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Lions RBs: Start or sit advice in Week 2 fantasy football

The Detroit Lions had two running backs finish in the top-five for fantasy football in Week 1. We go over the fantasy football outlook of the Lions RBs ahead of their Week 2 matchup against the Packers on Monday Night Football.

Lions running backs Jamaal Williams, left, and D’Andre Swift watch the action during training camp on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, in Allen Park. Kirthmon F. Dozier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Detroit Lions pulled a bit of a switcheroo on fantasy football managers in Week 1. Less than an hour before Lions-49ers kicked off, NFL Network reported that Jamaal Williams would start and “carry the load” in the Week 1 opener.

D’Andre Swift came into Week 1 dealing with a groin injury that slowed him throughout the preseason. This report suggested the team was looking to ease him back into the flow and not go overboard.

By the end of the game, Swift had 11 carries for 39 yards to go along with 8 receptions on 11 targets for 65 yards. Williams had 9 carries for 54 yards to go along with 8 receptions on 9 targets for 56 yards. Swift found the end zone on a screen pass while Williams scored a rushing touchdown. However, the overall workload was not comparable. While Williams did technically start the game, he played 32 total snaps compared to Swift’s 63.

Fantasy Football analysis: Lions RBs D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams

The Lions wide receiver depth chart is abysmal and with Tyrell Williams down with a concussion, it could be even worse for Monday Night Football this week against the Packers. It’s not at all surprising Swift, Williams, and Hockenson were Detroit’s three leading pass catchers. While Swift and Williams might not catch eight passes per game, they will remain pretty consistently busy if nobody in the wide receiver room can emerge as a consistent threat.

The target and catch numbers were goosed a bit by the Lions furious comeback attempt, but given the dearth of quality receivers, we can probably expect both Williams and Swift to be actively involved in the passing game. And considering they are huge underdogs this weekend in Green Bay, they might have to lean into the passing game once again.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

If you have both running backs on your roster, Swift is the better start. In deeper PPR leagues, particularly with multiple flex spots, you could make an argument for having both in your lineup.

Swift heads into Green Bay on the low end RB2 side while Williams is in the RB3/Flex range. Williams was the more efficient back last week, but with Swift doubling his snap count, Williams remains the lesser option for the time being.