D'Andre Swift traded to Philadelphia Eagles, Fantasy Reaction
Apparently Howie Roseman doesn’t just draft players from the University of Georgia.
He trades for them, too.
After the Lions shocked the world selecting Jahmyr Gibbs 12th overall on Thursday, it was abundantly clear that D’Andre Swift would be available for trade. And the Eagles wasted no time, acquiring the talented running back for a 2025 fourth-round selection. This is obviously a more enticing landing spot than playing alongside Gibbs and David Montgomery in Detroit and while this is an overall positive for his fantasy value, I do think Swift could be overhyped entering the 2023 season.
If you really think about it, the move to Philadelphia may not be all that different from his role with the Lions last year. In 2022, Swift saw a limited workload, averaging just 10.5 touches per game. Detroit was very comfortable with Jamaal Williams, while they were also worried about Swift’s injury history. He even lost touches to Craig Reynolds at times. In Philadelphia, he’ll join a backfield consisting of Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Gainwell, which could limit his overall volume and touchdown upside, especially if Jalen Hurts remains as involved in the Eagles rushing attack as he was last season. Hurts finished the year with 20 rushing attempts from inside the five-yard line. The only player in football with more attempts from that area of the field in 2022? You guessed it. Jamaal Williams with 28. Add the fact that Penny is also on the roster and it seems unlikely that Swift sees ideal short-yardage usage.
What has really helped Swift make up for a limited workload over the years has been his involvement in the passing game. Swift averaged 52 receptions over his first three seasons in Detroit and over the last two seasons, he has ranked 2nd (18.4%) and sixth (15.1%) among running backs in target share. I would be shocked if his target share was close to that in Philadelphia, as the Eagles sported the lowest running back target share in the league this past season at 12.1%. And while the Eagles clearly like Swift, they also really like Gainwell, especially on third downs.
From an efficiency standpoint, I expect Swift to continue thriving in that department. He is averaging a healthy 5.6 yards per touch through the first three seasons of his career and has been towards the top of the league in breakaway runs. And Swift goes from an elite Detroit offensive line to the unquestioned top unit in football in Philadelphia. This past season, Miles Sanders averaged 3.2 yards before first contact per attempt, the fourth-highest rate among qualified running backs. His 488 yards before contact were the third-most in the league, while Sanders also saw 30 carries where he wasn’t even contacted by a defender. Swift is going to be one of the most efficient running backs in the league but it might not translate to RB1 production in fantasy. Yes, the offense he’s in is elite, and the offensive line will do him many, many favors. But if he still isn’t seeing short-yardage work and loses targets in the passing game, Swift will project as a mid-range RB2 at best.
This is obviously an exciting move for Swift and the Eagles but don’t mistake him for a top-12 fantasy running back in Philadelphia.