Rashaad Penny signing with the Philadelphia Eagles marks the first significant running back signing of the 2023 NFL Free Agency period. The fantasy implications could be substantial as Penny finds himself on one of the most fantasy-friendliest offenses in the league.
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A one-year deal with a $1.35 million base salary, $600,000 guaranteed, and a maximum value of $2.1 million.
Any discussion of Rashaad Penny must start with his injury history. That history has been rough. Over the last three seasons, Penny has played in 18 games (out of a possible 49). Rough. That said, there is much to like about this signing.
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Penny, when healthy, has been one of the most efficient running backs in the league. He now finds himself on a team that identifies itself through the strength of its run game which flows directly behind its elite run-blocking offensive line. When considering Penny's success behind a Seattle Seahawks offensive line that has been below average in each of the past two years, Penny is sure to outproduce his prior efficiency marks.
Penny, with the presumed departure of Miles Sanders, now slots in as the Eagle’s unquestioned RB1. In 2022, Sanders averaged 15 rush attempts and 1.5 targets per game. Along with running back Kenneth Gainwell, the Eagles are flush with receiving talent, so it will take much work to find an increase in target share for Penny. However, Sanders totaled 259 rush attempts ranking him 8th among all running backs in rush attempts. Penny's rushing volume is a near lock as those attempts will carry over to him.
In 2022, Penny was healthy for over five games and ranked first in break-away-run-rate at 50.9 percent among all running backs. Sanders’ rate was at 22.7 percent. The discrepancy between the two players' efficiency is jaw-dropping. It's always possible that the Eagles will select a running back in the later portions of this year's NFL Draft, but the threat to Penny should seem inconsequential as things stand currently.
On the Seahawks, Ken Walker III is their unquestioned RB1 and remains a premier asset in redraft and dynasty formats. Seattle will certainly add another runner, but this is Walker's backfield.
On the other hand, Miles Sanders is all but a lock to have played his last snap for the Eagles. He should find a new home as another team’s starting running back, but it doesn't seem like any of those teams are in a hurry to sign a veteran running back.
The only question regarding Penny is how he has been recovering from his broken fibula. But, when considering his prior rushing metrics, Rashaad Penny's fantasy value has increased.