Compiled by Dr. Jesse Morse & Mike Valverde
Rashaad Armein Penny just turned 24 years old and was born in Norwalk, California. His older brother Elijhaa is a fullback for the Giants. Rashaad had a very productive senior season at his local high school rushing for 2,004 yards and 41 touchdowns on 216 carries. He also caught 21 passes for 665 yards and another 10 touchdowns. 51 touchdowns is a ridiculous season. He chose to play his college football at FBS San Diego State University over BCS schools Boise State and Colorado State.
His freshman year, 2014, Penny did not get any rushing attempts, finishing the season with only two. In his sophomore year, he played in 14 games, rushing 61 times for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns. He finally started to get more opportunities in his junior year, rushing 135 times for 1,005 yards and 11 touchdowns, adding 15 receptions for 224 yards and 3 more scores.
Finally in his senior year, 2017, Penny rushed 289 times for 2,248 yards, a very impressive 7.8 yards per carry and 23 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 135 yards and 2 more tds.
Penny measured in at 5‘11“ tall and 220 pounds, running a 4.46-second 40-yard dash. The Seattle Seahawks chose Penny at the end of the first round in the 2018 NFL Draft. Penny played in 14 games as a rookie, rushing 85 times for 419 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also caught nine passes for 75 yards as well, missing two games with a knee injury.
Hoping to form a tandem with Chris Carson heading into the 2019 season, Penny was not given as many rushing opportunities as many had hoped. He struggled with injuries, injuring his hamstring in practice ahead of week three, and ended up missing three games as a result. Then, unfortunately, in Week 14, Penny suffered a torn ACL ending his season, discussed here.
Unfortunately, running backs who suffer torn ACL‘s (especially if they do it in the NFL) do not have the best return rate, at least in their first season back. Look at Dalvin Cook‘s 2018 season, and then compare to his 2019 season. Everyone always wants to point out how dominant Adrian Peterson was after his return from his torn ACL. But it is important to note that Peterson is the exception and not the rule.
Most running backs struggle in the first year after tearing the ACL. I think this is a combination of physical and mental. Regaining confidence in this newly built ligament takes time. The knee simply doesn’t respond as well as before the injury.
Some athletes describe a little bit more wiggle or ‘play’ with the new ligament. As good as modern medicine is, the ligament is never as good as the original. It’s not as tight, strong, or as flexible.
With the demands of the ACL in the modern NFL as a running back, often, these athletes struggle with the confidence to be able to cut with the aggressiveness that they will need to be effective. Suffering a torn ACL is not a deathblow to a running back’s career, but there are examples of players that struggled to return to form, including Jamaal Charles (at the end of his career), Darren Sproles, and Bishop Sankey.
The jury is still out on Derrius Guice, and they will be out for Penny as well. While WRs, QBs, and defensive players return to a level similar to their pre-injury effectiveness, RBs often struggle to return to full form.
When the Seattle Seahawks chose Rashaad Penny in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, they never thought that their 2017 seventh-round decision, Chris Carson would outperform him. However, that has been the situation. Penny has also struggled with injuries.
Even through difficult times, Penny has been a stable running back. His season total of 370 yards on 65 attempts while averaging 5.26 yards per carry (3rd) and a 2.05 YAC (11th) among 52 running backs with 150 carries or more.
After a Carson fumble and an expanded role in Weeks 12 and 13, Penny would put up 14-129-1 and 15-74-1, but unfortunately, Week 14 put an end to any progressions he was making when he tore his ACL.
Now in 2020, Penny could see the PUP list to start the season. He is only 24-years old, so his injury return time could be less. Even if he does return before Week 1, he will not only have to battle Carson but Carlos Hyde and rookie DeeJay Dallas. Throw in Travis Homer for good measure.
The Seahawks offensive line isn’t much better than it has been over the last few seasons. They will have three new starters. BJ Finney, at the center position, will compete with Joey Hunt. Damien Lewis, a third-round decision out of LSU, will step in for DJ Fluker. Seattle did sign Brandon Shell from the Jets, and he will replace Germain Ifedi. They run a gap-power offense.
Even with Russell Wilson working his magic, the Seahawks like to focus on the run. Whoever has the ball in their hands should be successful. However, there are just too many road bumps in front of Penny to make him a high priority or even a low one when it comes to draft day.
Sports Injury Predictor calculates that Penny has a 53.8% chance of injury in 2020, which translates to missing about one game.
My injury risk for him is significantly higher, a 7 out of 10. Penny may struggle with a lack of burst and confidence in his knee.
Currently being drafted as the RB58, there is a chance that Penny surprises this year, as his backfield mate Chris Carson is also coming back from an equally significant injury, a hip fracture. I (Dr. Morse) would not be surprised if the Seahawks turn to a more passing offense as a result of these injuries.
The ACL plays such a significant role in the lower legs’ mobility and running that so many other issues and injuries can develop as a result of the decreased strength, range of motion, and confidence.
Hamstring injuries, meniscal tears, and MCL sprains are not uncommon as a result of a reconstructed knee. Data demonstrates that Penny is still at an increased risk for a second torn ACL. Up until two years from injury, the data shows that he has a 9% chance of re-tear of his recently repaired/built ligament and a 21% chance of tearing the opposite ACL.
