D'Andre Swift to the Detroit Lions: A Less Than Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
With the 35th pick of the NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected running back D'Andre Swift from the University of Georgia. Swift was among the top rookie prospects heading into the NFL Draft, and while he goes as the second running back off the board, the fit with the Lions leaves some questions to be answered.
Swift measured 5’8 2/8” and weighed in at 212 pounds at the combine. His 4.48 40-yard dash may not jump off the page, but is plenty fast enough for his size and ranked as the sixth-best mark of all running backs at the NFL Combine. Swift mixed an excellent blend of durability and versatility, logging 43 games across his three-year career at Georgia, including a 220-touch final season.
The passing game prowess is what has teams most intrigued with Swift, and he has drawn comparisons to Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook. Swift's 73 career receptions show that he can handle himself in the passing game, while his nine-game stretch of double-digit carries in 2019 shows that he is more than just a passing down specialist.
Swift on the Lions
This landing spot isn't ideal for Swift, who had been mocked to the Kansas City Chiefs in what would have been a far superior fantasy situation. Now in Detroit, Swift will battle Kerryon Johnson for touches in a Detroit backfield that hasn't been a fantasy force as of late. Johnson himself was a second-round draft pick in 2018, but he has battled injuries over his two years in the NFL, playing only 18 of a potential 32 games. While Swift should be the most talented and versatile option out of the Lions' backfield, Johnson will likely still have a significant role.
The Lions have also failed to fully incorporate Johnson into the passing game, which casts some doubt on whether the Lions will make Swift the PPR asset that he could have been on another roster. Swift is still a solid fantasy asset, but this landing spot keeps him from being the top rookie running back of this draft, and he may potentially wind up as low as the third- or fourth-best rookie back, depending on later picks.
Productive Rookie Season
According to JJ Zachariason's projections, Swift is set for a modest rookie season, assuming he will be splitting time with Johnson. JJ's projections have Swift going for 188 rushing attempts, 846 rushing yards, five touchdowns, 25 receptions and 263 receiving yards -- for a total of 176 fantasy points.