Lions OC Anthony Lynn has given us a little more info on the plan for splitting backfield touches. "If you go in and you're balling, you're going to stay in," Lynn said this week, according to Pro Football Talk. Lynn added that his approach will be to get the ball into the hands of his top playmakers, pointing out that RBs can earn receiving work in addition to carries. We'll see how this situation plays out, including whether the Lions act on their interest in free-agent RB Todd Gurley. Early indications, however, point to potential for weekly fantasy frustration.
Lions OC Anthony Lynn suggested in an interview with The Athletic that RB Jamaal Williams will play a bigger role than fantasy drafters are expecting. “Jamaal is what I’d call a classic ‘A’ back,” Lynn said. “I like to break the backs down into A and B. My ‘A’ backs are normally my bigger backs. They can run between the tackles, block probably a little better than a ‘B’ back, they can also run the perimeter. I can leave those guys in there for all three downs. My ‘B’ back comes in, he’s a guy that sometimes I want to use in space more. He’s my speed-in-space guy." D'Andre Swift -- who's going 11 rounds ahead of Williams in ADP -- would be the 'B' back in this scenario. No one should be expecting the 212-pound Swift to be a true workhorse. But he averaged 16 touches over his final 6 games last season and seemed in line to at least see that much work in 2021. It's worth noting that Detroit's new coaching staff inherited Swift but went out and acquired Williams in free agency. This backfield split will be worth monitoring closely this summer. Swift carries some risk at his mid-2nd-round ADP, while Williams looks like a nice value in the 13th.
RB Jamaal Williams has agreed to a 2-year deal with the Lions worth "up to" $7.5 million, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Williams saw regular usage in both the run and passing game with the Packers, averaging 125 carries and 30.5 receptions across 4 seasons. His contract terms don't suggest he'll threaten D'Andre Swift's expected lead role in the backfield. We'll see about Williams vs. Kerryon Johnson, though, under new HC Dan Campbell and his staff. Williams turns 26 in April.
Lions new assistant HC/RBs coach Duce Staley talked up RB D'Andre Swift on Wednesday. "When I look at D'Andre, I do think he's a three-down back and like I said, he has some special traits I can't wait to get my hands on, so I'm excited about that," Staley said. "You can get 18 carries and seven touches as far as receptions and you have 25 touches, which is what you want from your star back." It's the time of the year when coaches toss around touch projections for the coming season, so don't go expecting 25 touches per game from Swift. But it's clear the new coaching staff is high on the Georgia product, despite not being around when he was drafted. There's RB1 upside here if Swift gets feature-back usage.
The Lions are set to hire Anthony Lynn as OC, according to insider Michael Lombardi. Lynn struggled -- particularly with in-game management -- as Chargers HC over the past 4 seasons, but all 4 of those squads finished top 11 in total yards. In his only previous OC stint, Lynn led the 2016 Bills to a 16th-place finish in yards and 10th place in points. That team led the league in rushing yards, yards per carry and TDs -- with RB LeSean McCoy going for 1,267 yards and QB Tyrod Taylor for 580. Lynn is a former RBs coach, and especially with Detroit breaking in a new QB, we'd expect a run-leaning attack in 2021.
The Lions are finalizing a deal to make Dan Campbell their new HC, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Campbell spent 10 seasons playing TE in the league and has been in the coaching ranks for the past 11. The first 6 of those came in Miami -- primarily as a TEs coach, with a 12-game stint as interim HC in 2015. Campbell has been assistant HC and TEs coach in New Orleans under Sean Payton for the last 5 years. It's a relatively uninspiring hire, but we'll see who Campbell brings aboard as OC.
Lions QB Matt Stafford (rib, thumb, ankle) is expected to start tomorrow's game vs. the Vikings, "barring any overnight setbacks," according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Stafford is at risk of not making it through this game, so he's a shaky fantasy play. But whatever he can give Detroit is good news for RB D'Andre Swift, WR Marvin Jones and TE T.J. Hockenson. It also boosts the chances that this game shoots out.
Lions WR Kenny Golladay (hip) is out for Sunday's finale vs. the Vikings. He'll hit free agency in March off a disappointing 5-game season. WR Marvin Jones, TE T.J. Hockenson and RB D'Andre Swift should be the top 3 options in Detroit's passing game this weekend.
Lions QB Matt Stafford (rib) is now expected to start Sunday's game against the Titans, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a sweet matchup vs. the league's 31st-ranked QB defense. But Stafford will be playing through what's been described as a very painful rib-cartilage injury, adding risk to his Week 15 profile. We'd only consider him in 2-QB and superflex leagues. Stafford's availability is obviously good news for RB D'Andre Swift, WR Marvin Jones and TE T.J. Hockenson.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford (rib, thumb) got in a limited practice on Friday and is listed as questionable for this weekend's game vs. the Titans. Interim HC Darrell Bevell said that Stafford will travel to Tennessee, so the team clearly believes he has a chance to play. If Stafford can't go, Detroit would turn to QB Chase Daniel. He's a capable backup but would still be a downgrade for the Lions skill guys.
Lions RB D'Andre Swift (illness) is active for today’s game against the Packers. He practiced all week, including a full workout on Friday. It’s still uncertain how big a role he’ll be returning to, though, leaving Swift as a risk/reward RB2.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirms that Lions RB D'Andre Swift (illness) is expected to play against the Packers today. That was the expectation after the rookie practiced all week, including a full workout on Friday. The question is how big a role Swift will play in his 1st action since Week 10. Consider him a risk/reward RB2 in a plus matchup vs. Green Bay's 27th-ranked RB defense.
Lions RB D'Andre Swift (illness) is listed as questionable for this weekend's game against the Packers. He practiced all week, including a full workout on Friday, so we're expecting the rookie to play. But it's strange that he's been dealing with this "illness" for over a week now -- after clearing the concussion protocol. Swift had a breakout game last time we saw him, but it's unclear how big a role he'll be returning to. We'll see if we hear anything about that on Sunday morning.
Lions RB D'Andre Swift remained limited in Wednesday's practice with his illness. The rookie has reportedly cleared the concussion protocol but has now been dealing with this illness for close to a week. His status for Sunday's game against the Packers is uncertain.
Lions RB D’Andre Swift (illness) is inactive for today’s game against the Bears. He cleared the concussion protocol this week but missed the final 2 practices with an illness. We’ll see if he can make it back for Week 14. RBs Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson will share backfield duties again today.
Lions RB D'Andre Swift has been downgraded to doubtful for Sunday's game against the Bears. He cleared the concussion protocol during the week but has been dealing with an illness. So it looks like it'll be Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson leading Detroit's backfield again. With Swift out the past 2 weeks, Peterson has handled 22 carries and 1 target to Johnson's 17 carries and 9 targets. Neither guy is an exciting fantasy play vs. Chicago's 4th-ranked RB defense.
Lions interim HC Darrell Bevell said Friday that RB D'Andre Swift will "have a smaller, game-plan specific role" if he plays against the Bears this weekend. Swift was still in the concussion protocol and limited in practice on Wednesday -- then missed Thursday and Friday's practices with an illness. He also didn't practice much the previous 2 weeks. We don't know exactly how limited Swift will be if he ends up active, but this obviously makes him tough to trust in fantasy lineups. RBs Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson are seemingly in for bigger role on Sunday, although neither is a great fantasy play vs. Chicago's 4th-ranked RB defense.
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