D'Andre Swift 2021 Fantasy Upside Remains Stable Following Lions Free Agency Moves - Roto Street Journal
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D’Andre Swift 2021 Fantasy Upside Remains Stable Following Lions Free Agency Moves

Dan Campbell has arrived in Detroit and appears to be bringing a culture change to the much-maligned Detroit Lions franchise. Campbell, who has spent the last four years with the Saints, is seeking to rebuild the Lions from the inside-out. After trading their franchise quarterback, Matthew Stafford, the Lions are shifting into a long, methodical rebuild with their new quarterback, Jared Goff.

Now Detroit has shifted to an offense built around a limited passing-game and its exciting, dual-threat running back, D’Andre Swift. Campbell comes from an offense that featured Alvin Kamara as a branch of both the running and receiving game, meaning he could potentially want to replicate that same usage in Detriot. With a running back that offers a similar skillset, Swift appears to be in a prime position to be a fantasy force in 2021, right? Maybe the narrative is distracting fantasy players from the truth of the matter.

After everything appeared to be trending in Swift’s favor, the Lions signed former Packers’ committee back, Jamaal Williams. Williams, who is a fine running back in his own right, offers excellent pass protection skills and adequate running/receiving chops. Williams was a constant thorn in Aaron Jones’ owners’ sides and Swift owners might have felt similar anxiety after seeing the signing.

Is Williams a legitimate threat to Swift? Nah. When it comes to talent, Swift runs laps around Williams. This situation more closely mirrors the Mark IngramLatavius Murray-Kamara situation in New Orleans. In fact, let’s look at that situation a little more closely.

According to an article written by Ryan Weisse of The Fantasy Footballers the RB1 and the RB2 in New Orleans had the following finishes:

RB1 – RB3, RB4, RB12, RB1

RB2 – RB6, RB29, RB29, RB33

As you can see, the RB1 had strong fantasy finishes while the RB2 was a flex play in three of the last four seasons.

What makes this situation different? The quality of the offense. This will ultimately prove to be the major thorn in Swift’s side. The Saints routinely deployed a top-flight offense ripe with scoring opportunities. After the departure of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr., the weapons cabinet is depleted.

However, Swift will likely see a bump in targets after eliminating Jones’ 115 targets from last year and Golladay’s 6.5 targets per game. Not to mention Goff’s running backs owned a 17.5 percent target share during Goff’s career-best season.

This offense is going to struggle to consistently put up points. Swift’s touchdown upside is going to be squashed. Still, Swift should be the engine of this offense and Williams should be nothing more than a complementary, and sometimes annoying, cog in the machine.

Swift checks in at RB14 (+1 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s 2021 Fantasy Football Rankings & Big Board.

Author

  • Graduate of Regent University (2019) BA Sports Journalism Writer: Full Press Coverage, UnFiltered Sports Network Fantasy Football Enthusiast Fantasy Analyst/Writer for the Roto Street Journal

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