Fantasy Football 2020: Making Sense of the Seattle Seahawks Running Backs

by Alex Kurpeski


With the addition of veteran plodder Carlos Hyde to an already overcrowded backfield that featured thousand-yard rusher Chris Carson and 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny, the Seattle Seahawks appear primed to deploy a running back by committee approach in 2020. With 2019 sixth-round pickf Travis Homer and 2020 fourth-round pick DeeJay Dallas also on the team’s roster, it’s possible that we could see Seattle deploy a committee of four to five different players. 


I don’t know what it is about Carson that turns Seattle off so much. While the fourth-year back has struggled with fumbling issues (he had 10 in the last two seasons combined), Carson has surpassed the thousand yard threshold in back-to-back seasons while averaging 4.5 YPA and catching at least 20 passes in 2018 and 2019. Yet the organization felt the need to invest in Hyde and Dallas in order to supplement the competition Carson was already facing from Penny. Sure he’s no Ezekiel Elliott, but the hard running Carson has been an effective wrecking ball for the Seahawks, channeling his inner Marshawn Lynch on multiple occasions as he has helped to reinvigorate Seattle’s run-first culture. While Penny was drafted to be the three-down workhorse that Carson has developed into, it’s clear that the team favors the Texas A&M product. It remains to be seen whether Carson can continue to be the same battering ram that he’s been in the past following the season-ending hip injury he suffered in December of 2019. Generally players do not bounce back from these types of injuries, especially running backs. Yet Carson’s work ethic is unparalleled and it is clear his teammates adore him and his running style. I expect him to continue to be the lead back for this team in 2020. 

Rashaad Penny

While Penny carries the label of former first-round pick, his exploits have not measured up to the draft capital invested in him, as the former San Diego State superstar failed to earn the trust of Seattle’s coaching staff. While he has averaged 5.3 YPA and displayed an ability to be a solid receiving option, Penny has failed to display the dominant traits that made him a record-breaking rusher for the Aztecs and struggled to stay healthy. Coming off of a serious achilles injury, it’s even less likely that the former first-rounder will get his chance at redemption. As explosive as he can be on his highlight reel plays, Penny must show down-to-down consistency in order to earn a lead role in this backfield. 


The additions of Hyde and Dallas complicate things. While the draft capital invested in Dallas suggests that the team has a vision for him in the near future, the signing of Hyde leads me to believe that the Seahawks will likely relegate Dallas to a special teams role in his first season. Hyde, who’s easily the least dynamic runner in this group, looked serviceable for the Texans last season, totaling 1,070 yards while averaging 4.4 YPA. We can only hope that the team doesn’t rely too heavily on Hyde, although knowing the Seahawks, they’re going to love using a bruiser like him between the 20’s. With Hyde and Dallas on the roster, Homer will likely be sent to the team’s practice squad. 


Chris Carson


  • 883 rushing yards
  • 215 ATT
  • 6 rushing TDs
  • 28 receptions
  • 203 receiving yards
  • 1 receiving TD
  • 178.6 fantasy points (RB20-27)


Rashaad Penny


  • 572 rushing yards
  • 119 ATT
  • 2 rushing TDs
  • 22 receptions
  • 167 receiving yards
  • 0 receiving TD
  • 107.9 fantasy points (RB41-49)


Carlos Hyde


  • 235 rushing yards
  • 72 ATT
  • 1 rushing TD
  • 5 receptions
  • 28 receiving yards
  • 0 receiving TD
  • 37.3 fantasy points (RB77-85)


DeeJay Dallas


  • 54 rushing yards
  • 10 ATT
  • 0 rushing TD
  • 2 receptions
  • 16 receiving yards
  • 0 receiving TD
  • 9 fantasy points (RB100+)


If both Carson and Penny can manage to avoid the PUP list then this is how things should shake out. However, if either misses extended time then Hyde or Dallas could see an increased workload.

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