Injuries are taking their toll on NFL teams. In Week 5, we saw one of the most devastating ones of the season as Rashaad Penny fractured his tibia. As a result, rookie Kenneth Walker III is now the Seattle Seahawks‘ starting running back. How much of a priority is Walker for fantasy football managers to add off the waiver wire ahead of Week 6?
Kenneth Walker III Is Set To Start for the Remainder of the Season
It’s never enjoyable to see or discuss injuries. For a guy like Penny, who has overcome too much, it’s even tougher to see happen. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the NFL and the show must go on. For the Seahawks, that means turning their backfield over to their rookie second-rounder.
In Week 4, Walker played a season-high 36% of the snaps and was already becoming more involved. But he was never going to flat-out take Penny’s job. Now, the Seahawks have no choice.
Walker played 57% of the snaps in Week 5 as the clear lead back following Penny’s departure. Walker carried the ball eight times for 88 yards, including a very nice 69-yard touchdown run. He has legit breakaway speed, as evidenced by his 4.38 40-time.
Don’t Expect Many Receptions for Kenneth Walker III
Walker didn’t see a target, but that’s nothing new for the Seahawks’ lead rusher. Penny entered Week 5 with just a 3.9% target share on the season. Likewise, fantasy managers should not expect Walker to catch many passes.
DeeJay Dallas operated as the primary passing-down back, and I expect him to continue in that role. If Walker catches a single pass in a game, it would be a win.
The Seahawks’ Offense Is Better Than Anticipated
One of the concerns with any Seattle running back entering the season was the potential for this to be a bad offense. Instead, it turns out Geno Smith has actually been an upgrade over Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks have scored 80 points in their past two games combined. The schedule does get tougher, but they just ran all over a top Saints run defense. At this point, I wouldn’t concern myself too much with the schedule. Walker is the lead rusher for a team scoring a lot of points.
How Aggressively Should Fantasy Managers Pursue Walker off the Waiver Wire?
Walker is only available in about half of Yahoo leagues. If he’s out there in your league, this is the moment. You saved all of your FAAB specifically to drop the hammer on a guaranteed lead RB for the remainder of the season.
There is no speculation. This won’t be wasted FAAB. If Walker ends up being nothing more than an RB3, it’s still worth it. The process is there.
Walker is the top waiver pickup of the week. Spend as much FAAB as it takes (over 50%). If you’re still using the continual rolling list waiver system, burn that top waiver priority. Walker is the type of player who moves the needle on your entire season. Go get him.