2024 Fantasy Football Fallout: D’Andre Swift Signs With the Chicago Bears

D'Andre Swift Detroit Lions

The Philadelphia Eagles traded for D’Andre Swift last season, as both they and the Detroit Lions were in the midst of rebuilding their respective running back rooms. Swift played well, overall, for the Eagles last season, and parlayed that into a trip back to the NFC North and the Chicago Bears on a three-year, $24 million dollar deal ($15.3 million guaranteed), who have a lot of money to splash around in free agency. But, what does this mean for the fantasy football prospects in both Chicago and Philadelphia? Let’s dive in.

D’Andre Swift, in his sole season with the Eagles, finished as RB24 in fantasy points per game, rushing for 1,049 yards and 5 touchdowns while catching 39-of-49 passes for 214 yards and a score. The rushes were a career high, the targets a career low, and he managed just 4.4 yards per target, lower than his 4.6 yards per attempt. All-in-all, it was the quintessential backend RB2 season for fantasy football purposes. He didn’t change the game, but he didn’t hurt you, either. 

The move from the Eagles to the Bears doesn’t change much for his rushing upside, or target volume. The Bears finished last season with 360 rush attempts to running backs, and 75 receptions to the position; the Eagles finished with 344 rush attempts, and 74 receptions to running backs. With Swift taking over for Roschon Johnson and Khalil Herbert, I expect him to get the lion’s share of touches in that backfield, but I don’t believe that will pass 200 rush attempts for him. I also expect the Bears to get Caleb Williams, meaning that his lack of rushing will get offset by the increase in target volume, and for Swift to finish with somewhere around 175 rush attempts and 70 targets. 

If the Bears retain Justin Fields at quarterback, obviously, I do not expect as many dump offs, and I would give him around 55 targets. However, Swift would not have been the first back off the board for a rebuilding team if he was going to be so lightly used in the passing game.

Swift’s high efficiency in the running game (4.6 yards per attempt for his career), and his career efficiency in the receiving game (5.5 yards per target before last season) should have him ending up with around 1200 yards (805 rushing, 413 receiving). However, you do have to factor the (massive) downgrade from the Eagles’ offensive line to the Bears’ offensive line when considering that efficiency. In addition, you have to consider his own inefficiencies: he raned 37th in rush yards over expectation last season, which means that he wasn’t maximizing his running lanes, which will be scarcer with Chiacgo. I would feel more comfortable giving him about 1,050 total yards, with 400 of those receiving, should he not lose the job partway through the season.

With the Eagles focusing on Jalen Hurts’ touchdown production in and around the goal line, Swift had just five rushing touchdowns last season. By moving to Chicago, I believe that he changes his rushing touchdown upside dramatically. In the end, he will settle in as a high-floor flex, with the receiving game buoying his bad efficiency in the run game thanks to a poor offensive line. 

As for the other options, this essentially kills any value in Roschon Johnson or Khalil Herbert as anything but speculative handcuffs if you don’t believe in Swift. They’re worth last-round dart throws just in case Swift does a Cam Akers and gets glued to a bench after the first week of the season. However, the more likely scenario if Swift struggles is he becomes the first among equals in a three-way time split.

In Philadelphia, too much is in flex (rumors of a Saquon Barkley signing abound) but Swift leaves a large hole there, and it’s too soon to tell how Swift’s departure will change their 2024.

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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