Fantasy Index

header banner img
CHEAT SHEET UPDATES: ON SALE NOW
Win here.

Around the NFL

Zach Charbonnet

Passing d0wns work for rookie?

The Seahawks drafted Zach Charbonnet in the second round, and that's mildly worrying for those who roster Kenneth Walker. Early camp reports have been favorable on the rookie, including one from the News-Tribune yesterday.

Empty quotes from Pete Carroll ("He does everything well...he's complete ballplayer") can largely be disregarded. If Carroll is talking, he's probably gushing about somebody. But positive talk about Charbonnet's receiving skills needs to be considered, since that's an area where Walker wasn't much of a factor as a rookie.

Charbonnet caught 37 passes for UCLA a year ago; only 11 college backs had more receptions. It makes sense to think he'll get a share of the work in the passing game for Seattle. Walker didn't do a lot in that area, catching 27 balls in 15 games. But it's presumptuous to assume that he himself was lacking in that regard. Those catches came on 35 targets; his 77 percent catch rate was average (among all running backs with 25-plus targets). Rather, it's something the offense in general doesn't do much with, and hasn't in recent years.

First with Brian Schottenheimer (the offensive coordinator in 2018-2020) and more recently with Shane Waldron (2021-present), running backs haven't been a big part of the passing game in Seattle. Only five offenses have averaged fewer receiving yards from running backs over the last five seasons.

RB RECEIVING YARDS/GAME (TEAM), 2018-2022
Team20182019202020212022Avg
LA Chargers65.684.855.651.753.662.3
New England62.470.948.347.433.452.5
Carolina57.466.839.650.833.949.7
New Orleans56.451.561.737.838.249.1
San Francisco48.847.152.438.147.446.7
Las Vegas52.451.638.351.139.946.7
Kansas City57.640.536.548.548.646.3
Washington38.341.453.047.936.843.5
Green Bay37.653.343.541.936.442.5
Detroit47.131.341.644.740.241.0
Indianapolis38.531.557.339.935.340.5
Tampa Bay27.445.233.341.148.939.2
Minnesota35.253.440.735.529.038.8
Arizona37.741.234.844.833.738.4
Cincinnati34.733.436.839.146.838.2
Chicago60.341.434.529.624.438.1
Miami41.936.353.625.131.437.7
Cleveland44.545.430.240.127.337.5
NY Jets37.436.524.145.641.137.0
Jacksonville49.443.136.924.528.736.5
NY Giants53.834.924.933.429.135.2
Dallas40.032.933.238.430.935.1
Atlanta29.438.031.152.719.634.2
Denver43.834.417.032.441.533.8
Pittsburgh47.040.023.530.228.433.8
Philadelphia41.350.427.330.215.432.9
Seattle31.831.537.130.928.532.0
Houston23.828.837.332.830.930.7
Buffalo36.828.825.430.631.830.6
Tennessee31.226.515.036.940.029.9
LA Rams42.316.327.818.521.225.2
Baltimore28.425.622.824.215.723.3

So even if Charbonnet gets a healthy share of the work in the passing game, it's not necessarily going to be a big part of the offense. It hasn't been in recent years.

If I have Walker in a keeper format or elsewhere, this is not to say I'm thrilled with the Charbonnet pick. He's a second-round talent, and teams like to get those players on the field. He'll probably eat into Walker's chances, in the passing game and in terms of carries.

But until we see otherwise, I think his value is primarily as a backup with significant upside, if Walker gets hurt. His standalone value will be limited in Seattle's offense. Nothing Carroll says will convince me differently until we see it on the field.

--Andy Richardson

Fantasy Index