RB - DET
Based on pure talent, Swift already belongs in the top-12 RB conversation in the NFL. Unfortunately, it's hard to have faith that Swift will finish in that range this year for fantasy purposes. While he could see plenty of targets in the passing game, the scoring opportunities on this bad Detroit Lions team probably aren't going to be very plentiful. Additionally, he now has Jamaal Williams in this backfield to compete for touches with and Anthony Lynn has been vocal about his love for utilizing a committee approach. Swift is going to be a safe RB2 for your roster this season because of the floor he'll bring you week in and week out. However, due to the offense he's in, there's virtually no upside. Think about it this way...would you have been as excited about Swift last season if he were on the New York Jets or Jacksonville Jaguars and in a near 50/50 time share? That could be the exact situation we're looking at this season in Detroit. My Very Early Projection: 206-843-5 rushing & 54-428-1 receiving.
There were certainly flashes of what could be a great three-down back with Swift last year, but the Lions seem to have alternate plans. They snagged Jamaal Williams in free agency and signed him to a two-year deal. Then, they drafted Jermar Jefferson. Then, they brought in Todd Gurley on a free agent visit. While they didn't sign him, it's not promising for Swift's outlook, as they clearly want this to be somewhat of a timeshare. It's not to say timeshare backs can't get into the top-12 conversation - they can, but it requires a lot of scoring opportunities, something we're not expecting from the Lions offense. Swift is an extremely talented football player, but situation and opportunity knock him into clear-cut RB2 territory.
Swift is a really talented RB, but he isn't big enough to be a three down RB. He'll wear down. The Lions signed RB Jamaal Williams from Green Bay in free agency. He'll probably see the goal line work. He's a better power runner. There's also rumors that Detroit is interested in Todd Gurley. Some members of the Lions front office came over from L.A. when Gurley was playing for the Rams. Detroit's offense isn't that great anyway. This is one of those where I like the player, but hate the situation type of deals. Why some analysts are taking DeAndre Swift so early (3rd round) is beyond me. They might as well take Taylor Swift instead. At that price point, I think DeAndre Swift is a bust in 2021. Avoid
It wasn't a bad rookie season by any means for Swift, as he finished as the 18th-ranked running back in half-PPR formats and did strong work as a receiver, totaling an impressive 1.58 yards per route run. New offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn made some waves with his comments about Jamaal Williams essentially playing as the primary back, but, even if true, we've seen backs in Lynn's system succeed as complementary pass-catching options. There are also plenty of vacated targets in Detroit and Jared Goff is sure to look for Swift as his safety net. Add it all up and Swift is a decent RB2 in half-PPR formats, but one with a fairly hard cap on his upside.
Improved line, huge target upside, run-it-all-out coach. Love this offseason for Swift -- except Anthony Lynn calling Jamaal WIlliams the "A Back?" And now looking at Gurley? Maybe he's not projected for the Bell Cow role we had thought...
The Lions have one of the best and deepest offensive lines in football coming into 2021, which is great news for Swift. Even better news is that he is on a team that just acquired a QB that loves to throw to the RB (Goff) in an offense that lacks outside weapons. Swift could easily see upwards of 100 targets for the Lions this season, even with Jammal Williams also getting touches. New OC Anthony Lynn has produced two RB2's or better multiple times in his time with the Chargers, and with almost nowhere else to go to on offense, the offense will run through Swift and Williams.
Swift averaged a healthy 12.8 fantasy points in 13 games last year and he figures to see more work as the featured back in Detroit. He should be an upside RB1 in 2021.
22yo - 46 receptions in 12 games. That's the main takeaway on the limited 114 carries we saw in 2020. 4.5ypc with double digit touchdowns. Jared Goff now at QB. Can't wait to see more even with Jamaal Williams in town.
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