If you play fantasy football, especially in a PPR league, you most likely have Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift as one of your top 10 running backs heading into the 2022 season. (If you don’t, you probably should adjust your rankings and thank me later).
But fantasy football and actual NFL football are two very different things and some advanced stats from Football Insiders reveal a glaring problem for Swift.
In fact, one advanced stat had Swift ranked 48th out of 50 eligible running backs from the 2021 season.
Advanced stats reveal glaring problem for Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift
On Monday, ESPN released an article in which they take a look at 25 NFL breakout candidates for 2022 and D’Andre Swift was included in their Tier 4: Rotational Player to Solid Starter category.
In their breakdown of Swift, ESPN writer Bill Barnwell pointed out some advanced stats from Football Outsiders that reveal some glaring problems for Swift.
Swift was a better fantasy football player than he was on the field last season. The second-year back ranked 48th out of 50 runners in Football Outsiders’ DYAR statistic. When asked to run between the tackles, he generated just 206 yards on 66 carries, with his minus-99 rush yards above expectation (RYOE) on those spots ranking as the second-worst mark in football. His 36% success rate as a runner — which measures his propensity for keeping the offense on schedule — was comfortably the worst in the league. If you want to blame that on the offense, consider that Jamaal Williams was much better by those metrics while playing on the same team.
And yet, Swift is going to be exciting because he can catch plenty of passes. The Lions threw him the ball on more than 25% of his routes a year ago, which was one of the league’s highest rates. If he can generate more first downs as a receiver after mustering just 18 on 78 targets a year ago, he will be a valuable playmaker for Detroit. If he does more as a runner between the tackles in 2022, he could be a valuable playmaker by anybody’s definition of the word.
Nation, do you think D’Andre Swift will improve in these areas in 2022?