Should I Draft Kenneth Walker III or Zach Charbonnet in Fantasy Football This Year?

What is the fantasy outlook for Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet in Seattle? Who's worth taking at ADP? Let's break down the Seattle RBs.

Will a Kenneth Walker III pick pay off? What about Zach Charbonnet? The Seahawks’ backfield, featuring second-round picks from each of the last two NFL drafts, is a conundrum in 2023. What should fantasy football managers do when staring Walker and Charbonnet down in their draft room? Take a look at our PFN Consensus Rankings, and let’s dive into them in depth.

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2023 Fantasy Outlook for Kenneth Walker III

If Walker performs like the 2022 version of himself, he’s a smash at his ADP. Currently, Walker is coming off the board 44th overall as RB17. This is despite a fantastic rookie season. After Rashad Penny went down and Walker took the lead role in Week 6, Walker finished as RB6 in half-PPR scoring.

Walker finished 2022 with 228 attempts for 1,050 yards and nine TDs, along with an additional 27 catches for 165 yards. Rookies who perform like this are typically going way earlier, likely in the top two rounds.

A few areas of concern are playing into this, combined with Walker’s new teammate. Walker saw 52 red-zone touches in 2022, third-most among all RBs. Yet, his nine TDs were a mere 14th-best. This issue scoring could lead to him ceding red-zone snaps to Charbonnet this year.

The other area is his penchant for hunting big plays. Walker finished 2022 with the second-highest percentage of runs that either lost or gained no yards. Walker finished with a 33% higher rate of these runs than the league average. If coaches get tired of not getting yardage blocked consistently, Walker might lose regular snaps.

2023 Fantasy Outlook for Zach Charbonnet

Coming into the 2023 NFL Draft, many fantasy analysts had Charbonnet as their third-ranked RB and would’ve loved Round 2 draft capital. The landing spot, however, left much to be desired and caused other RBs to rise in many rankings.

Charbonnet is a no-nonsense runner, he gets north-south in a hurry and gets what his blockers give him. In many ways, he’s much more Chris Carson to Kenneth Walker III’s Rashad Penny. If he’s able to get consistent playing time, it should be expected to grow more and more as time goes along.

MORE: 2023 Dynasty RB Rankings

Charbonnet has a great early-season path to flex appeal though. While Walker struggled as a red-zone threat, Charbonnet’s much more of a power back and could excel if given an opportunity. In two seasons at UCLA, he scored 27 TDs. He could easily take that role if Walker fails to improve.

The other area Charbonnet can play early is as a passing-down player. In three collegiate seasons, Walker caught 19 total passes. While catching 27 as a rookie is great, it doesn’t mean he’s best suited for the role. Charbonnet, on the other hand, had 61 catches in his final two seasons at UCLA. He could easily seize the role and run with it.

Who Should I Draft in 2023?

This may sound like a cop out but both are draftable in 2023. That said, this is all about what you believe and risk tolerance. Kenneth Walker III has top-10 upside but may wind up failing to meet ADP. Charbonnet is going at pick 107, a much less valuable selection that’s all upside.

When drafting in Round 4, the guys around Walker are way easier to draft. Dameon Pierce and J.K. Dobbins have other questions but being usurped isn’t one. Burning a ninth-round selection on Charbonnet — while obviously you could miss a different RB sleeper, it won’t kill a team in the same manner.

Either player is a fine shot and one worth taking. That said, the value of Charbonnet is much more palatable when considering the opportunity cost of fourth and ninth-round selections. Charbonnet should at least be a possible flex option and high-value handcuff to a RB who already had a groin injury in camp.

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