The Philadelphia Eagles got creative in improving their team this past offseason. One of the more talked about moves among the many that were made was when the team traded for running back D’Andre Swift during Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
While Week 1 was slow, Swift has put together solid back-to-back weeks. But now Kenneth Gainwell, who led the backfield in Week 1, is fully healthy and back into the swing of the offense. Should Swift be the back fantasy football managers target moving forward? Or will Gainwell take back over as the lead ball carrier in the City of Brotherly Love? Let’s find out.
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D’Andre Swift Fantasy Outlook This Week
Swift’s start in Philadelphia was less than exciting for fantasy managers. In Week 1, he carried the ball once for three yards and had a single catch for no gain. The talk after Week 1 was that this backfield may actually belong to Gainwell and not Swift.
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But with Gainwell having to sit in Week 2, Swift was given an opportunity. And he (literally) ran with it. The back had 28 carries for 175 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. He followed that up with 130 yards rushing in Week 3.
What has been surprising is Swift’s usage as a true running back this year. In the 40 games Swift played with the Detroit Lions, he had 205 targets in the passing game to 364 rushing attempts. In his first three games in Philly, he has seven targets to 45 rushing attempts.
With the Eagles seemingly committed to Swift working as a true running back, he will have plenty of opportunities. He is no longer seen as more of a gadget option, but rather as a reliable back to hand off to on any down and distance.
If this keeps up, Swift could be winning leagues for managers this year.
Kenneth Gainwell Fantasy Outlook This Week
Gainwell had a strong start to 2023 that made it look like he was the back to roster in Philadelphia. While only tallying 54 yards on the ground, Gainwell carried the ball 14 times in Week 1 to Swift’s single carry. Boston Scott added in one carry as well.
But after sitting out Week 2 with injury, Gainwell seems to have been usurped by Swift. While Gainwell still saw 14 carries in Week 3 to Swift’s 16 carries, he didn’t nearly do the damage his counterpart did. He was only able to total 47 yards on the ground, a 3.07 yards per carry average.
With Gainwell only averaging 3.07 yards to Swift’s 8.13 yards in Week 3 against the same Tampa defense, it is hard to imagine Gainwell getting the bulk of the looks in Week 4 when the Eagles play the Washington Commanders. Until we start to see the snap share and carry totals favor Gainwell, he will be hard to start on our fantasy teams.
Which of the Philadelphia Eagles’ RBs Should You Start?
This one isn’t particularly close. Swift has to be the start between these two backs in Week 4.
Swift has the second-most rushing yards in the NFL this year, even though he only totaled three yards in Week 1. He has been a force the last two weeks — he has to be in your lineup this weekend.
Gainwell, meanwhile, is still getting carries but not doing a whole lot with them. He could be considered for a Flex spot if your team is in a pinch, but he shouldn’t be starting anywhere over Swift.
Until a dramatic swing back in the other direction happens, Swift has to be the guy you start in fantasy. The Eagles seem to want to get him involved early and often in their game plan. If this keeps up, he could be a true difference-maker in the 2023 season for fantasy teams.
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