Lions running back D’Andre Swift is set to return to action on Sunday, but should he be locked back into fantasy football lineups for Week 17?
After missing the last four-plus games, Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift is set to return on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. On Friday’s final injury report, he is listed with no designation.
Even now, though he hasn’t played since Thanksgiving Day, Swift is still RB16 in full PPR (RB21 in standard scoring, via Fantasy Pros). He enters Week 17 as one of four players with 100 carries and 55 catches this season, and he did it in 11 games to this point.
Campbell (via Lions.com): “This week, you know it. You can see it. You can feel it. He’s looked great all week. He looks fresh is what he looks like, which is awesome. Sometimes, I think you forget until you’re where we’re at in Week 17 and when you see an athlete like Swift that’s fresh, it’s a sight for sore eyes. So, he’s ready to go.”
Staley (via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News): “I guess I’m not that type of coach, I’m going full steam ahead,” “If there’s anything he needs to tell me, I’m pretty sure he will. Other than that, he’s 100%, he’s rolling. I’m not the one to try to put a governor on this or on that, to try to (ease) up a little it. Nah, that’s not me. If he’s out there, he’s going to give us 100 percent and he knows that.”
Fantasy Football Week 17: Start D’Andre Swift?
Diving below the layer of coach-speak Campbell and Staley offered, it is a great matchup for Swift in Week 17. The Seahawks are allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs this season (Yahoo!, 0.5-point PPR), including the most receptions and receiving yards to the position. Those latter two numbers play right into Swift’s role, as Jamaal Williams and Craig Reynolds don’t have the same dual threat ability.
But that leads to the big question for Swift’s first game back. He may see the majority of the backfield work for the Lions, let’s say at least a 70 percent snap share and somewhere around 20 touches. Or he could used more conservatively, maybe closer to a 50 percent snap share with more like 10-15 touches. In a real backfield cluster you-know-what, three Lions’ backs could split up the goodness of a great matchup–with who you might want to bet on scoring a touchdown as a differentiator, as Tim Boyle pilots the Detroit offense again.
Swift is hard to go all the way back in on, with league titles or other things (third place, consolation bracket..) on the line for those who got to this point without him. But as a low-end RB2 or high-end flex, he’s a fine starting option in Week 17.