Is Rashaad Penny moving to Philly a fantasy win? | Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast

In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast podcast, analysts Matt Harmon and Scott Pianowski examines the sixth-year running backs' fantasy value after signing a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Video Transcript


MATT HARMON: Scott, your first winner here that you have. And we'll just kind of kick back and forth. I have a few more than you, whatever. Rashaad Penny, probably the biggest fantasy winner of this whole process here in free agency just from where he was to where he might be. Of course, might be is the key word with Rashaad Penny.

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There are going to be wars fought between probably fantasy analysts and fantasy players who don't love to draft guys who have been injured previously which, of course, by the way, wipes out like the entire NFL. But Rashaad Penny, where do you stand heading into this year?

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Penny gets to be Miles Sanders. I don't think there's much to say. And Penny is a good back. He has to stay healthy, but you can say that about any running back. They're all injury risks. And he steps into that offense, that infrastructure. It's a well-coached team, although they did lose something off the coaching staff. It's one of the best offensive lines in football. A dynamic quarterback who widens the defense against you.

If all he needs to do-- if you just told me Rashaad Penny was going to play 13 or 14 games, I'd be like, I would make him a priority, destination pick. He's ready to have his Miles-- what Miles Sanders did last year, Rashaad Penny is perfectly capable of matching.

MATT HARMON: I guess the question with that is, is Rashaad Penny a better back than Miles Sanders? I think when he's healthy, the answer is probably yes. I mean, even--


SCOTT PIANOWSKI: It's close. That's a great question. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think they're pretty darn close to even. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but I'm not going to force a take if it's not there. I think this is very smart. This is so Eagles, right? When it's time to pay Sanders, well, let's find a version of Sanders that won't cost us as much. And that's Rashaad Penny.

MATT HARMON: Yeah. And look, they can still add a back in the draft. I feel like if you talk about any running back situation that's been affected by free agency right now-- like, oh, Rachaad White, he currently sits atop a depth chart with Chase Edmonds on it down there in Tampa Bay. Well, they could still draft a back. Tony Pollard, he's standing alone without Zeke Elliott in the Cowboys backfield. Well, I mean, hey, if any team could spend egregious resources on a running back, it's probably the damn Dallas Cowboys.

I think Rashaad Penny, same thing. They could take a back maybe on the late second day, maybe early day three, that renders this entire conversation irrelevant. But for right now, in terms of the early-down banger role on that depth chart, Rashaad Penny absolutely is clearly better than Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott, who they brought back. I like Gainwell for what he is, but he's probably not a lead dog.

Let's think about this right now, Scott. Again, early fantasy rankings, where are you drafting Rashaad Penny? Because the injury risk is there. And there will be probably-- there will be at least seven to eight people in every fantasy league out there that is like, I'm never drafting Rashaad Penny again. I've done that experience, whatever. He's been injured. I got burnt.


I don't like to play that way. I don't think people should play that way. But a lot of people do play that way. So where do you think he goes in drafts this summer? And where do you think you would feel comfortable taking him?

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I think he probably is mostly a standard fifth-round pick, and I would consider him in that round.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, I think that's perfectly fair. And I guarantee you there is a handful of the audience that their ears just started to bleed hearing Rashaad Penny, fifth round. If he tweaks a tweaks a thing in the first two weeks of the season and you never see him again, it would be 0% surprising, right? But then--

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: People forget how quickly the draft gets ugly. And go back to whatever league you're in, and look at the fifth round, and look at how many players you lost trust with or you cut or they got hurt or they fell in disfavor. The fifth round is an ugly round. I would think there's probably more misses than hits in any fifth round.

MATT HARMON: Rhamondre Stevenson was not even a fifth-round pick last year, and he ended up being a great pick. Tony Pollard was like a sixth-round pick. Things get weird. Things get weird around the fifth round. That makes a lot of sense. I like that there. And again, if he does stay healthy, he's going to score double-digit touchdowns. He's going to rush for 1,000 yards in a great environment. So I love that there.