D’Andre Swift’s fantasy outlook, ADP, and projection for 2022

What is D'Andre Swift's fantasy outlook and projection for 2022, and should you look to draft him at his current ADP?

Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift followed up a strong rookie debut with an even better sophomore season. Is this the year the Lions finally commit to him as a three-down back? What is Swift’s fantasy football outlook for the 2022 season, and should managers target him at his ADP in fantasy drafts?

D’Andre Swift’s fantasy outlook for 2022

One of the best things you can say about Swift’s game is he doesn’t need touchdowns to produce. Last season, Swift scored 14 or more PPR fantasy points in eight games. While he also recorded a touchdown in seven of those games, he would still have notched double-digit fantasy points in all but one of them even if he didn’t score.

Swift’s ability to produce without scoring gives him a high weekly floor. That is, of course, when he’s actually being targeted.

Swift’s 2021 was really a tale of two halves. From Weeks 1-10, Swift averaged 7 targets a game, never seeing fewer than 5 targets in an individual game. Over his final four games, Swift totaled just 15 targets.

Now, to be fair, Swift did injure his shoulder on Thanksgiving, which cost him four games. His 67.2% opportunity share in the games he did play was the eighth-highest rate in the league. At the same time, Swift did cede significant snaps to Jamaal Williams and, later in the season, to Craig Reynolds.

After Swift’s return from injury, he was mired in a timeshare. I want to think that was just head coach Dan Campbell being cautious, but then why bring Swift back at all? Will the Lions commit fully to Swift this season?

How the Lions’ depth chart impacts D’Andre Swift’s fantasy projection for the season

The Lions did not do anything to bolster their backfield this offseason. They are sticking with the guys already on the roster. That means Swift is their RB1 with Williams and Reynolds behind him.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Fantasy managers should feel confident Swift will lead this backfield in touches and targets. Swift’s six targets per game on the season, even with the late-season decrease, was still tied with Leonard Fournette for the most amongst running backs in 2021. Swift should have a floor of around 14 ppg.

The problem is that for Swift to be worth a premium first or second-round draft pick, he needs to have a 16-18 ppg upside. He averaged 16.1 ppg last season, so that would seem a foregone conclusion, but it may not be.

Will Swift get goal-line carries?

I have three concerns surrounding Swift. First, will he get goal-line carries? Last season, Swift had four, and Williams had five. Part of the issue was the Lions’ weak offense. They were 29th in the league in red-zone scoring attempts at just 2.6 per game.

Will Swift’s target share remain high?

Second, will Swift be able to maintain an 18% target share? The Lions signed DJ Chark and drafted Jameson Williams in the first round. With a presumably healthy T.J. Hockenson and a more established Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions’ depth chart is stacked with competent pass catchers. Will throwing to their running back be a priority?

Can Swift stay on the field?

Third, there’s Swift’s health. He missed three games as a rookie due to a concussion and four as a sophomore with a shoulder sprain. He also dealt with injuries in both preseasons. It was a hip issue in 2020 and a lingering groin strain in 2021.

Swift has the talent to be a high RB1 in fantasy if the volume follows. I was all over Swift last year, but I’m a bit reluctant to make the move this year as I am afraid the Lions will reduce Swift’s target share and red zone work.

Swift’s ADP for 2022

Given Swift’s performance last season, it would not have been the least bit surprising to see him creep into the first round in ADP. In fact, he does in some places. For the most part, though, Swift’s ADP is very early in the second round. He’s pretty much the last of the running backs you feel good about taking early in fantasy football drafts. That value closely matches where he ranks in PFN’s consensus 2022 PPR fantasy rankings (RB9, 13th overall).

I’m not against taking Swift around the Round 1/2 turn, but it would need to be a very specific set of circumstances. All of the running backs ahead of him in ADP would have to go, as well as Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, and Stefon Diggs. In that exact scenario, I would take Swift … as long as it’s a PPR league.

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