Having a healthy roster is a significant part of winning a fantasy football championship and it is unfortunately the one area the player can’t predict or properly prepare for. Every year there are unfortunately a few major injuries that occur in training camp and preseason that shake up fantasy draft plans. This year the injury focus at the moment is on the Seattle Seahawks running back duo of Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet. This article will break down their injuries and where to draft them for the upcoming season.
Kenneth Walker III
Walker is entering his second season in the NFL and was expected to be the team’s lead back once again. As a rookie, Walker rushed for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns. He appeared to be in prime position to handle a large workload again in 2023 but then the Seahawks used a second-round pick on Zach Charbonnet which was a bit of a surprise. Walker also recently suffered a groin strain and is considered “week to week” by head coach Pete Carroll who also said they will be cautious with him. Given that Walker’s injury isn’t very serious, it is still worth targeting him in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts even if he isn’t ready to go come Week 1 since he immediately becomes the team’s RB1 when he returns.
Charbonnet was selected in the second round of this Spring’s NFL Draft and was expected to be a major contributor as a rookie. Unfortunately, Charbonnet suffered a shoulder injury and will be “out indefinitely” according to head coach Pete Carroll. This is a major blow to both the team and Charbonnet who will now be missing valuable preseason playing time and practice reps. Given the status and severity of his injury, it is best to avoid Charbonnet at the moment in fantasy drafts unless you are playing in a deeper league with lots of bench slots.
Since he was a seventh-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, it would have been understandable to overlook McIntosh at the time he was drafted. However, he now has an opportunity to seize control over the Seahawks’ backfield given the injuries to their top two backs. At the moment, McIntosh is splitting first-team practice reps with Deejay Dallas. As training camp and the preseason progress, monitoring the state of the Seattle backfield will be key. If McIntosh can win the RB1 position, he should be able to contribute heavily. Even if Kenneth Walker returns early in the season, McIntosh should maintain a large role while Charbonnet remains out. McIntosh immediately becomes an intriguing draft target who shouldn’t be overlooked.
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