Chris Carson was always penciled as the RB1 of the Seahawks’ attack. The only real threat at the position to get snaps and opportunities from him was first-round pick Rashaad Penny. Through two weeks, as expected, Carson has remained the team’s lead back. Carson has been on the field for 84 snaps (64%) while Penny. in for just 40 of them (30%). Although Penny’s presence in the Seattle offense was higher in Week 2 (62 yards in 10 carries with a touchdown), news surfaced Friday that the rookie had injured his hamstring in practice. And thus, once again, it’s all going Carson’s way.
Through Week 2, Carson has already run for 106 yards on 30 attempts while scoring one touchdown. He has also added 61 receiving yards on nine receptions, with another score. His only negative was last week’s lost fumble against Pittsburgh. Although Carson couldn’t reach his Week 1 mark of 26.0 PPR points, he was still able to put up 11.7 PPR against the Steelers. He currently ranks as the eighth-best RB in PPR and is at least top 13 in opportunities, rush attempts and targets. Actually, you know what you’re getting in Carson — he’s carried the ball exactly 15 times in each of the first two games while playing 41 and 43 snaps, respectively. Remove Penny from the equation and his upside can only rise.
Fantasy Impact: Without Penny as a viable option against the Saints (his injury is so close to the game that even if he plays he will probably be quite limited), Seattle’s backfield production will purely rely on Carson. Seattle enters the game as the favorite with an implied 25 points going their way, which adds wood to their already run-heavy fire. If the Seahawks take the lead early and the Saints can keep up with them (highly probable with veteran-yet-backup Teddy Bridgewater as the starting QB), look for a massive game by Carson. The Saints have already allowed 22.5 and 21.4 PPR points to RBs during the first two weeks of the season, giving up 240 yards on the ground and 49 receiving to the position. All in all, great matchup and massive opportunities ahead without Penny around for Carson.