Fantasy Football 2020: Is D’Andre Swift a RB1?

By Alex Kurpeski

For years the backfield in Detroit has looked like a battlefield, with countless promising young men left as casualties of an organization that refuses to commit to a single running back. That was until this season when former Georgia standout D’Andre Swift managed to overcome what seemed to be a concerted effort by Detroit’s brass to impede his path to RB1 status. 

Following the signing of veteran Adrian Peterson and a clean bill of health for incumbent starter Kerryon Johnson, it certainly seemed as if Swift’s rookie campaign would be marred by a dreaded running back by committee approach. Despite having the deck stacked against him early on by his own ball club, Swift has been able to run away with the starting role in the past month. Below is a look at his numbers in the last five games. 

D’Andre Swift Stats (October 18th – November 15th)

  • 289 rushing yards
  • 4.98 YPV
  • 18 receptions
  • 151 receiving yards
  • 4 total touchdowns

One of the more dynamic runners in the league this season, Swift currently checks in fourth in the league with a 7.4% breakaway rate, behind only Nick Chubb, Philip Lindsay, and J.K Dobbins, all of whom have been either injured or reserve players for this season. 

Swift has been one of the most efficient fantasy point producers this season as well, with top ten marks in fantasy points per-attempt (1.88) and fantasy points per opportunity (1.16). In many ways, Swift’s rookie campaign has mirrored that of Alvin Kamara, albeit on a much smaller scale. Like Kamara, Swift’s creativity and burst in the open field opens up the game plan for his team’s offense tremendously. 

It hasn’t been all roses for Swift. Heralded as a top tier pass-catcher coming out of Georgia, Swift’s 14.7% drop rate is the third-worst among qualified running backs. Fortunately for Swift, he has only fumbled once this season. If the rookie can iron out his drop woes, there’s really no telling just how dangerous he could be in this Lions offense. 

In dynasty leagues, Swift is on his way to top-10 value status, given the state of Detroit’s roster and their sudden reliance upon him. For now, Swift is a solid RB2 to roster in both redraft and dynasty formats for this season.

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