The Seattle Seahawks may have themselves a new No. 1 running back, and fantasy football owners are sure to take notice.
Seattle outlasted the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday during a 12-9 victory at CenturyLink Field, and running back Chris Carson proved critical in the effort. He finished with 20 carries for 93 yards and one catch for seven yards, and he served as the primary back as the Seahawks ran out the clock at the end of the contest.
He was much more effective than Thomas Rawls, who played a supporting role with a mere five carries for four yards. At least Rawls was active, which is more than Eddie Lacy can say.
Here is a fantasy breakdown for the three Seattle running backs.
Carson may not have the name recognition Rawls and Lacy do at this point, but he is the one Seahawks running back worth playing in fantasy circles in the immediate future after Sunday's contest.
He assumed the primary running back duties throughout the game and churned through San Francisco's defense for critical yardage when the contest was on the line late. Mike Clay of ESPN was ready to call him "the guy" in the Seahawks backfield.
The snap count reflected that notion, as Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus highlighted:
The rookie from Oklahoma State appeared more explosive with his cuts than Rawls and should see plenty of action moving forward following Sunday's showing. That makes him the one Seattle running back worthy of a fantasy start in the upcoming weeks.
In Rawls' defense, Sunday was his first regular-season game action this year. Jennifer Hale of Fox Sports pointed out he was returning from a high ankle sprain, and the Seahawks didn't look anxious to give him an overload of work after the setback.
It is too early to simply cut Rawls considering he tallied 830 rushing yards in 13 games as recently as 2015, but it would also be unwise to start him until proven otherwise this year. Stash him on your bench for now in case he shows more promise as he puts his injury further in the rearview mirror, but Carson's presence makes it too risky to play Rawls at this point.
Feel free to release Lacy.
Field Yates of ESPN noted the former Green Bay Packer was a healthy scratch against the 49ers, and Percy Allen of the Seattle Times suggested Lacy may not even be a member of the team following Carson's showing:
That means Lacy will have to jump Carson, Rawls and C.J. Prosise on the depth chart to see significant enough action to make him worthy of a fantasy start this season. There is nothing to suggest that will be the case in the near future, making him a wasted roster spot.