The tea leaves, for those who wished to read them, said the Detroit Lions were moving toward trading D'Andre Swift early last offseason. After drafting Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round, it happened on Day 3 of the draft, as he was sent to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Through three weeks this season, Swift was the NFL's leading rusher (308 yards, spurred by a career-high 175 yards in Week 2 and another 130. But that flash of stardom went away-but not because of injury interruptions, like when he was a Lion. He has played all 15 games so far this season. His production simply fell off for a big chunk of the season.
Swift set his career-high for yards from scrimmage a couple weeks ago (now at 1,197 with two games to go this season), and he set a new career-high for rushing yards weeks ago (988 with two games left). While his production as a pass catcher hasn't been what it was when he was a Lion, as expected, he has 38 receptions on 48 targets.
Fantasy Football: D'Andre Swift set to win some leagues in Week 17
Just in time for the fantasy football playoffs, Swift has had 18 and 20 carries in the last two games after seeing 18 or more carries once over the previous 11 games. His 92 yards against the New York Giants in Week 16 was his highest since Week 3, and he hadn't topped 80 yards since Week 3.
As expected, Swift has had all kinds of touchdowns vultured from him by quarterback Jalen Hurts and the "Brotherly Shove" the Eagles have perfected. He has been tackled at the one-yard line and not scored on the same drive a tied for league-high six times this season.
Even beyond losing touchdown chances to Hurts left and right, last week was just Swift's second game with double-digit PPR points in fantasy over his last six with a total of two catches for three yards over the last three.
So Swift's fantasy managers would rightly be hesitant to start him in Week 17, with a title, a third place game or even a consolation bracket on the line.
But on Sunday Swift gets the Arizona Cardinals, who are allowing the most fantasy points to running backs this season and the second-most yards per carry on the ground overall (4.7). Schedule-adjusted over the last five weeks, they are allowing by far the most fantasy points to running backs. The Eagles have made more of an effort to run the ball lately, and they are 11.5 point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook at last check.
Swift has been a fantasy disappointment for much of the season. But he's lined up nicely to make things right in Week 17, with the best matchup a running back can have and a game script that should bring volume along the lines of the last two games.