D’Andre Swift Start/Sit Week 5: Is he healthy enough to make your lineup?

    Heading into Week 5, D'Andre Swift is dealing with a groin injury. Is Swift worth the risk of having in your fantasy lineup this week?

    Detroit Lions D’Andre Swift’s fantasy football season has been very up and down. He was a solid RB2 option during the draft season and saw his value go up after a couple of weeks into the 2021 season. But now, it’s coming back down to reality. So what is Swift’s true value, and should you put him in your fantasy lineup for Week 5?

    Should you start or sit D’Andre Swift in Week 5?

    Before we look ahead, let’s look back, starting with his value entering the season.

    Swift’s expectations heading into the season

    Swift’s preseason ADP was 41 overall (RB18), according to FantasyPros. He was a solid RB2 option in most formats, mainly due to his pass-catching abilities. The Lions didn’t exactly have a lot of other players to turn to in the passing game. They have tight end T.J. Hockenson and their running backs, and that’s about it. Swift was considered a safe option.

    Even with the signing of RB Jamaal Williams, fantasy managers were drafting Swift to be in their lineups week in and week out. Williams would see some work, but he wasn’t a true threat to Swift’s value. Therefore, head coach Dan Campbell would need to lean on his playmakers to move the ball. And that included Swift early and often.

    Swift’s hot start

    Swift started the season hot. In Week 1, he had 11 rushes for only 39 yards, but he caught 8-of-11 targets for 65 yards and a touchdown. Swift scored 24.4 PPR fantasy points and finished as RB4 on the week, just behind Williams, who finished with 25 PPR points of his own.

    Week 2 was a little lighter for Swift. He ran 8 times for 37 yards and caught 4 of 5 targets for 41 yards. He finished with 11.8 PPR points, RB21 on the week. While this was still pretty solid for an RB2, it was underwhelming following his Week 1 output. Williams, meanwhile, finished as the RB41 with only 6.7 PPR points, so neither RB was all that amazing.

    Swift rebounded in Week 3, finishing with 23.7 PPR points as the RB5. His 14 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown, along with 7 catches on 7 targets for 60 yards, were just what the doctor ordered. Williams was the RB23 on the week with 14.7 PPR points of his own, but Swift was the clear RB to roster.

    Week 4 was a disappointment for the Lions

    In their Week 4 loss against the Chicago Bears, Swift racked up a meager 16 yards on 8 attempts and caught 4-of-6 targets for 33 yards. This was a dud — no way around it. He finished as the RB37 with 8.9 PPR points. Again, he finished ahead of Williams, who scored 6.6 PPR points, RB46 on the week.

    Through four weeks, Swift has a total of 29 targets. That’s an average of 7.25 per game, which is a great pace. However, the Lions are 0-4 and aren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard on a weekly basis.

    Swift needs to be healthy to get the snaps and opportunities to pay off his RB18 draft price. That being said, he’s already overperformed for fantasy managers thus far, even counting his down Week 4 performance. Swift would be starting based purely on where he was drafted, but is this a good week to bench him instead?

    Starting Swift in Week 5

    Heading into Week 5, Swift is the RB7 in PPR, scoring 68.8 total points. He’s averaging 17.2 per week, eighth-best amongst running backs. This makes him a definite start when he’s healthy, but therein lies the problem.

    Swift practiced all week but only in a limited fashion due to a groin injury. He’s officially listed as questionable heading into Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Being limited all week could be a way to make sure he suits up on Sunday, which the Lions really need him to do.

    The Lions have multiple players carrying an injury designation heading into Week 5. Hockenson has a knee injury that could keep him out of the game. Between that, Swift’s groin, and Williams’ hip, the Lions could be hurting on offense this week.

    If not for what we see on the injury report, Swift would be an obvious start. Nevertheless, he’s in my lineup if he plays.

    Swift is the alpha in the backfield, and he’s proved that all year. If you’re benching him now, it’s purely out of fear. Being scared rarely wins matchups, so if Swift is good to go, I’m starting him with confidence. It could be the wrong move, but there aren’t many players getting his kind of attention this year. I’m all in this week.

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