Detroit Lions fan’s 2020 fantasy football success guide

Detroit Lions (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions
D’Andre Swift, Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions running backs, continued

D’Andre Swift

To begin with, Swift was the choice of Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who was allowed to select a player that he wanted to add to the offense. The shifty spark plug, Swift, is a gifted receiver and a big-play threat in a small 5-foot-9, 212-pound package. His low center of gravity reminds some of Lions great Barry Sanders but that’s not fair to put on any rookie.

Swift is a more powerful runner and although he definitely has some wiggle in his game, he is more LaDainian Tomlinson than Barry. That being said, the hype is palpable and Swift’s No. 65 overall rank and his draft spot, selection 75 on average, means that if you want him you’re going to have to pay. Fork over a round-five to round-seven pick depending on the scoring rules in your league.

From personal experience, the earlier, fifth-rounder sounds right on in PPR formats, where his receiving ability is set to make him an immediate factor in the passing game; he could overtake Johnson as the primary ball carrier, moving Johnson to a handcuff role, too.

Rookie Jonathon Taylor and Devin Singletary will be a couple of the names that you should watch for to go right around where Swift is going to go. He’s in the tier right after the RB2’s like James Conner, David Johnson, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, and Leonard Fournette are all gone. Most of those players will be exhausted by the end of the fourth round but watch for how fast they are being taken.

The other Detroit Lions running backs

The competition is looking much more fierce for the reserve roles on the roster with not much decided after the Lions top two players. At one point, Bo Scarbrough looked to be a sure thing to be the third runner but the addition of Jonathon Williams, Scarbrough’s health, and the abilities of the other three backs leaves the final roster spots up for grabs.

Williams and Scarbrough have experience and can run inside, although Scarbrough is bigger. Ty Johnson is trying to hold off rookie Jason Huntley, who could both fill the speed-back role, with Huntley the better receiver who could possibly work out of the slot and Johnson the bigger zone-runner.  Wes Hills is hoping to separate himself as a power back with special teams value.

While this is fun for training camp debate, none of these men will be relevant in fantasy football barring some unforeseen injury. The best bet is that a running back by committee approach will favor Swift if they are touching the ball in similar numbers of times in a PPR league.

If you look at how Miles Sanders was used and eventually took the job in Philadelphia from Jordan Howard last year, that seems like a similar kind of storyline to what may play out in Detroit in 2020. We could be totally wrong, though. Be prepared for the opposite to happen by backing yourself up if you buy into the Lions running back situation.