When the Detroit Lions drafted running back D'Andre Swift 35th overall at the 2020 NFL Draft, it was clear that they had big plans for him. While he managed to reach some of these expectations in his rookie campaign, Swift's potential was limited as he split carries with free-agent RB Adrian Peterson.
However, Peterson is now out of the picture, which means that Detroit's backfield now belongs to Swift. Now, The Athletic is listing the sophomore RB as the best candidate to be the Lions breakout player in 2021 — boosting his fantasy outlook in the process.
D'Andre Swift Fantasy Outlook
Swift finished 2020 with 521 rushing yards on 114 attempts (4.6 Y/A) while also recording 8 touchdowns. He was also pretty effective as a pass-catcher, hauling in 46-of-57 targets (80.7%) for 357 receiving yards and another 2 TDs.
The fact is that this could be Swift's best shot at having a breakout campaign. Peterson had 156 rushing attempts last season, which means that those carries have to go to someone in 2021. While veteran RB Jamaal Williams will serve as the backup, it's hard to imagine him cutting into Swift's carries that much.
Plus, the Lions don't really have a lot of playmakers on offense. Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman are Detroit's top wideouts, but, neither is exactly a No. 1 wide receiver. That means that the Lions may depend on Swift a lot as a source of offense going forward
FantasyPros is listing Swift's average draft position at 28.8 — which means that he's projected to be taken somewhere around the late second or early third round depending on how many people are in a league.
He's also listed as the 17th-ranked running back, so fantasy managers will likely have to pay a hefty price to select him on draft day. Still, Swift has all the talent in the world and should see plenty of opportunity. It's not hard to envision him meeting or exceeding expectations in 2021.
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