Fantasy News & Analysis

2023 Fantasy Football Player Profile: D'Andre Swift has a tall order in Philadelphia

2K0G9DJ DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 11: Detroit Lions RB D'Andre Swift (32) in open field during the game between Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions on September 11, 2022 at Ford Field in Detroit, MI (Photo by Allan Dranberg/CSM) Credit: Cal Sport Media/Alamy Live News

D’Andre Swift started 2022 strong but had a quiet finish: Swift began the season with a 15-carry, 144-yard performance. That was his only game with more than 80 rushing yards all season.

• A fresh start with the Philadelphia Eagles: The Detroit Lions were ready to move on, so the Eagles moved swiftly to trade for the former second-round pick.

• Swift must overcome his injury history: Swift has missed a minimum of three games each season, including injuries to his AC joint, ankle and groin over the past two seasons.

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The fantasy football outlook series takes an in-depth look at a single player’s fantasy outlook for the 2023 season.

Want to know where you should draft D'Andre Swift? Click here for Nathan Jahnke's top 300 fantasy football rankings

Last updated: 7:15 a.m. Thursday, July 6

Player Outlook

Swift’s talent had made believers out of several fantasy managers.

  • The former Georgia Bulldog was our highest-ranked running back coming out of the 2020 NFL Draft.
  • He’s primarily been used as a receiving back throughout his time in Detroit.
  • He received a target on 26.7% of his routes last season, which ranked second out of 31 running backs with at least 220 routes.
  • Over the past two seasons, he’s averaged 5.1 targets and 4.1 receptions per game, both of which ranked fourth best among running backs.
  • He never led the Lions in rushing attempts, but his big-play ability has led to plenty of fantasy points despite the lack of volume.
  • His 5.5 rushing yards per attempt last season ranked fourth out of 51 running backs with at least 85 attempts.
  • Even though Jamaal Williams was the goal-line back, Swift still managed a rushing touchdown on 4.9% of his carries, ranking second out of 50 running backs with at least 235 rushing attempts since 2020.
  • The combination of his rushing and receiving has led to 14.7 PPR fantasy points per game, which ranks 13th out of 79 running backs with at least 25 games since 2020.
  • The problem with Swift has been a lack of consistency, in part due to his injuries.
  • He spent four weeks as a top-six fantasy running back last season, but also six weeks at RB30 or worse.
  • Similarly, in 2021 he had four games as a top-five back and another four at RB30 or worse.

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Competition for Touches

Swift will need to not only overcome his injury history but also fight for opportunities in a crowded backfield.

  • Getting goal-line carries has always been a problem for Swift, and that will remain true in Philadelphia.
  • Only three players had eight or more carries from the one-yard line last season. One was his former teammate Jamaal Williams, and one is his new teammate Jalen Hurts.
  • He will primarily compete for carries with former Seahawk Rashaad Pennya player the Eagles were comfortable with being their lead back before acquiring Swift.
  • Penny averages 94.2 rushing yards per start, which ranks second among 59 running backs with at least 10 games since 2020.
  • He’s similarly known for his big plays in the run game and his injury history.
  • If anything, Penny has averaged more big plays per attempt. But he also has a more extensive injury history.
  • Penny has graded out slightly better than Swift as a runner the past two seasons, earning an 83.7 mark compared to Swift's 83.2.
  • Swift will also need to compete with Kenneth Gainwell for the receiving job in Philadelphia. Gainwell has graded out higher than Swift as a receiver over the past two seasons, at 75.9 to 66.0.
  • The Eagles also have Boston Scott, and he could very well keep a roster spot, given the injury history of Penny and Swift.
  • Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks are currently on the roster but unlikely to make the cut to 53.

Impact of Teammates

Playing for the Eagles could help Swift’s rushing production but hurt his receiving output.

  • Swift benefited from playing behind a top-five offensive line in Detroit, but now he will get to run behind the NFL's best offensive line.
  • Center Jason Kelce has a 91.8 run-blocking grade over the past three years, which ranks second best among centers.
  • Left tackle Jordan Mailata (84.2) and right tackle Lane Johnson (75.6) return as starters at tackle and have also played very well as both run blockers and pass blockers.
  • Left guard Landon Dickerson has been average over his first two seasons, and 2022 second-round pick Cam Jurgens is expected to replace Isaac Seumalo, who departed in free agency.
  • There is no clear weak link on the offensive line, and if the younger players step up, this has a chance to be one of the best lines in a long time.
  • This will provide any running back who gets carries a chance to excel.
  • While Swift had a massive target share in Detroit, that’s unlikely to carry over in Philadelphia.
  • Eagles running backs were targeted 60 times last season, which was tied for the third fewest.
  • That is unlikely to change. The Eagles’ offensive line allows Jalen Hurts plenty of time to throw, and the downfield options include A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert.
  • On the bright side, the Eagles' high-powered pass offense should lead to plenty of goal-line trips. And even if Hurts is taking a lot of those touchdowns, there should be chances for Swift to score.

Bottom Line

Swift could finish as a top-five fantasy running back or be the backup on both run and pass plays. Where he fits in might change from one week to another, too.

  • There are multiple pros and cons for a running back playing in the Eagles' offense.
  • Any running back who is expected to take at least 50% of the carries in a week is probably worth starting.
  • This situation will probably be fluid throughout the season, given the number of backs and their injury histories.
  • Swift tops the list of potential Eagles backs because he’s the only one who has a shot at being a three-down player. You’re drafting a Philadelphia back for his ceiling, and Swift’s ceiling is the highest.

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