• Asher Jacobs

Most Overrated Player: Detroit Lions

The most overrated or overvalued player on the Detroit Lions from a fantasy football perspective at the moment is D'Andre Swift. It's nothing criminal that Swift is currently being drafted 64th in full point PPR leagues, but this article is more about tempering expectations with Swift. There are running backs in much better situations than Swift being drafted later than him. Swift will have basically no training camp, and no preseason games to catch up to NFL speed, and the history of Detroit Lions running backs do not favor D'Andre in his rookie season. He is an incredible talent, and may very well the be the one to break the Lions infamous streak of little to no production from the running back position, but let's pump the brakes just a little bit for Swift's rookie campaign.

The Detroit Lions selected D'Andre Swift with the 3rd pick of the second round, 55th overall, effectively ending Kerryon Johnsons two year stint as the Lions lead back. Johnson hasn't been able to stay healthy, and even when he has, he failed to produce as the Lions starting running back. Swift is the next back to take a shot at ending the Lions running back woes, as they haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013, and before that it was Kevin Jones, almost 20 years ago. For whatever reason, the Detroit Lions cannot produce a franchise running back. Now, I'm not here to say that D'Andre Swift isn't going to be the one to put an end to that, just here to bet that it won't happen this year.

D'Andre will barely have a training camp, if at all, he will play 0 pre season games, and will just be thrown into the fire week 1 against the Bears of all defenses. No training camp or preseason significantly affected Ezekiel Elliott last season, and he's Ezekiel Elliott. People argued to temper expectations with Clyde Edwards-Helaire because Damien Williams would likely start the year as the lead back, due to there being no camp or preseason games. I say treat D'Andre Swift the same way. Just keep in mind the threat of Kerryon Johnson and no preseason when drafting Swift. Swift will also be facing the 8th hardest strength of schedule in 2019 of any backfield in the league, per FantasyPros.

Presented with the facts that Swift may not start the season as the lead back in Detroit, he is facing the 8th hardest strength of schedule, and that the Detroit Lions have had only one 1,000 yard rusher in the last 15 seasons, would you select him over James White, who had 10 or more points in 13 of his 16 games last season? Would you take him over Kareem Hunt, who was the RB15 in the second half of the season, averaging 13.5 points per game? Would you take him over Mark Ingram who scored 15 touchdowns last year, and was the RB11 averaging over 16 points per game? It's not a knock on the talent of D'Andre Swift, but more about the situation that he finds himself in, and the draft price that he carries heading into his rookie season.

Swift is incredibly talented, and for the good of the league, I hope he is the one to break the Lions' curse, I just don't have my money on it happening this year. The chips are stacked against him, and we've seen crazier things happen, but drafting D'Andre Swift 64th overall, over the likes of James White, Mark Ingram, and Kareem Hunt, is going to hurt you in the long run. I feel that a mid to late eighth, or ninth round price tag on D'Andre Swift would be a fair value, so if you can get him in the second half of the 8th round, go ahead, by all means. Let's just pump the brakes on Swift for a couple of rounds. Kareem Hunt, Mark Ingram, and James White are the safer picks by a mile, and in a season when consistency and reliability is going to mean more than ever, I encourage you to invest in just that, consistency and reliability.