Although the Lions themselves are not a good football team, to a fantasy manager, they have incredible value. To be specific, their running backs have both been very intriguing fantasy starts, with both Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift having boom potential every time they step onto the field. The Lions are a sneaky 8th in points for, and 4th in total offensive yards, and a large share of their targets go to their running backs. Despite this, D’Andre Swift’s injury, and Jamaal Williams’ efficiency, has fantasy managers unsure of Swift’s potential in the Lions offense.
Jamaal Williams has been fantastic this year for the Detroit Lions in relief of D’Andre Swift. His volume production and poised running has produced numbers in both touchdowns and yardage. With Swift coming back off of injury, and having proven to be somewhat injury prone over his three year career, having never played a full season, one would assume the Lions would limit Swift’s touches, and continue to feed the hot hand in Williams. This was the case on Sunday against the Dolphins, with Swift rushing only five times for a very uncharacteristic six yards, and Williams being fed ten carries, taking them for 53 yards and two touchdowns.
Although Williams led the way in the rushing game, Swift received his fair share of reps on passing downs, catching all five of his targets for 27 yards and a touchdown, bringing his PPR total in ESPN standard leagues up to 14.3 points, a very respectable score for his low rep count, especially returning from injury. On the contrary, an injured Davante Adams couldn’t even put up two. Hopefully, that’s a sign Swift is recovering nicely from his injuries, and will be able to shoulder a heavier load in weeks to come.
When looking at Swift’s rushing performances before his injury, he was mightily efficient, and debatably the most explosive player on the Detroit offense. His standout week one performance against Philadelphia has been his peak so far, yet it seems to be a matter of reps and time, rather than a lack of talent.
With a matchup against an alright Green Bay defense, and a porous Chicago defensive line on the horizon, Swift has the opportunity to score big in the coming weeks, which would give him a stable platform to gain more reps throughout the rest of the season. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before D’Andre Swift is given the reps he’s shown he can produce with, and whether his body can handle those reps. Overall, Swift is trending upwards, and is worth a flex start in any league with more than eight people.