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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: D’Andre Swift No. 39

D’Andre Swift comes in at 39 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

 Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

D’Andre Swift finished last season s the 18th best PPR running back in his rookie season despite being second in running back touches to Adrian Peterson on the team. The Detroit Lions aren’t in a good spot to win games this season, but Swift will be a big part of the offense, especially as a receiver. Can he help your fantasy team to a championship?

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 39, D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions, RB

Swift was behind veteran Peterson for much of the 2020 season, but was still productive. He rushed 114 times for 521 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns while catching 46 of 57 targets for 357 yards and two more touchdowns.

Competition for touches

The Lions let Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson go, but did go out and pick up Packers backup Jamaal Williams. It looks like the two will split work, but how exactly is up for debate. Williams could end up taking a big chunk of the early down work.

Team offensive expectations

The offense will be led by Jared Goff, who the Rams castoff last offseason. He also won’t have many options to throw two with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones moving on. Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman will take over as the top two receivers while T.J. Hockenson will be a big target for Goff.

What’s his upside?

Swift’s upside is highest in PPR where he should always have a high floor, as the Lions will likely be trailing often and Goff will need to dump off to Swift often in hurry-up. His upside will likely depend on how many rushing attempts he gets in relation to Williams. If he can lead in rushing attempts, I expect a Top 15 season out of him in PPR.

What’s his downside?

Swift has some real downside if the offense is pitiful and Williams splits work 50/50. The receptions will still make him a useful fantasy back in PPR leagues, but he will need to scratch and claw to put up big numbers.

Projection

180 attempts, 850 yards, 6 touchdowns — 60 receptions, 500 yards, 3 touchdowns