D'Andre Swift
D’Andre Swift fantasy outlook doesn’t look great with the Lions. In the short term, Swift has a lot to overcome to be fantasy relevant in 2020. (Charlie Neibergall | AP Photo)

D’Andre Swift Fantasy Outlook Doesn’t Look Great With Lions

D’Andre Swift was my favorite running back prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. Albeit, by a narrow margin. I really loved 4 backs in this draft. However, Swift’s fantasy potential took a turn for the worse after he was picked by the Lions on draft day. How does D’Andre Swift factor into the Lions backfield?

It’s a fair question to ask. I don’t see how fantasy owners aren’t nervous about this one. When you’re looking at running backs in fantasy, you really have to break down the circumstances into multiple categories.

Rule Number One: DO NOT Draft Running Backs on bad teams.

Want to lose your fantasy league? Draft running backs on teams that suck. Joe Mixon? Underachieved. Redskins backfield was unusable last year. Add the Lions in that mix. Saquon Barkley scored less than he should have. If you can avoid it, you should.

Enter D’Andre Swift. In 2019, the Lions ranked 19th in rush percentage, 20th in red zone rush percentage and 22nd in running back target share. Swift enters a situation on a team that hates to run and a team that doesn’t throw the ball to its backs. NOT IDEAL.

This one you could argue against. The Lions should be more competitive IF Matthew Stafford is healthy. If you draft Swift, that’s what you’re banking on. If the Lions are winning, those percentages work more in your favor. Call me crazy but betting on the Lions usually doesn’t work out so well.

NEXT: You move to competition. Is Swift the bell cow back? The roster would suggest otherwise. Kerryon Johnson isn’t exactly a slouch. They picked him in the 2nd round in 2018. You would think Johnson will get some touches. They also drafted Jason Huntley. He’s gotta factor in too, right? I actually thought Bo Scarbrough was going play a role too as a short yardage back. That’s a lot of mouths to feed.

Maybe Swift is different. There is no questioning the talent. Maybe the talent can overcome those two things. Then you remember the fact that Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn are running the Lions. Where did they come from… New England!

You know, the place where fantasy owners chuck things at their TV when Bill Belichick laughs in the face of all fantasy owners. A place where they constantly rotate running backs. You know the pain if you have had a New England back in the past. Rex Burkhead, James Develin, and Jonas Gray are coming to crush your dreams.

Now long term could be a different story. If the Lions don’t improve drastically, they’re clearing house. Maybe Johnson gets traded. He’s never really healthy anyway. In the short term, the outlook doesn’t look great.