There’s simply too much risk in Penny in 2020 for me (Dr. Morse). I’d much rather roll the dice with names in his range like Antonio Gibson, Chase Edmonds, Darrynton Evans, and Damien Harris. Cross Penny’s name off your draft board, and save yourself the trouble.
At this point (June 22), Penny is the RB56 and 182nd player off the board overall. The translation is that he is an RB5 or basic dart throw. Keep an eye on when or if he can make it back before the start of the season. For the most part, I (Mike) would leave as waiver wire fodder.
Injury Risk: High, 7/10.
Injury Video Link: https://youtu.be/YXPhr8g29kY
Performance Video Link: https://youtu.be/dR-EogvgAWQ
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Waiver Wire: NFL Week 14
Fantasy football teams are starting to take shape. Hitting the waiver wire is a critical task in filling the holes or adding significant depth, especially as we enter bye-weeks and an increasing list of injuries. My goal is to find you the best player available for the lowest owned percentage. Therefore, you will see some of the more prominent names under others to consider.
Philip Rivers–IND (ESPN-16.5%) (Yahoo-40%)
Rivers has averaged at least 292 passing yards and two touchdowns in his last six games, and he just feels short of theaverage against Houston with 285 yards and two scores. In the next two weeks, the Colts will face Las Vegas, who allows over 20 Fantasy Points Per Game to quarterbacks, and Houston. Getting Rivers will bring you a top streaming signal-caller for two-straight weeks.
Others to Consider: Jalen Hurts (PHI), Mitchell Trubisky(CHI), Sam Darnold (NYJ), Tua Tagovailoa (MIA), Baker Mayfield (CLE).
Cam Akers-LAR (ESPN-35.8%) (Yahoo-53%)
Akers has seen an increase in snaps over the last few weeks, and he may have full ownership after his 21 carries for 72 yards while catching a pass for another 22 yards and a score. Both Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson will have a role, but Akers should be the bell-cow. The Rams tried him at the goal line on several attempts, but he couldn’t punch it in. Rams face the Patriots and Jets in the next few weeks, and both teams he should exploit for good fantasy performances.
Cordarrelle Patterson-CHI (ESPN-4.8%) (Yahoo-7%)
Patterson has become a running back, and he fits the role well. David Montgomery will be the bell-cow when healthy, but Patterson has gotten extensive looks. Against the Lions, Patterson carried the rock 10 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Patterson has spent his career as a receiver; therefore, catching the ball is no issue. The Bears have Houston this week, and they are horrible against the run.
Ty Johnson-NYJ (ESPN-0.3%) (Yahoo-2%)
The ancient one Frank Gore was the Jets bell-cow until he suffered a concussion. Enter Johnson, who rushed 22 times for 104 yards and a score. Johnson showed promise and someone who deserves more of a look. He will face the Seahawks and Rams next, but he is of good value this late in the season.
Others to Consider: Peyton Barber (WAS), Phillip Lindsay(DEN), Gus Edwards (BAL), Carlos Hyde (SEA), Jeff Wilson(SF), Ito Smith (ATL), Benny Snell (PIT), Adrian Peterson(DET).
T.Y. Hilton-IND (ESPN-47.0%) (Yahoo-45%)
Through 11-weeks, Hilton was sitting on the garbage pile. Then against the Titans, he caught his first touchdown on the season to go along with four receptions for 81 yards. It got even better against the Texans as Hilton brought in 8 balls on 11 targets for 110 yards and a score. He is looking more and more like the stud we drafted him to be. Now the Colts face the Raiders and Texans in back-to-back weeks.
Jalen Guyton-LAC (ESPN-0.3%) (Yahoo-0%)
Guyton was on speed-dial for Justin Herbert. He targeted his receiver seven times, and Guyton brought in two for 38 yards. Fantasy owners may wonder how Guyton can be valuable with Mike Williams, but looking at the numbers and there isn’t much difference. On the season, Guyton has 20-369-3 while Williams stat line 36-572-4 in 11 games. That is just one reception and 18-yards more on average. The Chargers have Atlanta and Las Vegas next, which are prime spots for exploitation.
Rashard Higgins-CLE (ESPN-3.4%) (Yahoo-8%)
Higgins is the one that looks to be the number two receiver, and he lit up the Titans last week for six receptions, 95 yards, and a touchdown. Higgins has deep speed and will make plays downfield. The schedule will be tough next week against Baltimore, but the Giants and Jets could be an easy route for teams in the playoffs and championship.
Others to Consider: Tim Patrick (DEN), Keke Coutee (HOU), Sterling Shepard (NYG), Nelson Agholor (LAS), DenzilMims (NYJ), Breshad Perriman (NYJ), Gabriel Davis (BUF), Allen Lazard (GB).
Logan Thomas-WFT (ESPN-24.9%) (Yahoo-40%)
The Washington Football Team likes to target Thomas, which was prevalent against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Afternoon Football. Thomas brought in nine balls for 98 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Even outside this performance, he is getting at least four targets each game. Thomas has another tough performance next week against San Francisco, but the Seahawks and Panthers are scheduled for Weeks 15 and 16.
Others to Consider: Jordan Reed (SF), Cole Kmet (CHI), Anthony Firsker (TEN), Dalton Schultz (DAL), Kyle Rudolph (MIN), Jacob Hollister (SEA), Jordan Akins(HOU).