D’Andre Swift injury update: Fantasy managers should be prepared for an absence

What is the latest on D'Andre Swift's shoulder injury, and how should fantasy managers prepare for the Lions' backfield in Week 4 and beyond?

D’Andre Swift’s injury concerns for the 2022 NFL season continue to frustrate fantasy football managers. After dealing with an ankle issue for the past two weeks, Swift is now managing a shoulder injury that he sustained last week. Let’s take a look at the latest updates regarding Swift’s injury and the fantasy implications of the situation in Detroit.

D’Andre Swift injury update for Week 4

The news of Swift’s shoulder injury was broken by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Monday. In his tweet, Pelissero remarked that Swift was not expected to have surgery but could miss time. On Monday, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported that Dan Campbell had said Swift could benefit from healing up for after the bye. That comes in Week 6 for the Detroit Lions, meaning Swift could miss the next three weeks for fantasy managers.

As the Lions returned to practice on Wednesday, Campbell did not seem much more optimistic. He was quoted as saying, “Swift would have to be significantly better to probably play,” and made reference to the sky opening up and bright light coming out. When Swift suffered a similar shoulder injury in Week 12 of the 2021 season, he missed the subsequent four games.

What options do fantasy managers have with Swift and Jamaal Williams?

It seems fairly clear at this point that Swift is going to miss time so fantasy managers need to start preparing for that possibility. The bad news is that it’s unlikely Swift is placed on IR, making it hard to do anything with him. He could be ruled “out” on Friday, so if your league allows that designation in the IR spot, you would get some weekend relief at that point. However, the likely outcome is that you will have to simply stash Swift on your bench, limiting your flexibility for the next three weeks or so.

Jamaal Williams would be expected to take over as the lead back, and he’s still available in just over 25% of ESPN leagues. Williams has only played two games without Swift since arriving in Detroit last year. He averages 74 rushing yards per game without Swift, compared to just 44.3 when he’s active.

However, Williams’ fantasy output has actually been slightly lower without Swift, thanks in large part to him not scoring in those games. In contrast, Williams has averaged a touchdown every other game when Swift has been active, providing that boost. Swift’s absence should at least improve the floor for Williams. Additionally, he’s been the clear goal-line back this year, with all four of the carries inside the 5-yard line. Williams has already found the end zone four times in 2022.

In deeper leagues, Craig Reynolds figures to be the primary option besides Williams this week. With Swift limited the past two weeks, Reynolds has played just north of 15% of the snaps, with nine rushing attempts and two targets in those two games. His workload should increase with Swift out, but his fantasy impact is limited to a Flex consideration in 16-team leagues and deeper.

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