected Penny to fill their starting running back position. Dynasty drafters flocked to Penny, and some spent the 1.02 rookie pick on Penny, behind Saquon Barkley at the 1.01.
However, Penny lost the starting role to Chris Carson, who held the Seahawks’ workhorse back job in 2018 with 247 carries. Penny even fell behind Mike Davis, who had 112 carries to Penny’s 85. Penny also contributed almost nothing as a receiver, where he excelled in college. Suffice it to say, Penny’s rookie year was a massive disappointment and tanked his dynasty value.
Going into 2019, most expected Penny to at least seriously challenge Carson for the top spot. Unfortunately, Penny came into training camp out of shape, allowing Carson to win the starting job once again. Even when Carson struggled with fumbles throughout 2019, Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll stuck with him, refusing to turn to Penny for a majority of 2019.
In Week 12, Penny finally got his shot. Carson had fumbled once again, and Carroll temporarily benched Carson in favor of Penny. Penny took 14 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown in an impressive performance. While Carson remained the starter in Week 13, Penny received significant work for the second straight week. Penny had 15 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown and also added four receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown.
As Penny just started to get his shot, his season ended in Week 14 with a torn ACL. Since the injury occurred so late in the season, Penny is still not healthy, and he will begin training camp on the PUP list. It was an unfortunate break for a player that just started to emerge after two seasons of struggling.
Penny’s 2020 outlook is very bleak. I expect him to begin the regular season on the reserve/PUP list, which will force him to miss the first six games. Even when he returns, he won’t be fully healthy, and the Seahawks had plenty of running back depth. They still have Carson as their starter and signed Carlos Hyde as the backup. The Seahawks spent a fourth-round pick on DeeJay Dallas and have 2019 sixth-rounder Travis Homer for additional depth. Therefore, Penny isn’t worth considering from a pure 2020 perspective.
Even though Penny has little hope of contributing early on in 2020, I still have optimism from a dynasty perspective. The Seahawks could have signed a big-name free-agent running back or spent significant draft capital on one in a loaded 2020 running back draft class. However, they chose not to do so, instead acquiring a washed-up veteran in Hyde and an unimpressive prospect in Dallas.
To me, those moves suggest the Seahawks still foresee a role for Penny in the future. They spent a first-round pick on him, and he only turned 24 years old in February. Penny’s dynasty value mostly has been shot, so now could be a great time to buy low on him. You can probably acquire Penny for a mid-late 2021 third-round rookie pick. I think that’s a great move that has a high upside with little downside. Go out and send some offers!
Thanks for reading this article. You can find me on Twitter at @DFF_Karp. I love to interact with anyone in the community, so reach out at any time! I take fantasy questions and help with all formats, so keep sending those questions my way.